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Rose Scheetz celebrated by City of Groton

On March 25, 1921, Warren G. Harding was president of the United States and the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote had been ratified just seven months prior. This also was the day that Rose Scheetz was born in Lowber, Pennsylvania, and the day a century later that Groton honored one of its own: a businesswoman, mother and civic leader.

As Captain Erick Jenkins of the City of Groton Police Department said in a proclamation, “Mrs. Rose A. Scheetz is a woman who helped create, build and form her community. She is a constant giver of her time, knowledge and skills.”

Her granddaughter, Kate Henry, called her a pillar of the city and town of Groton.

“Those that showed up at her birthday parade ... I’m sure had baked goods from her at one point in their career,” she said, referencing Scheetz’s contributions to local causes. “It was amazing to see the love for her!”

Scheetz moved to Groton along with her husband Frank Sr. in 1947. It was there that they started a construction company, Frank Scheetz and Sons Inc.

The Scheetz family brought up six children in Groton: Donna Mae Cooper, Patricia Jean Winsor, Lorraine Scheetz, Susan Moore, Joseph Anthony Scheetz, and David Francis Scheetz.

During these years, Scheetz joined the workforce as a bookkeeper for the family construction company. She worked alongside her husband when he started his businesses.

Among their Groton businesses: Dairy Delight, Paint Store and Rose’s Café. A remnant of the businesses they built can still be seen at Scheetz Plaza in Groton.

Scheetz’s community service for the Town of Groton is extensive, as exemplified by her selling tickets for the USS Croaker Memorial and working with her late husband to bring the USS Nautilus to Connecticut.

She was also active in the Daughters of Isabella, the Poquonnock Bridge Fire Department, the Business and Professional Women Association and is an associate of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit. She was a justice of the peace and worked the polls on Election Day. She has also volunteered at City Day and numerous other events in Groton.

“My mother is known for all her baked goods — baklava and specialty cookies,” said daughter Lorraine. “She baked cookies for the city employees, Pequot Occupational Health and Lawrence + Memorial Hospital.”

Scheetz has lived with Lorraine since her husband passed away in 1998.

“She is my rock, counselor, sounding board and vacation traveler,” Lorraine said. “All of us have been truly blessed to have her in our lives.”

Added Henry, “The time I have spent with her means the world to me. We’ve shared so many memories in her kitchen cooking, baking, laughing, playing games, making faces on Snapchat.”

Scheetz has 12 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. She raised six children by herself as her husband served in the Navy during WWII.

City of Groton Mayor Keith Hedrick stated, “I was excited to be part of the celebration to honor Rose Scheetz on her 100th birthday. She has given so much to the community over the years. Her support of the City of Groton firefighters, police officers, Groton Utilities and municipal employees will long be remembered. Happy Birthday Rose!!”

Hedrick read a proclamation honoring Rose Scheetz Centennial Day on March 25 during a birthday parade for her.

The drive-by parade allowed dozens to express gratitude for the difference Scheetz has made in her 100 years on earth, showing a tremendous amount of love, kindness, care, and fortitude to her city. The City and Town of Groton showed their appreciation for her and said thank you for many years of selflessness, delivering a message of “Happy Birthday” to a woman considered amazing by all those who got to know her.

Aidan Schuler of Ledyard is a member of the Times’ Young Journalists Initiative.

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