Rose M. Kelliher

September 15, 1922 ~ January 6, 2020 (age 97)


It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our loving and devoted mother Rose Marie Kelliher, age 97, on January 6, 2020 due to complications from a stroke. She was born in 1922 in Canton Massachusetts where she was a lifelong resident. Rose was predeceased by her husband of 65 years, Donald, who she missed dearly. Her family cherished the boundless love that Rose and Don shared. He was the love of her life and they were inseparable until Don’ s passing. Rose was  born, baptized, confirmed, married, and raised her family in Canton, MA. She will be laid to rest there as well. Rose’s children are forever grateful to her son, their brother Daniel, who provided such great loving care to her and her husband Donald in their later years.

Rose’s family loved her deeply and will never forget her tenacity, wit, charm, infectious smile and grace. She showered her family with such devotion and love that seemed infinite. Providing a faultless example, she instilled strong values in her children. Rose’s words of encouragement, wisdom and comfort kept everyone from straying too far. Her generosity to both her family and community were exemplary and she passed on her legacy of giving to the whole family.  To all her grandchildren she was Nana and she showered them with love and attention. Nothing brought a smile to her face faster than seeing her grandchildren. She loved family and was the organizer of an annual 4th of July cookout which all family members attended.

Rose was known for her unique phrases, masterful wit and was as honest as they come. She seldom sugar coated anything, reminding us that “Dying was as natural as being born”.  She was renowned for her patience, tolerance and humility.

Rose was a devout Catholic and during challenging situations she would pray the Rosary asking for God’s and the Blessed Virgin’s help. Most everyone in the family at one time or other was the benefactor of these prayers and the family came to believe she had a direct line to God.  A favorite family example was of Rose holding her newborn niece and telling the mother something was wrong with the child. Doctors discovered that the child needed open-heart surgery. Rose detected this problem and essentially saved a newborn’s life.

Rose graduated from Canton High School as well as the Fisher School. She began her professional career in the secretarial and bookkeeping fields. She married Donald Kelliher in 1951 and started her family. One cannot think of Rose without Don and together they insured their four children graduated college. Later on, Rose again entered the professional world working for AA Mac Pherson in Canton, MA for 12 years until retiring on her 70th birthday.

Rose had a wonderful life having experienced many changes in the world. She lived through the great depression, volunteered with the war effort and married a veteran of World War II. She saw the explosion of the automobile, air travel, television, and computers embracing them all.

Rose was an avid painter and spent hours doing so after her family went to bed. She loved to shop, and was renowned for her ability to find the perfect gift.

Having never made an enemy intentionally or otherwise, Rose was universally adored. She was cherished by all that knew her. Rose will be dearly missed.

Rose’s 94-year old sister, Eleanor Murphy of Canton, passed away 5 days before her. Rose is survived by her sons Donald R Kelliher and his wife Deb Sibilsky of Oxford MI; Daniel Kelliher of Dover, NH; her daughters Maureen Kelliher LaBrie of Dover, NH; Ann Becker and her husband Paul Becker also of Dover, NH; her grandchildren Tracey Kelliher and her husband Glenn Gran of Stockholm, Sweden; Julie Kelliher of Dedham, MA; Catherine Becker and her husband Brett Bolin of Seattle, WA; James Becker of Dover, NH; Matthew Becker of Boulder, CO; and Rose’s great grandson Gabriel Gran. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews who she cherished.

Rose will be waked on Monday, January 13, from 9 AM-11:30 AM at the Sheehan Funeral home at 115 Monk Street, Stoughton, Ma.  Her funeral will take place at noon at Saint Johns Catholic Church located at 300 Washington Street Canton, MA with burial to follow at Knollwood cemetery on high street in Canton. 

Donations in Rose's memory can be made to the Town of Canton, Parks and Recreation Department, 92 Pleasant St, Canton, MA 02021 or The Canton Council on Aging, 500 pleasant St. Canton, MA 02021. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rose M. Kelliher, please visit our floral store.


January 13, 2020

9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Sheehan Funeral Home
115 Monk Street
Stoughton, MA 02072

Funeral Mass
January 13, 2020

12:00 PM
St.John The Evangelist Catholic Church
700 Washington St.
Canton, MA 02021

January 13, 2020

12:45 PM
Knollwood Memorial Park
321 High St
Canton, MA 02021


Town of Canton Parks and Recreation
92 Pleasant Street, Canton MA 02021
Tel: 1-781-821-5030

Town of Canton Council on Aging
500 Pleasant Street, Canton MA 02021
Tel: 1-781-828-1323

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