Desire to do good to others; an act of kindness; goodwill; a disposition to do good.  Those are all definitions of the word benevolence which describes the life led by Rosanne Citta, who died this past weekend following a short illness at her Florida home in Pompano Beach at the age of 71. 

Like her family, Rosanne was a dominating force in Toms River for decades as a business leader and a philanthropist who supported numerous charitable causes and at one time or another was a member of just about every civic organization.

Most recently she was the Broker/Owner of Citta & Moffit Relators in South Seaside Park where she got to work with her daughter and partner Heather Moffit.

As President of the Citta Foundation Rosanne distributed millions of dollars over the years and many local organizations benefited from that generosity which in some cases kept their doors open.  She picked up the mantle in that capacity following the deaths of her parents Joseph and Regina and you could fill a large building with all the accolades and honors bestowed upon her and the foundation.

I fondly recall that during my tenure as chairman of what was then the Toms River-Ocean County Chamber of Commerce Rosanne begging me not to honor her with any awards.  She told me if we needed her to support something just ask rather than salute them during some fundraising effort.

While just about every organization benefitted from her generosity from Ocean County College to the Girl Scouts to the Toms River Student Loan Fund no place had more meaning than Community Medical Center.  She was an active member of the CMC Foundation for many years and it was her $1 million donation which launched the J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center following the death of her brother, the longtime owner of the Office Restaurant & Lounge which the family still owns. 

Simply put Rosanne Citta was one of the most influential people in Ocean County for decades and she used that influence to improve the lives of many.  Those wanting to pay their respects can do so Friday from 4-8pm at Anderson & Campbell Funeral Home on Main Street in Toms River. 

In lieu of flowers the family asks you consider a donation to The Citta Foundation or the J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center.