Rose Adelene Melo Beltran died in her sleep at her home in Crows Landing on April 28. She was 96.
Rose was a native of Crows Landing, born on December 9, 1922, to Azorean immigrants Rosa Bettencourt Melo and Emidio Melo. She was the second of seven children. Her parents had a small dairy, and Rose grew up helping her mother with the younger siblings and sharing a single closet with her four sisters.
She inherited her mother’s talents for baking and sewing — generations of babies have been swaddled with the fine blankets Rose made, and just as many generations have been driven to swearing fits while trying to replicate the tender crust and sky-high peaks of her lemon meringue pie. She had a seemingly effortless talent for cultivating order and beauty, from her prolific backyard camellias to her own smart clothes, which she often made herself.
Rose was proud to be from the Westside. She attended Bonita School in Crows Landing and graduated from Orestimba High School in Newman. She served on the Crows Landing water board for many years and was an active member of Sacred Heart Parish and its Young Ladies Institute and Immaculate Heart of Mary Altar Society. Rose was also a 4-H leader and taught sewing to many young girls in Crows Landing. She was a member of California Women for Agriculture, Patterson Garden Club and Los Banos Basque Club.
In 1950, she married Fred Beltran, Jr., at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Crows Landing. It was six months after their first date and the start of a marriage that would last 57 years. They had three children in rapid succession — Fred, Marilyn, and John — and raised them in the house Fred built for Rose the year they were married.
Rose and Fred were completely devoted to each other. They were excellent dancing partners, lifelong flirts, and a great team. When Fred and his brother, John, established Beltran Brothers and then Beltran Farms, Rose stepped in to do the books, a job she continued for decades to come.
She was also a keeper of community history, with a nearly unbelievable memory for births and deaths and marriages throughout the Portuguese community and beyond. She recorded her family’s milestones in her Bible, a document that has grown exponentially over the course of nearly 80 years.
She was so proud of her family. Rose and Fred had eight grandchildren, and she was especially delighted to reach an age where she could enjoy the hugs and kisses and little voices of her nine great-grandchildren.
Rose was a very small but powerful matriarch. The extended Beltran-Sarasqueta clan will deeply miss her presence and her love, her frustration with her beloved San Francisco Giants, her candy cane cookies, watching her work her morning crossword puzzles, her exclamations of “Oh, nertz!” while playing Shanghai, and the way she answered the phone with the same “hee-yell-oh?” she used as a telephone operator in the 1940s. She is irreplaceable.
Rose is survived by her children Fred and his wife, Cathy; Marilyn and her husband, Phil Sarasqueta; and John and his wife, Karen. Her survivors also include her grandchildren Julie Sarasqueta Hahn (Greg), Krista Beltran and her fiancé (Trent), Martin Sarasqueta (Kaitlin), Michael Beltran (Erin), Andrea Beltran Brambila (Henry), Blake Beltran (Alex), Eric Beltran (Hayley), and Clayton Beltran. Her great-grandchildren are Audrey, Olivia, Bennett and Ella Rose Beltran. Peyton and Beau Beltran, Cameron, Emma and Matteo Brambila. Her surviving siblings include Mary Jane Silva, Laura Giovanonni, Elsie Schimelpfenig and Richard Melo. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her siblings Georgina Melo and Emidio Melo.
The family would like to thank Bristol Hospice and Rose’s personal caregivers: Anna, Sonia, Gina, Genesis, Sara and Kelsey for their care and compassion during her final days.
A Rosary and Mass will be held at 10:00 am, Monday, May 6th at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Patterson. Interment to follow at Hills Ferry Cemetery in Newman.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to: The Father Connors Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 1174, Patterson, CA 95363, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 4604 Roseville Rd, Ste 100, North Highlands, CA 95660 or National Brain Tumor Society, 55 Chapel Street, Suite 200, Newton, MA 02458.
Services conducted by Hillview Funeral Chapel, Patterson.