Rose Diezel turns 90 on Saturday, Sept. 15. Her children — Wendy Houser and Tom Diezel — coordinated with the Marathon Weekly to celebrate the happy occasion.
How long have you lived in Marathon?
After a bad winter snowstorm in New Jersey, my husband and I decided to sell our home and move here, too. That was in 1959. We bought the house across from my parents for $9,000. Until Hurricane Irma, I lived in that same house, but it got severely damaged so I could no longer live there. While I did, I so enjoyed walking to the end of the street to look out over the beautiful ocean. It was a great neighborhood, and I have fond memories of all my neighbors over the years
Did you work outside the home? If so, where?
I don’t work now, I am retired, but I worked 27 years for the Monroe County School District. I started working at Sue M. Moore Elementary as a part-time secretary when my youngest child started school. Then, I transferred over to Marathon High School, where I became the office manager. Mrs. Gradick was the principal at both schools when I began at them, and we became lifelong friends.
Name one thing that has disappeared from Marathon?
Most of the people that I have known! Time and distance have taken them away and left very few. Until these later years, I was always active with my job, the PTA, school events and clubs, square dancing, selling wooden clocks and toys made by my husband at flea markets and the Tick Tock Shop, traveling, being a Cub Scout leader, being a member of the Business and Professional Women and the Women of the Moose, volunteering for the Fishermen’s Hospital Auxiliary, participating in the Middle Keys Chapter of AARP, Strides Walk, playing mahjong, and spending time with my family.
Name a Marathon improvement that you enjoy?
I don’t get out much any more, but I used to enjoy going to Sombrero Beach. It had become such a beautiful park. I hope that they can get it fixed up again.
Best fish story / funny memory?
I never was big on fishing. But one of my funniest memories comes from my time at Marathon High School. I’m a pretty “by the book” kind of person, and we had to keep track of all the equipment and furniture that had a Board of Public Instruction (BPI) number. We had an old piano that was infested with termites that had a BPI number on it, so we were not allowed to just get rid of it. We didn’t know what to do with it, so we had the janitor take it out back past the football field to the water’s edge and bury it. Lo and behold, the inventory fella showed up and wanted to see that piano, so we had to march him out to where we had buried it. Thank goodness he agreed that we had done the right thing. So if you ever come across a piano key back there, now you know the story to go with it.
Advice to others for a long and happy life?
I never gave advice. I never had enough time to think about things, and now that I have time, sometimes I have trouble thinking! But … be honest, be kind, smile!