Rose was born and raised in Moosup, Conn., daughter of the late Lawrence and Angelina (Damato) Paolilli. She graduated from Plainfield High School. She later moved to Shrewsbury with her husband, where they started their family and where she had lived for most of her life.
She enjoyed working at the Hebert Candy Mansion for several years before retiring. She was a member of Saint Mary's Parish, the Shrewsbury Business Women's Club, the Audubon Society, and the Ladies Auxiliary of the Ray Stone American Legion Post. She also loved spending time with her family and friends, and cooking and baking for holidays and special occasions.
Rose enjoyed quilting, volunteering for the Reading Grandmothers program and Tuesday Sewing club, which met weekly for over 60 years.
Her husband, Clarence E. Willis died in 1985. She leaves two sons, David E. Willis and his wife Lue of Shrewsbury and Wayne W. Willis and his wife Paula of Hyannis; a son-in-law, Thomas Russell of Shrewsbury; a brother, Lawrence Paolilli and his wife Grace of East Greenwich, RI; a brother-in-law, Leo Blanchard of Moosup, Conn.; six grandchildren, Thomas and Matthew Russell, David and Nicole Willis, Jill Harght and Jodi Salisbury; six great-grandchildren, Ivan, Micah, Noah, Ellie, Brody and Lexi; and several nieces, nephews. Rose was predeceased by her daughter, Linda W. Russell; a brother, Ernest; and sisters, Elizabeth, Helen and Margaret.
Rose's family wishes to extend a special thanks to Rose's caretakers, Tiffany Bouvier and Sue Canderozzi, for their compassionate care that was shown to Rose in recent months.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend Rose's funeral Mass Saturday, June 8, at 12 p.m., in Saint Mary's Church, 640 Main St., Shrewsbury. Burial will follow in the family lot at Grove Street Cemetery, Putnam, Conn.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Metrowest Homecare & Hospice, 85 Lincoln St., Framingham, MA 01702.
Britton-Shrewsbury Funeral Home is assisting Rose's family with arrangements. To leave a message of condolence for Rose's family or to view her Book of Memories, please visit www.brittonfuneralhomes.com.