Rose Marie Fong

Jun 16, 1951 - Jul 30, 2016


Surrounded by family, nature, and her sweet dog, Rose Marie Fong passed on to peace on Saturday, July 30, 2016 after a hard, but far too fast battle with cancer. Rose leaves behind a legacy in her family and community. She is survived by her daughters (Briana and Mei-Lani Bixby), her mother (May Fong), and her siblings (JJ Kwong, Howard Fong, Herbert Fong, Raymond Fong, Donald Fong, Burt Fong, Danny Fong).

Rose was born in Auburn, CA to the strong and determined May and Wah Huey Fong on June 16, 1951. As a child, she was open hearted, silly, and joyful. As an adult, she followed her open heart and dedicated her life to helping others. Rose pursued a Bachelors of Psychology at Sacramento State and a Masters of Social Work at UC Berkeley before becoming a clinical social worker in rural Alaska.

Rose lived the majority of her adult life in Valdez, Alaska adventuring into the wilderness in her personal time and into hearts as a social worker in her professional time. She was a fighter and an advocate who frequently paralleled her personal and professional life. When she raised her daughters, she helped advocate for and comfort other women and children. As she cared for her elderly mother, she became an advocate for older adults and caregivers. Her work was more than a profession; it was a way of life. It wasn’t uncommon for her to become a mother, daughter, or sister to many in the community. She was engaged and always strived to be genuine.

If there is a word to know about Rose, it is “LOVE.” She lived, laughed, and loved fully. She loved so many things: her daughters, nature, animals (especially Abbey dog), family, friends, yoga, food, music, good coffee, rainstorms, sunny days, full moons, and rainbows. She loved bringing people together to celebrate holidays, birthdays, Tuesdays, or any day. Her love of adventure and people motivated her to open her beautiful home as a bed and breakfast for 18 summers to folks across the globe.

A full-hearted wanderer of the soul and the world, Rose will have a memorial service on August 12, 2016 at 10AM at East Lawn Memorial Park (4300 Folsom Blvd.) in Sacramento, CA. A celebration of life will follow in Valdez, AK at a date to be determined. Instead of flowers, please carry on Rose’s compassion and donate to The Humane Society, The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, or Advocates for Victims of Violence (in Valdez). As at Rose’s table, all friends, family, and those in need of a hug are welcome to the services.

Funeral Home:
East Lawn Mortuary
5757 Greenback Lane
Sacramento, CA
US 95841


  • Kelly says:

    Absolutely perfect.

  • MaryLou says:

    This is lovely, heartwarming, and sad. You girls are a fitting tribute to your mother. I hope to be in town when the Valdez memorial comes around. It can’t be said often enough: In all ways, Rose was special.

  • Rachelle says:

    Rose’s sudden passing leaves a hole in the hearts of all who knew and loved her. For how could you ever meet Rose and feel the love that always encompassed her. Bri and Mei-Lani you have done beautifully in honoring your beautiful mother.

  • Rachelle says:

    Rose’s sudden passing leaves a hole in the hearts of all who knew and loved her. For how could you ever meet Rose and not feel the love that always encompassed her. Bri and Mei-Lani you have done beautifully in honoring your beautiful mother.

  • Margie says:

    You have captured the essence of Rose and her full and generous life so beautifully, thank you Briana and Mei-Lani. Know that her extended family and friends all support you with love and comfort.

  • Limor and Britt says:

    What a beautiful life, but way , way too short. Heartbreaking. Love to all and may this journey be full of grace and serenity.

  • Nicole Wilson says:

    Rose was a great mentor and friend. She was always thinking of EVERYONE. She opened her home to me and I rented the basement during one snowy winter. Rose would hire me to do little projects and ask for advice on design. Really though I was the one who was blessed by her example and genuine LOVE. Thank you Rose for loving me and my family. Mei-Lani & Bri, I’m thinking of you two during this sudden loss and wishing your hearts peace. The pictures you’re posting are fantastic! Hugs:)

  • Mary Lou Wilcox says:

    This is a beautiful tribute to Rose! You are correct that get togethers at Rose’s house were spontaneous, beautiful and warm. She was a flower in the middle of winter to all us Valdezeans. I miss here everyday and cannot stop eating curry in her honor.

  • Michael Cody says:

    I will never forget her smile, her sense of humor and positive attitude. I also was born in Auburn, and Rose and I grew up in Citrus Heights, and we both went to Cal State Sacramento. The photographs in your video perfectly capture her smile, happiness, love for others and extroverted personality. I am glad I was able to Facebook with her in recent times, and I loved the messages she posted about taking her Mom out to see Sacramento, and to show off the odd “bargains” she found in local shops. Thinking of her brings back so many wonderful memories. I pray and I cry. Rose, I love you and I’ll always remember you.

  • Linda Bogart says:

    What a beautiful and befitting tribute. Such a fun, loving, free spirit. A wonderful example of how to live life. She lived it and loved it. Have wonderful memories. Best friends in high school. Maid of honor at my wedding some 46 years ago. In high school days I mentioned that there were so many Linda’s that I wanted to change my name. Rose said her name was boring ‘I’m not a flower’. I became ‘Leroy’. Rose became ‘Petunia’. Guess she was a flower after all. Feel blessed to have known her. A terrible loss. Sorely missed by so, so many. Wonderful memories.

  • Shana says:

    This is so beautifully written, a tribute to a beautiful soul. My thoughts are with you Rose’s brave and loving daughters, and the rest of the family. Rose will be greatly missed……

  • Kathy Herrin-DiNicola says:

    Absolute beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman! So sorry!

  • Alice and Brian MacDonald and family says:

    We met Rose in the 1980’s. Compassionate, kind, and beautiful inside and out is how I would describe her. My family is so sorry for your loss. She will be missed by many.

  • Laurie Farmer says:

    Rose was a kind and gentle soul. It took years to teach me a better way of thinking. She never gave up on me. I love her dearly. I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Nancy Chaffin says:

    Rose was loved by so many in Valdez. She lifted our lives, always with a smile and her love for all. She will truly be missed.

  • Linda B Smith says:

    I am deeply moved by this beautiful and loving tribute to Rose. Her warmth, spark, and love shine through. Mei-Lani and Brie – Rose was blessed to have you as her daughters, just as you were blessed to have her as your mother…

  • Bonnie Raber Wickes says:

    Briana and Mei-Lani, this is a beautiful memorial and captures so well my friend and your mother, Rose. I met her in the 80’s in Anchorage. We stayed in touch over the decades, often attending conferences together, sometimes meeting for lunch or dinner during a layover to or from Valdez. We shared so many of our personal and professional experiences through the years, at times laughing or crying together as we navigated life’s incredible journey. A beautiful human being!

  • Brother Dan and Auntie Diane says:

    Bri and Mei Mei…The Memorial for your mom, my Rosie was truly befitting of Rosie. I see her in my mind and brings back a flood of memories of growing up together and showing her to me when I was away in the service. It has allowed me see more of Rosie that I did not know. Her life was an adventure that was aspiring to all those she came in contact with. Passionate, resilient, brave of heart, adventurous, compassionate to all those around her where ever she traveled both in mind and spirit. Diane gained more knowledge and understanding of Rosie. Over the past 24 years a little bonding between Diane and Rosie developed, and yet today Diane still say, did not know enough and wish for more…a wonderful, strong and beautiful person inside and out, we will miss her….

  • Karin Edwards says:

    Rose was wonderful to go on snowshoes/walks and host dinners when I traveled to work in Valdez several winters. She even taught me to make spring rolls. I am grateful I knew her as a kind person and contributing community member. I appreciated her wit, humor, and friendship.

Sign the Guestbook

Your email address will not be published.

ERROR: please select I'm not a robot!