She was a smart, loving, capable mother, a devout Christian, devoted wife, a hard-worker and an extraordinary cook who fed many. But more than this, she had a heart of solid 24-karat gold.

Rosa Dell Moore Sloan of Charlotte died Dec. 11, 2010, at age 89. She slipped away while listening to Christmas hymns in her room decorated with symbols of the holiday she so loved.

“Christmas in our family was big,” said son Larry. “Mother loved Christmas and never forgot the reason for the season. It was also a reason to get the family together; she loved all the children.”

And there were plenty of children when you consider that she came from a family of 18 siblings.

Rosa, from Gaston County, met Woodrow “Bob” Sloan, a Cabarrus County native, likely at a church function, the family believes. They married, had 10 children, and Bob, who worked for Duke Power 40 years, died in 2002.

“They were so close to each other,” son Larry said. “Their love was manifested daily.”

Biscuits baked with love

Rosa was a great cook and could whisk a meal on the table with great speed. She was known not only for her delicious banana pudding and chocolate layer cakes, but also for her melt-in-your-mouth biscuits.

“A neighbor adored her biscuits and wanted to learn to make them,”

Larry said. The neighbor stood side-by-side with Rosa, measured, stirred, and baked their biscuits in the same oven.

“When they took them out, lo and behold, Mama’s still tasted better. Mama baked her biscuits with love.”

His mom never turned anybody away.

“If anybody came hungry, she made a way to feed that person, along with her 10 children. She was an amazing person,” Larry said.

She even fed two white escaped convicts who knocked on her door sometime in the 1950s.

“No one else would have done that,” said daughter Barbara Rozzelle. “They had a royal breakfast, even sliced tomatoes. By the time they finished eating, we heard the helicopters overhead.”

A joyful spirit

Daughter Joyce Gresham said, “Mama invited anyone in to eat or spend time with us. She was a very loving, giving and forgiving lady.”

Rosa always welcomed guests with a joyful spirit, brother Paul Moore said.

“She had the love of God operating in her heart. She was a very literate person who grew up in the depression and in the segregated South. She had outstanding love and sacrificed for her children.”

Son Dennis said, “Mom was a great leader, a very special person, a good teacher, listener, advisor and friend. She loved to travel to mountains and the beach. She took family trips to New York, California, Kentucky and Missouri. She loved Kansas City for its barbecue and Louisville for the river boat cruises she took.”

“She had the biggest heart in the world,” Barbara said. “It’s rare that you meet a person like her. She opened her heart to everyone. We need more people like Mom. She went above and beyond. I live in the shadows of my mom.”

Even Rosa Sloan’s shadow is a good place to be, Barbara, a very, very good place.

Editor’s note: This is our series called Lives That Matter. Written by Charlotte writer Gerry Hostetler, this weekly feature will profile individuals, recently deceased, who had a positive impact on those around them.

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