Rosemary (Tarantino) Champagne, beloved wife of Jim Champagne for 51 Years passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018 at the Hospital of Central CT-New Britain, surrounded by her husband and daughter Tracey.
Rosemary was born on Sept. 6, 1945 and was the daughter of the late Anthony and Marge (Pasquale) Tarantino.
Rosemary a native of Southington graduated from Southington High School and the Kavula School of Hair Design. She has been a member of the National Cosmetology Association of CT for over 43 years. She has served as Chairperson of the CT Hair Fashion Committee and has held the offices of Style’s Director, and Competition Chairperson for many years; she has served as a judge for various student and professional competitions throughout the state and for VICA schools. Rosemary has been a cosmetologist for 49 years.
In 2001 the National Cosmetology Association awarded Rosemary the prestigious “Charles Award” given annually to one hairdresser in the United States honoring their civic contributions. Rosemary was only the second person in the State of Connecticut to receive this award. The award was given at a NCA luncheon in St. Louis, MO.
Rosemary is the owner of Hair Expo Salon in Southington for 43 years. She is recognized as an innovator, platform artist and had the opportunity to work with many artists throughout the US. She has been dedicated professional and has contributed greatly to her profession by working on committee’s for National Beauty Salon Week, Co-Director for Hair Fashion Shows raising thousands of dollars for the Women’s Shelter in Waterbury, CT. She worked on the continuing Education Committee, Rules and Regulations Committee and has worked for legislation, for changes protecting the rights of the consumers. She served as Styles Director for the Connecticut Hair Fashion Committee. She was currently involved in the “Look Good Feel Good Program” for cancer patients and donates wigs and hair for the “Wigs for Kids” program.
Rosemary was selected as the YMCA’s “Person of the year” in 2008. Rosemary was honored with her husband Jim in 2011 for the Wall of Honor at Southington High School.. In 2014 Rosemary and her husband Jim were honored by the United Way of Southington as “Southington Stars”
Rosemary resides with Jim, her husband of 51 years in Southington, CT. Her daughter Tracey Champagne Bentz and her son Jake Bentz live in Plantsville CT. Jake is a junior at UCONN. Tracey is the co-owner of Awards of Elegance in Southington. Jake was everything to Rosemary. She called him her guardian angel. Now she is his angel. She also leaves her sisters, Patricia Sgrillo and husband Ralph of Southington and Susan Belanger and husband Nelson of Ft. Edwards, NY and a brother, Robert Tarantino and wife Susan of Wallingford.
Rosemary’s involvement with the Southington Relay for Life goes back to it’s inception. Rosemary has been a big part of the success of this local event. She has been a member of the Planning Committee for over 14 years and she was the Chairperson for 14 of those years. Her name will always be linked to the Relay for Life. Rosemary is a cancer survivor for 34 years. Rosemary is the author of a book called, “My Detour on Life’s Highway”, a story of a stem cell transplant survivor. She has been a mentor to many cancer survivors and often gives free wigs to those who cannot afford to purchase them. She has received many awards from the American Cancer Society and serves as the Honorary Chairperson of the Southington Relay for Life.
Rosemary held her family, her faith and her friends close to her heart. She was a giving person who exemplifies the spirit of “giving”. She was a compassionate woman and willing to help anyone in need. She was the leader of her family and her legacy is reflected in the eyes of her friends. Rosemary loved spending winter months in Hollywood Florida and summer weekends in Newport RI. She will be forever missed by all who knew her.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Friday, 11 a.m. at Mary Our Queen Church, 248 Savage St., Plantsville. Burial will be at St. Thomas Cemetery. Calling hours will be Thursday from 4-8 p.m. at the DellaVecchia Funeral Home, 211 N. Main St., Southington. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the, American Cancer Society, Relay for Life, 825 Brook St., I-91 Tech. Center, Rocky Hill, CT 06067 or www.relayforlife.org For online condolences and directions please visit, www.dellavecchiafh.com