Memories of Dee Rosado
By Pati Reinking
The following is an excerpt from the January 2001 issue of Zuffenhausen News:
On November 14th 2000, we lost an old friend and long time member of the region. Dee Rosado suffered an aneurysm while out enjoying a bicycle ride. I was shocked and saddened, I guess because I just figured Dee would outlast us all. She was always so full of life and energy.
Although Dee no longer owned a Porsche she maintained her interest in the Club even though she had not actively participated for a few years. Dee had been active in SAR for so many years and her list of contributions was a long one. She was President in 1982 and Vice President in 1983. She was Club historian for nearly 20 years and a board member many times. Dee chaired many SAR events, worked long and hard on countless others and served as a PCA Zone 8 Concours judge. Dee’s major effort was the Zuffenhausen News. She was the editor for eight years and was responsible for many improvements during that time. Her hard work and high standards for the newsletter paid off when the ZN was awarded second place in the PCA national competition. Dee’s contributions over her many active are simply too numerous to mention here. I can remember meeting Dee in the mid 70’s at one of SAR’s four car shows at Park Mall. She had been invited to show her immaculate 1967 912 coupe. From that moment she was hooked! As many of us know only too well, this Porsche stuff is pretty addictive. Before long Dee was the proud owner of a white 1977 Whaletail she affectionately referred to as “Moby Dick”. She kept her 912, as well. Dee showed Moby Dick all over Zone 8 and eventually won virtually everything there was to win.
I wouldn’t exactly say she became bored with her two cars, but she definitely needed anew challenge. Jeff Gamble reminded me that Dee considered buying his black Carrera Speedster but decided on a local doctor’s 1957 black Speedster instead. Dee wanted the car to be the same show quality as her pristine 900-series cars so she embarked on its restoration. Much to her surprise, and hidden under that layer of black paint, was a “not so wonderful” body. During the restoration process they conferred often and Jeff offered words of encouragement for the extensive repairs that had been undertaken. Dee even got a secretarial job in the body shop in order to work closer with Jack, the metal man. The complete job took a number of years but the final result was a Concours winning silver Speedster. Perhaps one of Dee’s shining moments was when popular West Coast Porsche dealer, Vasek Polak, came to Tucson for SAR’s presentation of contributions to the Ronald McDonald house. Mr. Polak loved Dee’s Speedster so much he wanted to make an offer. Dee respectfully refused but was very pleased with his interest.
My take on this is very similar to Jeff’s. Adding that Speedster to her “stable” (actually an air-conditioned garage with floors clean enough to eat off of) took a lot of courage. We were all amazed that she completely took it apart and bit by bit, turned it into a proverbial silk purse, a shiny silver beauty. With this major undertaking complete, she was ready for the big time and began competing in full Concours class at several Porsche Parade and 356-Registry events. Again, more awards and an ever-increasing circle of friends from coast to coast. Although Concours was Dee’s first love, she enjoyed the Club’s tours because of her fondness for driving her beautiful cars very fast on the open highway. Her infamous lead foot resulted in numerous and interesting encounters with representatives of various law enforcement agencies here and about. Kurt Cramer reminded me that although autocross events were not her favorite, because she claimed she always got lost in the pylons, she always came out to work. She was one of the first to arrive and usually the last to leave.
Dee was a very independent woman long before anyone had ever heard of women’s lib. She had strong opinions and wasn’t shy about expressing them. The story wouldn’t be complete without relating one of them.
Leslie Kepner reminded me of the perfect example that really typified her lively spirit. Some years ago Levi-Strauss Corporation ran a TV commercial that involved a brand new Porsche being totally trashed. Dee was infuriated by the gratuitous violence and complete waste of a Porsche. She wrote a letter to the head of Levi-Strauss and told him that she was a loyal Porsche owner, as well as a loyal Levi wearer but that she would never buy another pair of Levi’s as long as that miserable ad was being shown! She took all of the labels off her Levi’s and replaced them with Porsche logo patches. The commercial was quickly removed from TV. I’d like to think Dee had something to do with it.
During her life, Dee was many things- successful business woman, loving mother of three, devoted grandmother, animal lover and caregiver, good friend to many and last but not least, loyal Porsche owner and PCA booster.
She will be missed.
May the warm sun shine on you always and may all the roads be long and winding. We wish you Godspeed, Dee.