Obituary: Rosemary Whitten, 77

In Medford, formerly of Reading and Long Beach, CA, November 8, 2021, at age 77.

Rosemary Whitten was born on July 26, 1944, at the Chelsea Naval Hospital in Chelsea, MA as the first of five children to her mother Emily “Rose” Burke Monzione, and her father Joseph Monzione who was serving in the U.S. Navy. Her childhood was spent in Chelsea, MA among a close-knit extended family of aunts and uncles on both sides. She attended St. Rose grade school and high school where she made friendships that lasted until the day she left this earth. She led the Chelsea Drum and Bugle Corps as a young adult and performed in many parades and events throughout neighboring towns and New England in the 60s.

After a brief marriage to Stephen Whitten, Rosemary moved to California in the late 70s as a single parent to her two children, Beth Ann and Michael James. She established a home in Lakewood and began what would become a successful career in the medical field, initially as a medical transcriber and then becoming the Assistant Director of Medical Records at Rio Hondo Hospital in Downey, CA. She then established herself as a medical coder/IDC-9-CM in Long Beach, CA, eventually becoming the Lead Coding Coordinator at Long Beach Memorial Hospital where she worked until her retirement. While coding for Pacific Hospital of Long Beach in the late ’90s, Rosemary was deemed “the best coder in the west” by her hospital administration for achieving a near-perfect score of 98.2% for her coding acumen as reviewed by an independent auditing company.

While living and working in California Rosemary established deep and long-lasting friendships that she cherished, while also maintaining her life-long friendships on the east coast. Her friends stayed in touch with her by phone calls and letters and the mutual loyalty and dedication of these relationships was a great tribute to her ability to always provide a listening ear and to offer advice infused with the wisdom gained from hardships and joys that she felt deeply in her life.

Rosemary was a consummate lover of scenery and nature and loved nothing better than to drive for hours through the many beautiful places of New England and California. She could often be found on her weekends and holidays taking a drive along a “country road.”

In addition to her work as a transcriber and coder in the medical field, Rosemary was extremely proud that she once drove a school bus for a few years in Salem, NH, and actually worked as an instructor for new drivers. She also used a love and talent for photography to earn extra money while raising her children and worked taking photos of families and sports teams for a few years. Rosemary never went anywhere without at least one camera, and often had two or three in her purse when the cameras became small and digital. She achieved recognition from Kodak in 1990 for a photo entered in an International Snapshot Contest. Her canvas prints graced her home and her photographer’s eye found beauty everywhere she went.

Rosemary is survived by her children Beth Ann Edwards of California and Michael J. Whitten of Nashua, NH, her grandchildren Kyle Edwards and Jolene Whitten, her siblings Joseph Monzione and his wife Barbara Rickards of Melrose, Stephen Monzione of Wolfeboro, NH, Paul Monzione of Alton, NH, and Ann Marie Monzione and her husband Kurt McLaughlin of Malden. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend her funeral service at the Breslin Funeral Home, 610 Pleasant Street, Malden on Saturday, November 20th at 12 PM. Visitation will be held prior to the service from 11AM -12PM.  Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in her memory to the Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverly Oaks Rd., Waltham, MA 02452.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email