Rosalie Agnes Teresa Ghelfi of Mashpee, 78, died at home on August 5. Many will instantly associate her last name with the sale of sweet treats on the Upper Cape. She was a former resident of Falmouth.
She was the wife of Anthony M. Ghelfi for 57 years.
Born in Brockton, she was the daughter of the late Caesar and Virginia Filippetti, who were Italian immigrants.
She was raised in Bridgewater and graduated from Bridgewater High School, where she was in the National Honor Society and drama club; played field hockey and softball; and was the captain of the cheerleading squad.
After high school she worked at the Brockton Enterprise and was a model for Frazier’s Department Store in Brockton while attending Stonehill College. She then realized her passion and transferred to The Fashion Institute in Boston.
She married her high school sweetheart, Anthony Ghelfi, in May 1962. An accomplished seamstress, she made the bridesmaid dresses for her wedding party.
In 1976 the couple became owners of Trahan’s Candies in Falmouth and their family candy business was started. Later Ms. Ghelfi would own and manage Ghelfi’s Cards & Gifts on Main Street in Falmouth. She would go back to work in the candy business with her son Scott at Ghelfi’s Candies.
Her most recent job was serving as a hostess at New Seabury Country Club.
During her years living in Falmouth, Ms. Ghelfi served on the board of Falmouth Chamber of Commerce and helped start the Falmouth Village Association. She was a part of a group of mothers who started the Main Street Mile.
As a congregant of St. Patrick’s Church, she volunteered for the St. Vincent de Paul Society and was a reader and Eucharistic minister at the church and served as president of its women’s guild. She also founded the Leprechaun Club, a fundraising organization for St. Patrick’s, running all of its events. In 1998 Ms. Ghelfi was awarded the Marian Medal for her service to the church; it was given to her by the Most Reverend Bishop Sean O’Malley, who would always reference her as “Candy Lady.”
A volunteer for the Falmouth Road Race, her family also hosted runners as well as players with the Falmouth Commodores; she once took in a family of Vietnamese refugees.
In addition to her husband, she leaves her children, Scott Ghelfi and his wife, Wendy Ghelfi, of Falmouth, Sharon Adams and her husband, Tyler Adams, of Falmouth, Christopher Ghelfi and his husband, James Lawson, of Brooklyn, New York, and Michael Ghelfi of Falmouth; her grandchildren, Cameron and Alexa Panepinto, Durham and Hannah Ghelfi, and Patrick and Meghan Ghelfi; three sisters, Mary Markey of Laurel, Maryland, Helen Preti of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Nancy Sharland of Bridgewater; a brother, Louis Filippetti of Florida; and a large extended family.
She was predeceased by her son Anthony Ghelfi; and by two siblings.
Visitation will be Friday, August 9, from 4 to 8 PM at Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 475 Main Street in Falmouth.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, August 10, at 10 AM at St. Patrick’s Church, 511 Main Street in Falmouth.
Burial will follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Falmouth.