Obituary: Susan Ann Rosko / Co-owner of Regent Square pet grooming shop
May 16, 1953-March 28, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
By Gary Rotstein, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Susan Ann Rosko worked for years in the special education field before the
longtime lover of Irish setters settled on doing the thing she loved best:
caring for dogs and cats.
Ms. Rosko opened the Paws-itively Pets grooming salon in Regent Square six
years ago with Marge Yackulics, whom she met when they were both going to
grooming school in Brentwood. They were both Regent Square residents.
Even during an off-and-on fight with leukemia that began more than two years
ago, Ms. Rosko continued showing up at the business that served as doggie
day care for the canines that pretty much had free run of the place while
awaiting their baths.
Ms. Rosko's activity level slowed in recent months, and she died Sunday at
her parents' home in Hampton. She was 56.
The Hampton High School and Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate grew
up in a home where there were always multiple dogs, cats and other animals.
She was still a student when her passion for Irish setters developed, and
she owned and bred a succession of them, including her current 7-year-old,
Linda Scopa of Salem, Westmoreland County, a friend in the Golden Triangle
Irish Setter Club, said Ms. Rosko's personality fit with that of the
"That's kind of how she was -- exuberant, full of life, going through every
day with gusto," Ms. Scopa said. "She always looked at all the positive
things, even when she was sick."
Ms. Rosko was not shy or secretive about her cancer. After losing her
lifelong blonde curls, she would show up for work at Paws-itively Pets bald
-- no wig or scarf. She organized successful blood drives in Regent Square
to more than make up for the transfusions of blood she required as part of
"She was always busy trying to help other people," said her identical twin
sister, Linda Evans of Pulaski, Mercer County.
Before she entered the dog grooming field, Ms. Rosko had her Irish setters
trained as therapy dogs, taking them into St. Barnabas Nursing Home and
other facilities to cheer patients. She was also a longtime volunteer in the
Golden Triangle Club's Irish setter rescue group, traveling throughout the
region on behalf of dogs that had been harmed or abandoned or had lost their
She would show Irish setters in kennel club competitions in Pittsburgh and
elsewhere, and she and Layla were a common sight on the sidewalks or trails
around Regent Square.
Ms. Rosko worked with school districts around Indiana, Armstrong and Cambria
counties until 1997 in different programs for special education students,
including those that matched them with potential employers. She had also
worked at the Ebensburg State Center for individuals with mental
Friends and relatives said she was happy with the late-life transition to
days spent trimming nails, cutting fur, pampering pets or even just doing
paperwork in a fun-loving atmosphere.
"Every day brought something new. ... We were constantly laughing," said Ms.
Yackulics, who continues to operate the shop.
In addition to her sister, Ms. Rosko is survived by her parents, Jean and
William Rosko Sr. of Hampton; and two brothers, Bill Rosko of Cheswick and
David Rosko of Hampton.
Funeral arrangements provided by Herbert R. King Jr. Funeral Home are
Memorial contributions may be made to the
Golden Triangle Irish Setter Club, c/o 1399 Hooker Road, Karns City, PA
Sue was a special friend to many. She loved her Irish Setters. She
loved the Breed. Sue fought a tough battle with courage. She looked
forward to club events when she was able to attend. She managed to
come to our specialty shows the past two years and sat ringside
helping out. No matter how she felt, the exhaustion apparent, her
smile shined through. Unable to attend our Thanksgiving Dinner this
past November, she told us she was coming to the Christmas Dinner no
matter what. She was able to attend. She felt good and looked good.
Little did we know it would be the last time we were all together.
Almost every member was able to attend. It was a wonderful evening
of friends, food and fun. Sue's smile and laughter will live on in
our memories. Her generosity continues as she had asked that in lieu
of flowers, to please send donations to Golden Triangle in her
memory. The members of GTISC will be forever grateful and hold Sue
and what she believed in deep within our hearts. May the shamrocks
fall softly on our dear friend.....
Friends of Susan Ann Rosko
Mr. Seward and Virginia Mann, Gibsonia PA
Mr. Jim Fleming, Pittsburgh PA
Mr. Frank and Linda Evans, Pulaski PA
Mr. Aaron and Eliza Goldberg, Pittsburgh PA
BEA Inc, RIDC Park, Pittsburgh PA
iNet Inc, Canfield OH
Ms. Kathleen Kapustik, Natrona PA
Beth Canada, First National Bank, Hermitage PA
Mr. Paul and Janie Brindle, Pittsburgh PA
Mr. Robert and Jane Bukk and Sooty, Pittsburgh PA
Joan B Fiser, Butler PA
Skip & Deb Lawrence, Pittsburgh PA
Frank & Carrie Hannah, Hermitage PA
John & Donna Smith, Phoenixville, PA
Bruce & Katherine Brunkhorst, Pittsburgh PA
Christine Laffey, Pittsburgh PA
Cindy Mancino, Hermitage, PA
Dan & Tally Ling, Pittburgh PA
Frances and Jim Klinesmith, Pittsburgh PA
Lorrie Nogrady, Pittsburgh PA
Jack & Elizabeth Sant, New Castle PA
Marian Edwards, Pittsburgh PA
Louise Lowery, Pittsburgh PA
Donna Norton, Port St. Lucie FL
Richard Gestrich, Oviedo FL
Howard & Patricia Leslie, Valencia PA
Donna Napoleon, Baden PA
Susan Cogswell, E. Liverpool OH
Treasury Mgmt. Dep't. of First Nat'l bank of PA employees; (co-workers of
Linda Evans, Sue's twin sister)