UPDATED: Miles City Woman on Ellen Last Week, Died Saturday

Aaron Flint posted on March 04, 2015 14:00 :: 1336 Views


I got the opportunity to catch up with family and friends of Rosa Neese, the co-founder of Wake Up & Lace Up, on Wednesday morning.  

They spoke of a woman who never quit, never complained, and always gave back.  

Her daughter Cori Brothers described their trip to California for the Ellen show last week, and how she simply wanted to visit the beach with her loved ones.  

Click below to listen:

Click to Listen

Here’s a longer audio clip as we hear from Rosa’s husband Don, her son Buddy, and her best friend Roxanne.  

Click below to listen: 

Click to Listen


It was the last item on her bucket list- a chance to meet daytime TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.  

Rosa Neese was there last week, and cameras captured her getting a hug from Ellen shortly after a taping of the show.  

The following Saturday, the Miles City, Montana woman known for her courageous bout with cancer and efforts to start a group called Wake Up & Lace Up (and so much more) said goodbye to family and friends at the age of 56.   

Here’s an excerpt from the obituary for Rosa Ann Neese, now posted at the Stevenson Funeral Homes website:

In 1998, as if Don & Rosa weren’t busy enough they decided to start a new hobby, Cool Breeze Golf Carts. They started the business with a few tune ups and fifteen years later became the Yamaha Dealer for the area, renting carts to the surrounding golf courses. Don was the worker and Rosa was the main supporter. One of their most cherished moments with Cool Breeze Golf Carts was when they donated a golf cart to raise money for the organization Scramble for a Cure in Broadus, Montana. The cart was painted with all the colors of cancer and the Cool Breeze logo.

On December 8th, 2008 Rosa was diagnosed with stage IV Ovarian Cancer. Everything she wanted was right in front of her and suddenly her life turned upside down. Rosa and her family faced the future head on. The numerous chemotherapy treatments were long and agonizing, yet Rosa never complained. She always had a positive answer when asked how things were going or how she was feeling her reply all is good. Rosa kept an upbeat attitude through the entire battle. You never heard complaints of nausea, aches or pains. Rosa kept her job with the Miles City Star to help get through the days and years till the end, only taking off time for chemotherapy treatments in Billings. Rosa always lived life to the fullest; she enjoyed living and was always full of grace. She was comfortable with her bald head and stylish wigs. Rosa was given a second chance in life; she was in remission for 18 months. Her close friend and cancer survivor, Cindy Reid , together founded the organization Wake Up & Lace Up. With the help of family and friends, they spent countless hours doing fund raisers to help others locally. At the time of Rosa’s death, Wake Up & Lace Up raised over $100,000., and helping over 50 families. Rosa walked with courage, showed compassion, understanding and hope but most of all unconditional love.

Shortly before Rosa’s passing, she was given the opportunity to cross the final item off her bucket list – meet Ellen DeGeneres. Rosa was accompanied by her daughter, Cori, daughter-in-law, Debbi, sister, Oralei, and two close friends Roxanne Harding and Melody Peterson. Rosa and Cori were sat in the 2nd row, which gave them a perfect view as they enjoyed Ellen. At the end of the show, Ellen thanked the audience for coming and quickly headed over to meet Rosa. She gave her a huge hug and they shared kind words. As tears of joy streamed down Rosa’s face, Cori told Ellen about this event being the last item on her bucket list.



Check out this video, as a local hero in Miles City, Montana is spotted on the daytime TV talk show “Ellen.” 

Friends tell me that Rosa Neese has been fighting cancer and always wanted to meet Ellen. Neese is one of the founders of Wake Up & Lace Up.

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