Rosie Nelson retires after working over fifty years at UW- Eau Claire

Adored by Haas Fine Arts Center frequents, Rosie Nelson retires from food services

More stories from Colette St John

Old stomping grounds
September 17, 2015

Photo by Colette St John

The Simply To Go Cart, located in Haas, provided not only food, but a familiar face to all the students who have class in Haas Fine Arts Center.

This summer marks the end of over fifty years of food service to the UW-Eau Claire campus by Rosie Nelson.

Working in the Haas Fine Arts Center at the Simply-to-Go Cart, she provided assistance in getting food and beverage for those in the theatre and art departments, without walking across the bridge to the main campus area.

This allowed for a connection to be made between students and faculty with Rosie, being a convenient option for students with classes only in Haas, who hope to avoid the trek across the bridge for other food options.

While seeing students and faculty frequently, she went out of her way to make people feel comforted and happy while assisting them in their food and beverage selections.

Professor Amanda Profaizer of the Music and Theatre Department is saddened by her retirement, as she enjoyed seeing Rosie over the years within Haas halls. Profaizer has taught in the theatre department for four years at Eau Claire after moving from Utah. Within that short period of time, Rosie made an impact on her life.

“I can’t even imagine coming back to a school year without her,” Profaizer said. “When you first meet Rosie, you immediately feel this connection with her because she is like a grandma, and everybody needs a grandma.”

Profaizer expresses how ‘Grandma’ Rosie affected many lives of those around her, explaining the care she showed for people, from paying for students’ food if they didn’t have enough money, to her ever-present smile.

“She filled a place in people’s lives where they needed it,” Profaizer said. “There will be an absence there that nobody could fill.”

Junior theatre major, Barry Inman, was delighted to have Rosie as a part of his college career, expressing the impact she had on him as well as students and faculty.

“Every day it was a smiling face, she could turn your day from the worst day ever to the best day ever,” Inman said. “She cares for everyone so much, it’s going to be so hard to not have her there anymore.”

Surprise celebrations have been thrown in her honor, along with a Facebook page that theatre students created in dedication to Rosie, titled “Rosie’s Children.”

Unsure of who will fill Rosie’s shoes at the Simply-to-go-Cart, Inman is hopeful for someone similar to Rosie.

“The person taking over her role needs to be very much like her,” Inman said.

Although students and faculty member will miss Nelson’s presence in Haas, they are eternally grateful for everything she provided them, beyond her technical job description.

“I … thank her for having the heart of gold that she does,” Inman said. “Also, making a person’s day and giving people hope in humanity is what she does for people.”