Caroline Rosse Serotta
September 22, 1928-May 13, 2021
Cambridge-Caroline Rosse Serotta was born in Palo Alto, California in 1928. She was the 7th of nine children born to Herman Rosse and Sophia Helena Luyt, Dutch citizens living temporarily in the United States to pursue their design careers in theater and landscape respectively. By 1931, the family returned to the Netherlands, to an area just outside of The Hague, where they remained through Caroline’s formative years. She and her family barely survived the Nazi occupation of Holland (1940 - 1945). Growing up during “The War” profoundly shaped her perspectives on morality, the value of time, and human frailty and potential.
While still attending school in occupied Holland, Caroline apprenticed with a goldsmith and she soon demonstrated her considerable talent as an artisan. In 1946 she received a full scholarship to Skidmore College on a work/study program. She became an adjunct professor in the jewelry department, where some of her first students were returning GI’s needing job training in skills that could accommodate their injuries. Her lesson plans regularly required her to make visits to a hardware store. The easiest one to get to on her bike was Farmer’s Hardware, Bernie Serotta’s store. Bernie and Caroline were married on June 5th, 1951.
Over the next three decades, Caroline’s eye for design and style influenced the evolution of the family business from a traditional hardware store to a one-of-a-kind department store that brought customers from across the tri-state area for gourmet cookware, imported designer fabrics, unusual toys—including dollhouses, which she designed and were made right on the premises—and of course a well-stocked art supply department.
Caroline was a lifelong artist, designer and maker working in many mediums. One of her greatest joys was sharing her love of the arts through teaching, both in and out of the classroom. Her teaching career spanned more than thirty years, first in Galway Elementary, then in Saratoga Springs’ Caroline Street and Lake Avenue Elementary Schools, followed by Cambridge Elementary School. In Cambridge, she also shepherded countless workshops, camps, festivals, dramatic productions and community projects.
Carol had a special love for puppetry and mask-making. Many children have found peace and a love of art because Carol offered them a calm, safe and ordered place where self-expression was applauded.
Caroline remained fully engaged in life, making art, growing gardens and holding the family in her embrace.
She is survived by her children: Lisa Serotta Carrino/L.Scott Carrino, Benjamin
Serotta/Marcie Nover; her grandchildren Nicole Helena Goldreyer, Anna Nover Serotta, Lucas A. Goldreyer, Emily Rose Serotta, Chiara Lucia Carrino; and her great grandchildren Iver E. Goldreyer, Peter Rosse Serotta-McGlynn, Levon Miles Kramer and Ries Serotta Justin
Throughout her life, Carol strongly believed in sharing what she could with others, through her time, skills and energy or through her regular donations to the many, many causes she believed in.
The family suggests donations can be made in her memory to Community Hospice: mail checks to: 179 Lawrence St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 or to a charitable organization of choice that promotes art education, the performing arts or human equity and betterment.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Caroline (Rosse) Serotta, please visit our floral store.
179 Lawrence Street, Saratoga Springs NY 12866