Rose Calderone was famous in the Mon Valley for a story about her serving John F. Kennedy scrambled eggs for dinner in her kitchen while others were dining on lobster and steak in her nearby supper club.
The Massachusetts senator also drank the local beer, Stoneys, when he went to her business, the Twin Coaches in Rostraver Township, Pa., to stump for votes in the 1960 presidential election, knowing Calderone had the power to swing many ballots in his favor.
She went on to provide good-paying jobs for women while attracting the best entertainment to the club after her husband, Tony, died unexpectedly the same year.
“It was either sink or swim,” she told the Observer-Reporter when she granted the newspaper a rare interview two years before she died Monday at age 93.
A native of Italy, she was a role model for many immigrants to America who wanted to rise to the top and retire at the best of their game. She was no one to mess with, either. Calderone kept a baseball bat behind the bar in case of trouble, and was known to turn men away if they weren’t wearing a dress jacket and tie. She insisted on dealing with class acts, at no expense.
Her obituary follows:
Rose Bruno Calderone, 93, of Rostraver, died Monday, May 19, 2008 . She was born in Mendicino, Italy on June 10, 1914. At the age of three she was brought to the United States by her late parents, Joseph Bruno and Maria (Nacarrato) Bruno.
Rose grew up in Monessen before moving to Rostraver. Rose was a longtime business owner and is best known for operating the Twin Coaches Supper Club in Rostraver with her late husband, Tony Calderone and in her later years for operating the Holiday Inn in Rostraver. She was a member of the Church of St. Anne in Rostraver and its Confraternity of Christian Mothers. She was also one of the founding members and was a member of the original board of directors of the Rostraver Business Association in 1975; and in 2005 she was honored as the business person of the year for the Greater Rostraver Chamber of Commerce.
She is survived by her daughter, Carmel Calderone of Rostraver; son & daughter-in-law, Anthony & Pat Calderone of Huntington Beach, CA; 3 grandchildren; Philip Calderone of Huntington Beach, CA, Leonard Calderone and Lisa & Kenneth Waite, all of Atlanta, GA; great granddaughter, Jessica Waite; great grandson; Taylor Waite; sister & brother-in-law; Angeline & Regis J. Serinko of Rostraver; brother, Albert E. Bruno of Huntington Beach, CA; 2 nieces, Maria & Kenneth Kite of Rostraver, Judy & Gary Means of Frederick, MD; 4 nephews, Bruce Bruno of Rostraver, Dr. Gerald Bruno of Jackson, MS, Dr. Regis J. Serinko, Jr. of Bellefonte and James Bruno of New York.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Tony Calderone in 1960; 2 brothers and sisters-in-law, James & Lena Bruno and Frank & Kay Bruno; 3 nieces, Marilyn Bruno, Donna Mae Beggs and Regina Ann Serinko; and a nephew, Joseph Bruno.
Friends will be received on Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. and Friday until 9:30 a.m. in the James C. Stump Funeral Home Inc., 580 Circle Drive, Belle Vernon/Rostraver Township (724-929-7934) www.jamesstumpfuneralhome.com
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, May 23 at 10:00 am in the Church of St. Anne with her Pastor, Rev. Ronald L. Simboli presiding. Entombment will follow in the Grandview Cemetery Mausoleum in Monessen.
Rose's biggest love was St. Jude's Children's Hospital, so the family is suggesting memorial contributions to: St. Jude’s Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, the Jefferson Regional Medical Center Foundation, or to the Rostraver Food Bank.