Robert’s new journey takes him to a wonderful place where he will be reunited with his parents, seven brothers and three sisters.
A lifelong resident of Colton, Robert was father to Olivia Rosales Tierney (Gary), Robina Rosales, Robb Rosales and Dr. Lisa Rosales. He also leaves behind eight grandchildren ten great-grandchildren and former wife, Mary Rosales.
From 1939 to 1942, dad played shortstop for the Colton Mercuries baseball team. In 2016, the team was inducted into the Colton Sports Hall of Fame. The only shame ever brought to our LA Dodgers household, was dad being a New York Yankees fan.
Two additional achievements came in 2014. One, when dad received his Colton Union High School diploma and second, when his military banner was installed.
Leaving school in eighth grade, to help support his family, dad always regretted not completing his high school education. Throughout his life, he was never without a book. His love for history and languages made him a “know-it-all” on historical facts and events and a great conversationalist in Spanish, French, Arabic and Japanese.
Joining the army in 1942, dad was stationed in Heliopolis, Egypt. He loved telling us stories about his stint as a military police officer, nearly drowning in the Mediterranean Sea trying to impress a girl (he couldn’t swim) and visiting the pyramids with a pretty army nurse or two. Staff Sargent Rosales was honorably discharged in 1946.
As a proud American, you could always find dad participating in Veterans Day and Memorial Day events. With the support of family, friends and VFW Post 6476, dad’s military banner was the first raised in honor of WWII veterans. You can find banner #14 on the corner of La Cadena and G Street near one of his favorite sites, the Colton Area Museum.
As an added tribute to Dad’s passing, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center honored him with a flag draped “Veteran’s Heroes’ March” along two floors of the hospital with medical staff, fire and police personnel (many veterans themselves) lining the corridors to honor our veteran one last time. It was very emotional and touching to see complete strangers coming together in this way.
Dad worked at Colton Junior High School for 33 years, opening lockers for forgetful students, whistling while he worked up and down the school walkways and just being a friend to everyone he met. To this day, he is still remembered and loved by many students and faculty.
Dad also worked at the Colton Woman’s Club for 50 years and was proudly made an honorary member. He never missed a chance to be surrounded by beautiful women. In the many decades that he worked there, there was always someone named “Betty”. So, as an inside joke, we just referred to the club members as “Dad’s Bettys”. A bench commemorating his 50 years sits on the Woman’s Club lawn today.
Dad loved reading, singing and playing the guitar. Crafting “Bobby Pins” for family, friends and for church and school organizations kept him busy. Social media was a way for dad to stay in touch with the world. He spent many hours exploring YouTube and catching up with the daily gossip on Facebook. He was also able to command Alexa and his iPhone as well. He was never afraid to try new things. Let’s just hope heaven has a strong WiFi connection.
Thank you, dad, for giving us a wonderful life, for your unconditional love and for providing us with a loving home base. You were humble and generous and a gentleman to the end. Our eternal love follows you on your peaceful journey.
May God bless you and accept your wooden nickel for all your hard work on this earth.
Private services will be held on Friday, August 23rd.
Please join us, per dad’s request, for an open house “Celebration of Life” get together at the Colton Woman’s Club on Saturday, August 24th from noon to 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Colton Area Museum or the Colton Woman’s Club in dad’s memory.