Published in the February 22, 2019 edition.
CENTERVILLE — Rosemary McAuliffe, 86, a former resident of Wakefield and Rockland died on Saturday February 16, 2019 in Centerville.
Rosemary was born on September 4, 1932 in Melrose and was raised in Wakefield. She was the daughter of the late Dr. Philip and Margaret (Douglass) McAuliffe. She graduated from St. Joseph’s School and Our Lady of Nazareth Academy in Wakefield. She received her B.A. degree from Regis College and her M.S.W. degree from the Boston University School of Social Work.
Rosemary worked for nearly 50 years in the fields of child welfare and adoption services. She held a special interest in older children and special needs adoptions. Her first social worker position was with the Lynn Catholic Family Services where she eventually served on the Board of Directors. From 1967 to 1974 she served as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE). In this position she worked tirelessly to promote the adoption of children from the states foster care children. In 1969 she designed the MARE Photolisting system. The system involved combining photographs and biographical descriptions of children who were registered with MARE and waiting for adoption. This information was shared with social service agencies and public libraries throughout the state in a book format that was updated monthly. This pre-internet method of more widely sharing information on children available for adoption was the first of its kind in the U.S. and an immediate success. During the first year it was used, MARE increased its adoption placements of special needs adoptions from 10 to 100.
In 1974 Rosemary left MARE to become the Director of the Adoption Placement Unit of the Massachusetts Division of Child Guardianship, now the Department of Children and Families. From 1972 to 1975 Rosemary served on Gov. Francis Sargent’s Mental Health Advisory Board providing the Governor with counsel regarding adoption issues. Ever the student trying to increase her knowledge regarding adoptions, Rosemary returned to school to study mental health counseling at the Massachusetts school of Professional Psychology, receiving her certification in clinical social work in 1977. With this clinical training she opened a part-time psychotherapy practice in Wakefield specializing in adoption problems.
Rosemary left her position in state government in 1983 to become the Coordinator of the Child Welfare Unit at Cambridge Family and Children’s Service (CFCS). As the coordinator at CFCS Rosemary developed an adoption program directed at improving the adoption rate of minority children.
When Rosemary left the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange in 1974 as the Executive Director she assumed a position on its Board of Directors. She served on the Board of Directors for the next 33 years. When she stepped down from the Board in 2007 she was awarded MARE’s first Lifetime Achievement Award. When this award was presented to her MARE estimated that through Rosemary’s work, “nearly 5,000 children in foster care in Massachusetts have moved from uncertainty to stability, from feelings of rejection to the knowledge that they are wanted and loved. Many of these children are now parents and grandparents themselves.”
Upon retirement Rosemary moved to Rockland. She subsequently moved to Centerville on Cape Cod where she spent her final years. She was always devoted to her Catholic faith, family and friends. She enjoyed traveling and spending time with her family which meant everything to Rosemary.
She leaves behind her beloved sister-in-law, Joan McAuliffe of Centerville. She also leaves behind seven nieces and nephews who she cared for as if they were her own children. They include Philip McAuliffe III, and his wife Karen of Wakefield; Lisa McAuliffe of Reading; Donald McAuliffe Jr., MD and his wife Lyne of Beverly; Catherine McAuliffe and her husband Ray Brooks of Arlington, Va.; Mary Beth Cox of Norwood; Carol Ann Delmonico and her husband John of Newton and Margaret Chute and her husband Gary of Watertown. She is also survived by 16 grandnieces and grandnephews. She was predeceased by her two brothers Philip Jr. and Donald. Rosemary will also be missed by countless wonderful and loved friends.
Visiting hours will take place on Monday, February 25 at Anderson-Bryant Funeral Home, located at 4 Common Street Stoneham from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. The funeral mass will be held on Monday, February 25 at St. Joseph’s Parish, located at 173 Albion St. in Wakefield. Burial will take place at St. Patrick’s Cemetery located at 120 Elm Street, Stoneham. For more information or online guestbook please visit www.MurphyFuneralHome.com or call (978)744-0497.