Rose (Fortuna) Coppe, 104, a longtime resident of Plainville entered into eternal rest on Sunday, September 15, 2019 at Suncoast Hospice in Palm Harbor, FL. She resided with her niece and caregiver Josan (Stella) Berg of Largo, FL for the past 9 years. She is now reunited with her loving husband, the late Martin John Coppe.
“Rosina” was born in Plainville, CT on February 10, 1915 daughter of the late Giuliano and Carmella (Mallia) Fortuna. She was predeceased by her brothers, Albert and Salvatore Fortuna and sisters, Josephine Stella, Mary Gauthier, and Jean Furlani. She was also predeceased by her loving nephew, Conrad Stella.
Rose was in the 1929 class at Plainville High School but left school to work in a drug store and gift shop in New Britain in order to support her parents during financial difficulties. Her father was no longer able to work due to sickness. Next, she ventured into the restaurant business opening the Betsy Ross Restaurant on West Main Street in New Britain. Rose was a “go-getter” and with her vivacious personality went to meet Fred Astaire in New York. She became the owner and director of four Fred Astaire Dance Studios located in Hartford and New Haven CT, Springfield, MA and Providence, RI. She trained and danced with Fred Astaire and traveled with Vera Ellen to New Orleans in the 1950’s. Her passion for dancing lasted many years and she retired after 22 years of service in the ballroom dance business. She had a “wonderful life” of dancing inside and out. After retirement, she continued to dance at the Senior Centers in Plainville, New Britain, Bristol and West Hartford. She became known as “Rose the Dancer.” She had hobbies of swimming and golfing.
Rose is survived by her nieces, Josan (Stella) Berg of Largo, FL and Annette Gauthier of Stockdale, TX and her nephew, Martin Gauthier of New Britain, several great nieces and nephews and extended family.
Calling hours will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 PM on Monday, September 23 at Bailey Funeral Home, 48 Broad St., Plainville. Funeral services in celebration of Rose’s life will begin on Tuesday, September 24 at 9:00 AM at the funeral home followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 AM at The Church of Our Lady of Mercy, 94 Broad St, Plainville. Pall bearers are: Albert Stella, Curt Stella, Christopher McCall, Laurence Routhier, William O’Dell and Romeo Martin. Burial with a committal service will follow in Plainville West Cemetery.