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Mrs. Rosa Juanita Carter (née Gonzales), of St. Paul, MN, died on Sunday, January 18, 2015, after battling cancer for more than four years. She was 56.

Rosa was born on September 12, 1958, to Luis and Juanita Gonzales in Oaxaca, Mexico. The second child of five, she and her family immigrated to the United States when Rosa was 13. She attended Gordon Parks High School and went on to receive her degree in sociology from University of Minnesota in 1980. She became a kindergarten teacher at North Elementary School, a position she held for 27 years.

In 1983, Rosa met Henry Carter, whose daughter, Kate, was a student in Rosa's class. "I watched her coax Kate out of her shell and involved her in reading and singing and art," said Henry. "She pulled laughter into a room. She emanated light." Henry and Rosa married in 1984, and welcomed son Gerald Carter into their family in 1985.

Rosa had a passion for teaching, her family, and her students. She liked to keep track of her former students and send them letters when they graduated high school, won sports tournaments, or took AP classes.

Rosa is survived by her son, Gerald; her stepdaughter, Kate; her husband, Henry; her mother, Juanita; and her sisters, Carmen Diego, Ana Harris, and Esperanza Green. She is preceded in death by her father, Luis Gonzales; and her brother, José Gonzales.

A viewing will take place January 22, 2015 at St. James Catholic Church. Visitors are invited to come between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. A funeral service will following at 5:00. Flowers and condolences may be sent to 123 SE Main St. St. Paul, MN 56404.

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