Rose Tanzi has been living in Richmond, Tex. for nearly ten months, but the born-and-raised Bronxite still pines for Pelham Bay.
“I miss the people I’ve known all the life,” she said. “And the activities we had and still have.”
The borough misses her just as much. Tanzi was a longtime community leader in the northeast Bronx and in 1977 was one of the founding members of Community Board 10. For the next 34 years she did virtually everything for the board, from taking the minutes at monthly meetings to serving as a board member.
She relocated to the suburbs of Houston in November to live with her daughter and son-in-law.
“There is no one who has been more consistently involved in the activities of Community Board 10 over the last 34 years than Rose Tanzi,” said Counilman Jimmy Vacca, who served as CB 10 district manager for 26 years.
“Her dedication and faithful service is a shining example of what it means to give back to your community,” said Vacca. “All the residents of Board 10, for several generations now, have benefitted from her ability to make sure the board was running smoothly and serving constituents effectively.”
Tanzi, who does not give her age, became associated with the community board through her late husband Dominic, who was one of its founding members.
“During a meeting they needed a letter to be written,” said Tanzi. “And my husband volunteered me. So I took the dictation over the telephone and then every time they needed a letter they called me. That’s how I got involved.”
She was also an active member of St. Theresa’s Parish, founded her local AARP chapter and served on the boards of the Middletown Plaza and Northeast Bronx senior centers.
Her most proud accomplishment, she said, was working to get Community Board 10 its own office and headquarters on Wilkinson Avenue, after starting off in a small apartment on Mahan Avenue.
She also enjoyed the day in and day out routine of achieving the board’s goals.
“We helped people, we put them on the right track,” she said. “What we really did was guide the people to the correct city agency when they needed advice.”
Tanzi has been looking for a senior center to become involved with in Texas, but she finds the community dynamic much different than in the Bronx.
“Everything is far apart here,” she said.“People hardly know each other. They get out of their house, and get right into the car. They never see each other.”
Not that she’s complaining, but it is not the same as those fast-paced early days at Community Board 10.
“It’s very nice living, its very laid back,” she said. “But it’s really slow, as far as im concerned.”