Rosemary Nelson Shamdani, beloved wife, daughter, sister and teacher, left us for heaven after a
serious illness at the age of 65. She was the last girl born into a large Catholic family of nine children in
upstate Chatham, New York. As an adult, she was known as Rosa by all who loved her,
Rosa was predeceased by her loving parents, Mary and Henry Nelson. She is survived by her loving
husband Esmaeel Shamdani who cared for her through many good times as well as when Rosa’s health
deteriorated. She is also survived by her 8 siblings—Mary, Reid, Regina, Margaret, Paul, John, Luke and
Mark—who reside in four states from North Carolina to Massachusetts. Rosa was also especially close
to several relatives, including her sister-in-law Nancy and daughters.
Rosa excelled in storytelling, writing, languages, and teaching. She achieved excellent grades in high
school and graduated with honors from Marist College in Poughkeepsie New York. She then went on to
further graduate level work and became proficient in French and other languages. She eventually
became a highly successful educator, including many years teaching in Maryland. Her graduate level
work also afforded her the blessing of meeting her future husband, Esmaeel, who cared for her so
Her imagination, open mind and love of foreign lands made Rosa keenly interested in the stories of
other people—both friends and strangers—and she laughed easily as she shared her good times with
others. Many said she had a bubbly personality due to her positive disposition and happy laughs. Her
students enjoyed her ability to teach languages and concepts through storytelling and good humor.
Rosa developed diabetes in childhood but persevered through this severe challenge to explore the
world in uncommon ways for a young girl from a rural small town who was also managing diabetes. She
attended colleges inside and outside the US, undertook graduate studies and became a highly successful
teacher. She traveled abroad many times, often with her students. Not many girls born in the 1950s in
small towns achieved as much.
Rosa’s family is eternally grateful to her husband Esmaeel who loved her deeply and cared so much for
her. We thank him for allowing us to remember her now with peace of mind that he was with her
through her most difficult times.