By Albert Amateau
Rose Pascale, the East Harlem activist and daughter of Italian immigrants who is remembered in the Village for her service four decades ago as the beloved community liaison to Community Board 2, died Aug. 14 at the age of 92. She was the window of Pete Pascale, executive director of the SCAN/LaGuardia Memorial House on E. 116th St., and worked by his side at the settlement house for many years.
A Republican, she was appointed in 1969 by Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton, a Democrat, as community liaison to the Greenwich Village community board. She also served the two succeeding Manhattan borough presidents, Democrats Andrew Stein and David Dinkins, until she retired in 1986.
“She was a lovely lady, always with a smile and she never got upset,” recalled Rita Lee, an aide to Councilmember Alan Gerson. Lee recalled that when Rose Pascale was first appointed as Sutton’s emissary to the Village, community boards had no budgets, no typewriters and no offices. “She was the Community Board 2 office, working in the Municipal Building,” Lee said. “Rose would bring armloads of correspondence and records to the board meetings and committee meetings wherever they were held.”
Lulu Evans, Rose Pascale’s daughter, recalled at her funeral on Aug. 20 that she overheard Rose taking a call from a Brooklyn resident who needed help and had heard that Rose was someone who would help anyone who needed help.
“She worked for years with the Greenwich Village community board and when [the Borough President’s Office] transferred Rose to a Midtown board, all of Greenwich Village was furious and in an uproar; so Rose was assigned back to the Village and had to tend two boards,” Evans added. “Rose had such good friends in the Village, like Doris Diether, Rita Lee, Maggi Peyton and Tony Dapolito.”
In connection with her work in the Village, Rose became associated with Father Robert Lott, associate pastor of St. Joseph’s Church, who founded The Caring Community senior-services organization in 1973. When Lott was transferred in 1987 to a church in East Harlem, Rose joined his new organization developing affordable housing for seniors and low-income families.
Rose was born Sept. 30, 1916, in New Brunswick, N.J., to Elizabeth and Louis Capaldo, immigrants from Melfi, Italy. The family moved to East Harlem when she was 3 years old. She had to quit school after the eighth grade in order to work to help her family, her daughter said.
Rose married Pete Pascale, an East Harlem community leader in 1938. She remained active and was a board member of the SCAN/LaGuardia center after his death in 1992. Rose was a district leader out of the Uptown Republican Club since 1974, a delegate to the Republican National Convention that year and president of the New York County Republican Federation of Women.
She was honored in 1998 by then-Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields for six decades of community service, and in 1999 by then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani for service to the people of East Harlem. Rose was president of the Rosary Altar Society of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in East Harlem, where her funeral was held last week. In addition to her daughter, a son, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren also survive.