Stillwater News Press

August 17, 2013

Rosella Millwood Birch (O’Shaughnessy)


Stillwater NewsPress

— Beloved mother and friend Rosella Millwood Birch (O’Shaughnessy), 88, died peacefully at home Aug. 5, 2013, in Palm City, Fla.

Rosella was born Dec. 8, 1924, to Claude and Minnie (Meredith) O’Shaughnessy in Cobalt, Ontario, Canada. She attended the University of Toronto, earning a B.A. in 1946 and an M.A. in 1949. She was a dedicated and engaging teacher of high school English and drama, having taught at the university level as well.

In 1982, after retiring from teaching, Rosella moved to Stillwater.

There she worked for several years as the AGR housemother and returned to college studies. In 1989, she earned a second master’s degree, emphasis in theatre and speech.  

Throughout her life, Rosella lent her dramatic talents to various theater groups, including Stillwater’s Town & Gown Theatre.

Rosella was active in the hospital auxiliary in Stillwater, logging over 10,000 volunteer hours.

She also participated in the Alternative to Violence Project, helping to bring a message of nonviolence and tolerance to prisons in both Oklahoma and Louisiana.

She moved to Florida in 2000. During the past several years, Rosella was very appreciative of the time she spent at the Council on Aging’s Adult Day Club now located at the Kane Center, where she enjoyed bingo and trivia, but most particularly the warm and caring environment.  

She was also very thankful for the support and assistance of her former husband of over 25 years, Cecil, who resides in Palm City.  

She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, John.

Survivors are five children, John, Michael, Joe, Mary, and Peter; 12 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; three sisters and a brother; and many nieces and nephews.

Rosella was a strong and courageous woman. She overcame many challenges in her lifetime, coming to embody the phrase “in all things, give thanks.”

In her last two decades, this remarkable woman never uttered an angry word or a complaint, instead striving to be a blessing to all and living a life full of grace.