Rosa Kittrell Barksdale, CEO & Founder of Barksdale Home Care Services, has passed away. She was 84.
Pelham, NY - Rosa Kittrell Barksdale, longtime CEO and founder of Barksdale Home Care Services, has passed away. She was 84.
Founded in 1982, Barksdale Home Care Services provided training for home health aides and nurses for over 35 years. Among her many other professional achievements, Barksdale was honored with the Golden Harvest Humanitarian Award from the Westchester Public/Private Partnership for Aging, and the Madam CJ Walker Award for Economic Development. She was also a leader who worked with her colleagues in healthcare to secure a $10M Federal Grant to assist area long-term unemployed to return to work as part of the nationally recognized Westchester/Putnam Workforce Development Board Jobs Waiting Program.
Rosa was born on April 5, 1936, as the 4th and middle child of 7, to Fredrick Douglas and Edna Lance Kittrell. She grew up in a Depression-era household, and her dream was to become a member of the famed Rockettes. At a very young age, she exhibited a profound zest for life, bringing joy and laughter to everyone she met. She was an extraordinary collaborator, colleague, mentor, and friend to many in the greater Westchester County community, and these attributes served her well in her pursuit of success as an entrepreneur.
Barksdale’s extended family—and their accomplishments in community service—played a major role in shaping the person she became, and she drew from their wisdom and accomplishments due to their fearlessness, strength and indomitable spirits. These included her mother Edna who was a trailblazing, fearless Community and Civil Rights Activist, her grandmother, and many of her aunts who pioneered in a wide range of fields as journalists, performers, comediennes, businesswomen, educators, politicians, scientists, and diplomats. Rosa paid tribute to each of these inspiring family members by taking the best part of each of them, as she often said, “I am completely proud that I stand upon the shoulders of my ancestors”. Her Aunt Rosa, for whom she was named, was a Westchester icon who started the first Charter Nursery School in White Plains, and was also a community activist, founder of the Carver Center, and organizer of the White Plains Mental Hygiene Group at the Grasslands Hospital (now Westchester Medical Center]. Her aunt worked tirelessly to alleviate the problems of people who lacked advantages and opportunities and instilled the need to serve in Rosa.
Barksdale aspired to become a teacher while attending Mount Vernon’s A.B. Davis High School, but she was awarded a scholarship from the Long Island Hospital School of Nursing in Boston. With several of her siblings already in college, the scholarship made higher education possible for her, and she enrolled. After graduating nursing school in 1958, Barksdale married her first husband, and worked as a nurse in Washington D.C. . Following the birth of her son Rudy, the family moved back to Westchester where daughter Kellye was born five years later.
Rosa earned a bachelor’s degree in education from The College of New Rochelle, and she was the author of the book “ The Intuitive Entrepreneur: How I Used Intuition to Start, Grow, and Maintain a Successful Business” published in 2011. She was also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Westchester County, New York Chapter.
Barksdale is survived by her daughter and son, and her second husband, LeRoy Barksdale. To honor and fulfill her legacy in the healthcare field, her family and friends are developing The Rosa Kittrell Barksdale Healthcare Career Scholarship.