Deke Dickerson

Resident celebrates citizenship with visit from rockabilly legend

September 1, 2011 // 0 Comments

Milestone represents more than a decade of work by BETH ALTENA  Rosee Douthett is a quiet sidekick to her outspoken husband Jerry, of the “Kiko ate my toe” fame, but the Rockford nurse is a person with her own determination and perseverance. Rosee is celebrating becoming a citizen of the United States, an accomplishment that took her 10 years, cost thousands upon thousands of dollars, and is a the result of efforts that many Americans would be surprised to learn about. Becoming an American was a dream of her father’s as a young man, and he had applied to Harvard and written a letter to then president John F. Kennedy. Surprisingly, he received a handwritten letter back from the president, encouraging him in his efforts to come to the United States. Sadly, the letter has since been lost. Rosee’s father, Francisco, a lawyer, had to abandon his dream of coming to the United States, because he fell in love with her mother, Adaleda, and had to choose between his American dream and the love of his life. He chose love and Rosee and her six siblings were part of the couple’s long and happy marriage. Rosee said becoming a citizen was an educational process and she learned a lot. She pointed out that there are many misconceptions about citizenship, and said most Americans believe if you marry a citizen, your citizenship is automatic, which isn’t true. Rosee’s own efforts to come to the United States for a better life began in 1995 in the Philippines, where her family still lives. She said she wanted to come here because of her profession, nursing, which is poorly paid in her country of origin. As a nurse in the United States, she knew she would be able to support herself as well as send money back to her family, which she does faithfully. “It is so hard to go abroad for work,” she explained. Rosee said the moment she experienced when she swore her oath as a citizen was one of the most moving moments of her life. Americans born here likely have no idea the rigors of financial investment, time, education and effort that those from other countries must work through before they can count themselves a […]