A Taos artist who lived for smiles

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She could take a child’s Etch-a-Sketch toy and make your face light up. In a few minutes she could zip those wheels around and create an accurate portrait of you on the screen. She was so good with it that friends told her she should go on the “Ellen Degeneres Show.”

It was this gleeful spirit that made knowing Rosemary “Pozzi” Franzetti so rewarding — and so heartbreaking to know that she’s gone. Franzetti died Nov. 26 of ovarian cancer.

A memorial is planned Saturday (Jan. 5), 2 p.m., at the Taos Country Club, 54 Golf Course Drive, off County Road 110, Ranchos de Taos. Everyone is welcome to attend. Those who would like to speak are asked to message “Jessie Franzetti” on her Facebook page. “I look forward to celebrating her life with all of you,” she says.

While the Etch-a-Sketch talent was fun, Pozzi excelled in fine art and sculpture. Her whimsical works in metal can be found all over Taos and the Southwest. Any time you see cleverly-shaped light switch cover or a lamp, candleholder, key rack, coat rack, bookend, table, picture frame, towel rack or even a kinetic “earthquake detector,” chances are she created it.

Pozzi, by the way, is a nickname given to her by her brother when she was little. “Rosie Posie” stuck, but, according to her daughter, she changed it to “Pozzi” when she was married to Joe Franzetti because it fit better.

Former town councilor Amy Quintana worked as her office manager for about nine years. She said Pozzi had a staff of six full-time employees who helped finish her artwork and ship it off to more than 300 galleries in the United States and Canada.

“Pozzi was an amazingly talented woman with a huge heart,” Quintana said. “You couldn’t help smiling when she was around.”

Quintana remembered one day when Pozzi walked through the office “tee-heeing to herself, and returned through my office dragging a canister vacuum behind her. I asked her what she was up to and she said ‘Wait till you see this when I am done.’ A few hours later she returned with a beautiful bi-plane shelf with a removable nosecone, complete with a spinning propeller made out of the vacuum! That woman could make anyone smile and I will truly miss seeing her smiling face.”

Her daughter Jessie said she deeply admired her mom’s limitless creativity, sense of humor, strength and optimism. Even after she was first diagnosed with cancer in early April 2012, Jessie said her outlook was “OK, this is my plan and I’m going to go on this diet and I’m going to beat it and I’m going to win and that’s that. Never, an, ‘Oh, poor me,’ and even until the last week she was so optimistic, saying ‘I’m going to be the miracle.’ I think that’s what kept her going for so long.”

A Type I Diabetic since she was 16, Pozzi was always highly conscious of her health and diet, even deciding not to undergo chemotherapy. “It’s hard to manage (living with diabetes),” Jessie said, “and she did a great job. She never saw herself as weak or vulnerable.”

Jessie said that among qualities about her mom she would probably liked to be remembered for is that “it’s OK to be a strong woman. She was certainly a role model for me that way ... I know that she would want to be remembered as someone who loved making the world and the people around her happy. She enjoyed making people smile and make them feel good.”

When she was a child Jessie said her mom went out of her way to do things with her that were always fun and unusual. “I remember as a kid she would send me on treasure hunts, especially for birthdays. We’d go on these elaborate adventures and stories that I would have to uncover. And, earn my gift.”

At one point, she even made Jessie a really cool treehouse. “It was a pretty elaborate, very realistic little house with a front porch and a bed. It made for a lot of good memories ... She created these magical experiences just through her creativity and desire to create a world that was exciting for a kid. Even birthday parties were involved and thoughtful. I’m sad that my daughter won’t get to experience it the same way I did, but she did get to know my mom in the last three years and while we were just out there she did something similar for her.”

Pozzi was a kind and honest woman, and someone who cared deeply about those in her sphere of family and friends. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Pozzi Franzetti is survived by daughter, Jessica Standlea (Nick), grandchildren, Isabella and Jack, mother, Peggy Moore, sisters, Kathy El Assal, Judith Wright, Janet Griffin, brother Gary Moore, father of her child Joe Franzetti (Kitty) and many other close and dear friends.

The family appreciates all the help and loving support during this difficult time.

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