Rosie WohlfrommThe Rosalie Wohlfromm Community Fund
From growing up in the low-income housing projects of New York to a chance love affair in Mexico that brought her to California, Rosie Wohlfromm has led an incredible life—and she’s still leading. “I came from humble beginnings and now that I have something to share, I feel I need to go out of my way to help people,” she said. Rosie created a charitable legacy through PCF that will permanently define her care for community.
A native New Yorker, Rosie spent the first formative years of her life in the Alfred E. Smith Houses, a large public housing project for low-income families on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Despite the project being home to thousands of people in a dozen 17-story buildings, she remembers the place warmly. “Coming from our previous apartment, a tenement, where we shared a common bathroom with everyone in our corridor, this was a big improvement for my family,” she said.
Her father was a cook in a restaurant and her mother cleaned offices at night. “She also worked in a tomato packing plant a few hours during the day when we were at school,” said Rosie. Neighbors in the housing project looked after her and her two siblings after school. Her parents’ hard work paid off and when Rosie was 17 years old the family purchased their first house and moved to Brooklyn.
Just shy of her 21st birthday in 1966, Rosie was working as a clerk for the FBI and she headed to Mexico for a vacation. It was there she met a handsome man, a German citizen who pursued her with vigor and enthusiasm. “Wilfried was determined to not let me go. There were two years of phone calls and a constant exchange of letters until I finally agreed to meet him again. He wanted to show me California where he lived and worked,” she said.
Wilfried’s efforts paid off as Rosie moved across country and married him. The two shared a wonderful life together first in the Bay Area and then in the Sierra Foothills up until Wil’s passing in 1992. Since then, Rosie has been active in the community, dedicating herself to volunteer causes that align with her values.
Rosie has volunteered for Sutter Auburn Faith Hospice and helped open the Hospice Thrift Store. She currently volunteers at St. Joseph’s Thrift Store. Rosie is a member of the Catholic Ladies Relief Society, a member of the Auburn Democratic Club, and belongs to The League of Women Voters; she is also a volunteer precinct worker, a voter registration volunteer and a frequent guest columnist for the Auburn Journal.
Words written in the Bible and spoken by Robert F. Kennedy inspire Rosie in her community work. “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Her upbringing and Catholic faith inspires her service and views about social justice. She also believes that positive change comes from people getting involved at the most basic grassroots level—using their right to vote.
Rosie and Wil never had children, so she considers her friends and the community her family. “My friends are the family I choose,” she said. During her estate planning process, she came to know the Foundation through her friend and former co-worker, Ellen MacInnes. After careful research and talking with friends, Rosie made the decision to make the Placer Community Foundation the beneficary of her estate.
“I know the Community Foundation will carry out my wishes. They understand my values and my vision for the community,” she said.
Leaving a charitable legacy through PCF will permanently define Rosie’s care for community.
P.O. Box 9207
Auburn, California 65604