ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Rose Marie Portaro, 84 years old, born on January 3, 1937, and passed away on May 3, 2021. We will remember her forever.
Posted by Mary Jane Bond on May 11, 2021
Everyone knew RoseMarie by her friendly laugh and caring. I was her neighbor for 8 years before her move to Colorado. She loved her “annual vacation” to the Indy 500 with Michael. Her car was ‘racing ready’ at all times. RoseMarie loved to welcome everyone coming and going from the Birmingham Community House. She is missed by so many. I am certain that she is smiling still. Blessings to all. She will never be forgotten.
Posted by Helen Marchio on May 11, 2021
I had the pleasure of spending time with RoseMarie, her amazing smile brighten my day. She loved her trips to Meijers and kohl’s and our walks with Nico her little buddy there was always an adventure. She stole my heart. And they day she moved to Colorado my heart was broken, but we still talked on the phone every day. RoseMarie you will be forever missed and always loved. R.I.P.
Posted by CHRISTINE PERRY on May 10, 2021
You always knew when Aunt Rose Marie was near because her laughter would fill a room. She was personable and always showed interest in how you were. My most recent memories were her yearly visits to Cleveland that seemed to signal that the holidays were near. They always consisted of gathering at my parents for coffee, pastries, catching up and of course, laughter. We may have lost another loved one, but not the memories. Rest in peace, Aunt Rose Marie.
Posted by Jayne Mueller on May 9, 2021
I was lucky enough to meet Rose Marie in Colorado as one of her caregivers. She told me many stories of her life from hearing about her grandmother’s amazing spaghetti to her time at the Community House. She passed on lessons from her life. The one that stands out I believe came from her grandmother said in her Italian accent, “You be kind to others and they’ll be kind to you!” RoseMarie was one of the kindest people I have ever met. Her grandmother would’ve been proud! I will miss her dearly!

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Mary Jane Bond on May 11, 2021
Everyone knew RoseMarie by her friendly laugh and caring. I was her neighbor for 8 years before her move to Colorado. She loved her “annual vacation” to the Indy 500 with Michael. Her car was ‘racing ready’ at all times. RoseMarie loved to welcome everyone coming and going from the Birmingham Community House. She is missed by so many. I am certain that she is smiling still. Blessings to all. She will never be forgotten.
Posted by Helen Marchio on May 11, 2021
I had the pleasure of spending time with RoseMarie, her amazing smile brighten my day. She loved her trips to Meijers and kohl’s and our walks with Nico her little buddy there was always an adventure. She stole my heart. And they day she moved to Colorado my heart was broken, but we still talked on the phone every day. RoseMarie you will be forever missed and always loved. R.I.P.
Posted by CHRISTINE PERRY on May 10, 2021
You always knew when Aunt Rose Marie was near because her laughter would fill a room. She was personable and always showed interest in how you were. My most recent memories were her yearly visits to Cleveland that seemed to signal that the holidays were near. They always consisted of gathering at my parents for coffee, pastries, catching up and of course, laughter. We may have lost another loved one, but not the memories. Rest in peace, Aunt Rose Marie.
her Life
Those of you who met Rose Marie were probably taken in immediately by her gregarious personality and her ability to make new friends at the drop of a hat. She could be a great friend and a mentor. 
Rose Marie Nero was born in Cleveland Ohio, the second daughter of Newton and Jenny Nero, sister to Alice and aunt to Gary Birinyi. She married Phillip J Portaro on May 24, 1958. Phillip's time in the army and later his work took him to Europe where he spent a lot of time. In 1966 Rose Marie joined him for several weeks and they traveled around the continent. She had many great memories of that trip but her main souvenir turned out to be her only child Michael. 
In 1973, Phillip's work took the family to Michigan, settling in the up-and-coming city of Troy, just outside of Detroit. Rose Marie's personality led to jobs where interaction with people was the focus. In the 70 and early 80s she was a hostess at the up-scale restaurant Eden Glen. It was there she befriended renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki - designer of the World Trade Center, whose office was across the street from Eden Glen. It was also during this time that she decided to learn how to play the organ - she played for many years and became quite proficient. 

Unfortunately the music took to the sideline when Phillip got sick in 1982, and passed away in 1984 at which time managing the household and seeing Michael through high-school and into college took priority. For much of this time Rose Marie was self employed, buoyed by her personality and contacts she did anything from clean houses, to secretarial or other office related work - whatever anyone needed. 

In the 1990s she started working at the The Community House in Birmingham Michigan. This is the job that would define the later part of her life. She met a wide variety of people at all levels of society - she was the 'face' of The Community House for the better part of 30 years - working the front desk she was often the first person someone would encounter.  She made numerous friends and it became a part of her. Michael had moved to Colorado in 2005 with his wife Michele and the plan was that Rose Marie would eventually join them in her retirement. But her love of The Community House was such that retirement was never really on the table. 

Rose Marie could also be socially adventurous. From 2001, through 2019 she attended the Indy 500 - an interest she took to after Michael started going in 1985. At first she started going in a motorhome with her travel buddy Jim. Michael recounted:
"In 2005 when Danica Patrick was a rookie driving for Bobby Rahal and David Letterman, I returned to the motorhome after the final practice before the race and I see mom and Jim sitting there wearing brand new Danica Patrick/Team Rahal/Letterman hats… I asked where they got them. They said they wandered into her hospitality tent and were given them. For those of you who aren't familiar with Indy, you can't get into a hospitality tent without credentials - it's like having a back-stage pass at a concert. Somehow they managed to do just that and nobody questioned them. Then, from 2007 through 2011 Mom, Jim and myself managed to crash the night before the 500 party hosted by Mari Hulman George - the owner of the track. We mingled with and got to know regular guests like Florence Henderson, Jim Nabors and Ruth Buzzi. Nobody ever questioned us and after the first couple years we were also 'regulars'.
After Jim passed away she continued joining us for the race and her preference was to venture to the viewing mounds in the infield spending the day by herself making new friends as she didn't want to be 'confined' by having a ticketed seat - this continued through her last 500 in 2019 by which time she was 82. After the race we'd meet up at a designated spot and she always seemed to be with a new friend that she had made."
As it became apparent in 2020 that Rose Marie was no longer going to able to take care of herself, she was moved to Castle Pines Colorado to be near Michael, where she spent the final months of her life. Even during her short tenure in Colorado and with her health deteriorating, she had a profound positive impact on those she encountered. 

Recent stories
Shared by Carlotta Blue on May 10, 2021
To have known Rose Marie was a pleasure. Her big smile when she greeted you and that infectious laugh made everyone feel special. She exuded happiness and calm.
Memories of our phone conversations and lunch gatherings will remain with me forever. 
I would often remind Rose Marie that her kind spirit, positive attitude and presence made the world a better place...of course she would LAUGH!She will be missed.
Heaven’s gate has the perfect greeter!
Carlotta Blue