Rose Anne Crimmins*

Comments from Rose Ann’s sister, Margaret:

Rose Anne Crimmins, served in India from 1965-1967. She died Feb.1. 1967 from carbon monoxide in her hotel in Iran. She was on her way home to N.Y.C. Rose Anne’s group trained in California and left for India from JFK airport. My parents hosted a party for the group and family and friends at our home in N.Y. the evening before. My parents are now in their nineties and we all cherish the pictures from that party and letters and pictures sent from fellow volunteers and staff after her death. I attended the 25th anniversary and am still moved by the memories of the service at Arlington and how the Peace Corps family honored those fallen. Last winter, my brother visited the orphanage in Hyderbad where Rose Anne worked. We have a picture of the children planting a tree in memory of “the pretty blue eyed girl…” and a picture of the tree in 2004! This project is amazing and please add our name to those who hope for and would contribute to a memorial to all who lost their lives when they left us to “trod the path of peace in a distant land”.

Thank you so much.

-Margaret Crimmins Fitzgerald,, Skaneateles, New York


The following poem was written by one of her fellow volunteers and shared with this project by Rose’s sister Kathleen.

RoseAnne: In Memoriam

February 1, 1967

Sleep softly child, sleep softly

The winds of change blow slowly

And we are a small moment in time

That builds slowly and passes swiftly.


In our long and troubled history

Movements have been made, revolutions have come to pass

And men rise to carry the banners

And take the blame and the praise.

Civilizations rise and fall, cultures and traditions pass

But we the people continue on

Living and learning and building and dying

We individual blocks of humanity

Are the stuff from which civilizations rise

We are the spiritual and physical beings

That occupy time and space

And produce a world of life and death

A world of growth and change.


It is not ours to know the time

Nor to determine the place

We enter a world of life

We travel a path of change

We commit our lives to causes

That we had no part in beginning

That we will have no part in ending

But it is ours for one brief moment

To hold the banner – to carry the flame

And our duty is done.


Sleep softly child, sleep softly

The dust that reposes is more than what we have known

More than a laugh and a blue-eyed look

And a way of thinking and being

The dust is of a people touched

The dust is of the soil and water

Of the place traveled and food eaten

Of a life giving and taking what passes

A democratic dust dust lies in peace

Dust of New York and California

Dust of India and even of the place

Where the last breath of life came in darkness – in sleep.


We shall all pass this way and our dust will be of these places

And of the people we have known

And of the lives we have led

The time will pass and what we did – even our tombs and dust

Will be blown away by the winds – the winds of change


Sleep softly child, sleep softly – And Adieu…


– Charles Lindsay Griffen, Jr. PCV


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3 Responses to Rose Anne Crimmins*

  1. Jean Nicholls Van April 12, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

    I knew dear Rose Anne. We shared the same Peace Corps hostel in Hyderabad when I arrived in 1966. She was already at the Dage Orphanage and introduced me to the children there. She cared so much for them and loved them so much she was thinking of staying another year. She was smart, articulate, pretty and funny. News of her death came to me while I was still at the hostel and I was devastated by it. She was with friends and in her heart she came back to India.

    • No May 1, 2017 at 10:39 pm #

      Your comment is absolutely beautiful.

      • David M Winn September 21, 2022 at 4:18 pm #

        I was with Rose Anne the entire last night (Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 1967) before she died. We sat side-by-side on a bus from southern Iran to Tehran (I was a Peace Corps volunteer stationed in Tehran visiting friends in Shiraz), and, coincidentally, Rose Anne was returning from India but was touring Iran. It was a cold, snowy night, and with no heat on the bus, we stayed up all night discussing our mutual experiences as PCVs. When we pulled into Tehran at dawn, Rose Anne, having declined my invitation to “crash” at our PCV group apartment, repaired to the budget hotel many wandering PCVs used in the city. Not having been instructed on the proper use of the open kerosene stoves used to heat most Iranian dwellings, she died within hours of checking in and lying down to get some sleep before our planned reunion at PCV headquarters that same day. Her parents later asked me to put on paper my recollections of that night and Rose Anne’s happy memories of her India experience, which I did.

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