Loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother
On April 10, 2021, just a week shy of her 78th birthday, Rose Marie (Diehl) Bronk, a longtime resident of Lowell, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family. She was the beloved wife of Walter F. Bronk Sr.
Born and raised in Troy, NY, she was the daughter of the late Harold and Ethel (Brunick) Diehl. She attended School One in Troy, and began her career at Cluett Peabody of Troy. She then worked as an independent house cleaner until she and Walter moved to Lowell. In 1977, she began working for Mobile Chemical, and later, Wang and Raytheon. For many years, she owned and operated R.M.B. Cleaning, until she retired at age 62 (though she continued to clean for several more years for a handful of clients).
Rose and Walter established their home in Lowell, and devoutly raised four children within the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church community. Rose and Walter were youth group leaders at St. Paul’s UMC for many years, and were always involved in the ministries within the church. She was also a member of the sewing and knitting group, and the women’s covenant praying group through the church.
In 1995, Rose, Walter, and sister-in-Christ, the late Jane Watkins, began St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen. Rose was inspired by the Bible verse, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Truly I say to you, whatever you did for one of the last of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me” (Matthew 25:40)
St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen started by offering soups and sandwiches a couple nights each week, and sometimes they gave out food for the weekends on Fridays. Today, the Kitchen serves meals five nights a week through the selfless hands of volunteers who cook and prep hundreds of meals to pass out to those in need. Rose was always there - whether a blizzard was howling, or the sun was shining - and she rarely took a vacation. Known by all for her compassion, empathy, respect, and gentle kindness, Rose loved all, regardless of their circumstance. She made sure everyone felt welcome and had a safe place to eat a warm, nutritious meal. She loved hosting annual community fundraisers in support the organization, especially when it meant she got to go dancing at the U.S. Bunting Club in Lowell with everyone afterwards.
Rose was also an active member of the Centralville United Methodist Church in Lowell. She was the co-chair for the Missions committee for several years. Rose began the Triangle Thrift Shop located at the Centralville United Methodist Church (closed temporarily due to the ongoing pandemic). Always looking for new ways to make a difference, Rose started the Baking Angels, a group from the Missions Committee that baked yummy treats and delivered them to First Responders in Lowell. Rose also helped prepare and deliver meals and gifts, and spent time visiting the Veterans at their home on Princeton Street in Lowell.
Family and friends will always remember Rose by the sense of fashion and style she had for every occasion. Rose always stressed the importance of celebrating the love of family by hosting get-togethers from Sunday dinners to barbecues, sewing sessions, family camping trips, and girl’s weekends away. She always supported everyone she loved in what they were doing from running races to getting wonderful grades in school. Rose was an angel on earth, a saint among the living, and like a second mother to many at the Kitchen.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by four children and their spouses: Dawn Bailey, Paula (Richard) Forest, Walter (Colleen) Bronk, and Janine (Mark) Bobek; seven grandchildren, Erin (Michael) Langlois, Mathew Forest, Joshua Bronk, Kelsey Bronk, Nicole Forest, Taylor Leger, and Zachary Bobek, and one great-grandson, Jayson Leczynski. She is also survived by her brother James Diehl, sister-in-law Christine Diehl, sister-in-law Betty Diehl and many other sisters and brothers-in-law, cousins, nieces, and nephews. She was the mother of the late Dana Bronk, mother-in-law of the late Mark Bailey, and the grandmother of the late Jessica Brackett. Rose was also predeceased by her brothers Chester Diehl and Clifford Diehl and sisters Eva Kelly and Pauline Carr.
Friends may safely share a few moments of love with the family during a walk-through visitation at the MORSE-BAYLISS Funeral Home, 122 Princeton Boulevard, Lowell, on Wednesday, between 4 and 8 p.m.
Due to gathering restrictions, her Funeral Service will be held virtually on Thursday at 10 a.m. FRIENDS ARE INVITED TO VIEW ROSE’S FUNERAL SERVICE FROM HOME AT:
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen, P.O. Box 2257, Lowell, MA 01851, or stpaulssoupkitchen.org/donate/. Funeral Director, Frederick Healy. Please visit Rose’s life tribute page at www.morsebaylissfuneralhome.com