‘Aging in Place’ is a determined group struggle for Hingham family

‘Aging in Place’ is a determined group struggle for Hingham family


HINGHAM – In her heyday, Rose Cundari was a familiar figure around town, driving her daughter’s white 1960 Olds Delta 88 convertible with the red top, picking up her friends and waving at everyone they saw.

This was in the 1970s, long after she’d been a Rosie during World War II balancing cargo loads for merchant ships at the South Boston Army Base. She was working in the cafeterias at South Middle School and Hingham High School, a friendly, fun-loving presence.

“Everyone knew my mom,” Cecilia “Ceci” Doherty, one of Cundari’s four daughters, recalled. “Sometimes it was embarrassing, like when she wore the gorilla mask.”

With seven children, four girls and three boys, Cundari had plenty to do at home but was such a social creature that any chance she got to be out in the community, she took it.

“You make your own happiness,” she often said.

Rose Cundari, now 98, of Hingham on her bike in South Boston as a young woman.

Early last February, before COVID-19 was recognized, Cundari got pneumonia and went from the hospital to Queen Anne Nursing Home for rehab. The care was excellent, her family said, but they planned to bring her home. Then the COVID virus began spreading and the state shut down. No visitors were allowed in skilled nursing homes. 

At first, Cundari managed all right by seeing her large family though window visits, but by summer she looked listless and was withdrawing. The home did an assessment and she scored as depressed, something never seen in her before.

“I miss being with my family,” she said.

The day before her 98th birthday, Rose Cundari posed with three Hingham firefighters who made a stop at her home.

“We all talked it over and knew we had to find a way to try to bring her home,” her daughter Joan Endyke, of Hingham, said.

Rose Trifiro grew up in a cold-water flat in South Boston, an outgoing girl whose motto was “Do what you want to do, no regrets, because once it’s gone, it’s gone.”  

She married Edward Cundari in 1953; the couple moved to Hingham in 1959 and raised seven children. Edward worked two jobs, as an accountant in Watertown and at the South Boston Postal Annex.

Source link