Rosella Carden

March 5, 2021


Rosella Louise “Ro” Carden, beloved mother and grandmother, passed away on March 5, 2021, at the age of 90 after contracting COVID in late February. Born to Rose and Celso Tassile in Youngstown, Ohio, Ro was raised in a proud Italian-American household where she learned the importance of family and the art of good cooking. While at school she was an honor student involved in many activities, but her favorite ones involved working with children.

In 1952, Ro married her high school sweetheart, James F. Carden, better known as “Jim”, and they enjoyed 65 years of marriage before Jim passed away in 2018. Jim was an Air Force pilot, so Ro soon adjusted to the chaotic life of being a military officer’s wife, eventually raising two daughters, Cathy and Jamie, on a military base in Delaware. Ro and Jim finally settled in New Jersey and by 1961 had moved to Westfield, where they had their third child, Jimmer.  Ro devoted her life to her husband and children.  She was always proud of her ability to raise a family and successfully run a household while Jim, who was an airline pilot, often spent days away from home flying.  Ro was also an exceptionally good cook and, she would humbly add, “one heck of a sandwich maker.”  Ro had many interests, from calligraphy writing and travelling to gardening and history, and was an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction throughout her life. She loved dogs, from the dogs of her youth, Mac and Starfire, to her Westfield dogs, Puffer, Fergus, Gumby, and Jennie.

Over the past 50 years, Ro was involved in many activities.  She volunteered at the Westfield Community Center, the Children’s Specialized Hospital, taught Vacation Bible School, was a docent at The Miller Corey House and a member of the Rake and Hoe Garden club.  Ro’s main passion was being a mother and raising her three children, but she also loved being a surrogate mom to the many children who grew up on and near Belvidere Avenue.  Always a kid at heart, she loved playing games like “Red Light, Green Light,” “Mother May I” and “Red Rover” with the neighborhood kids.  Ro’s love was boundless, and she shared it with every child she encountered, and the neighborhood children became part of her family.  When her own grandchildren came along, she delighted in playing with and caring for them, and was a loving and vital part of their lives.

Ro was predeceased by her loving husband Jim, her parents, Celso and Rose Tassile, her twin brother Celso Junior, her sisters, Theresa, Mary and Mafalda, and her son-in-law, Phil Leventhal.

Ro is survived by her loving and grateful children, Cathy (Rob) Shaffer, Jamie Carden-Leventhal, and Jimmer (Lisa) Carden, her four grandchildren, P.J. and Lydia Leventhal, and Miles and Aidan Carden, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in memory of Ro Carden can be made to St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center.    Phone (973) 377-2295     



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