What is Legacy?

Legacy is what you did when you were here on this earth. How many things can you say that you did or contributed to were good, positive, or helpful? Legacy is what kind of person you were. It’s what you did for people that were struggling (in any capacity). Did you blow them off or take some time to share your story or help them somehow?

Legacy is the active place of your life. Who you were, how you acted, what you did, and the impact that you made. The stories people can take away, be inspired by, laugh about and share. 

And despite what a common belief about legacy is, we don’t believe money has anything to do with it. With it, you can potentially help more people, but your character, your actions, your integrity, how you problem solve, how you lift up the world – that’s legacy.

Meet Andrea

Andrea was Tony’s (our) sister and our friend. She was an incredible woman whose legacy we learned about just how massive it truly was, recently with her sudden passing. We want to share a bit about our beloved sister and hope that her story, legacy, and life can inspire you the way it has thousands of others. 

After all, does anyone really discuss or consider the depths of what a legacy can even mean while alive? Not usually, right? But we would ask that as you learn more of Drea’s story, keep legacy in the forefront of your mind. Think about what you can do starting today that will contribute to the legacy, your mark, that you leave in this world. 

Drea (as we called her) was happily married for over 20 years and the proud mom of two grown boys. She graduated from Marquette University with a Master’s in Education. 

Drea went on to use that education combined with her passion for others working with populations much of the world doesn’t want to work with. And she absolutely LOVED it. 

"She wasn’t just my principal, she was my best friend, she was my mom here. Mrs. Rose helped me in so many ways. She protected me from people who were going to hurt me. She comforted me on a bad day. Something she once told me was that “you remind me of me when i was your age…”  That really made me feel noticed."

A Former Student

During her 30 years working with high-risk kids, she saw firsthand how important it was for them to have opportunities for compassion, empathy, physical activity, and teamwork. By encouraging them to try new things and work together towards a common goal, she helped them build confidence, social skills, and a sense of accomplishment that could carry over into other areas of their lives.

One of her goals was to bring sports back into schools, especially for kids who might not have access to them outside of school. She believed that sports could help keep kids engaged in school, teach them important life skills, and provide a safe and healthy outlet for their energy. We look forward to working with the education system Drea was involved in to help see her goals continue to be met in this area. 

I could talk about anything with her like relationships, you name it I could talk about it with her because she listened. She was like my home here, she was my safe space. She changed me for the better and very well may have saved my life. I will be forever grateful for her and our bond that we will have forever.

A Former Student

Many of you may have known Andrea from our business in Modere, where she spent the last two years; it was here that she continued to advocate for healthy living, physical activity and touching people’s lives. Additionally, being involved with Modere gave us more time together – collectively creating an impact. This is something we are incredibly thankful for. 

Drea was free-spirited, she could walk into any room and bring it to light and love. She loved spending time outdoors and listening to live music. With no filter (as some might say), Drea told it like it was. We loved this about her because you always knew it was with the best intentions and powerful, inspiring, uplifting and unforgettable follow through. 

She was a sports enthusiast and enjoyed watching baseball games, running, and playing field hockey and softball. On the weekends, you could often find her at her lake house or pheasant hunting. It’s possible she sounds like someone you know – she was just like you and I but possessed the most beautiful love for life and people. 

And the thing about her was that she loved people so much that she even worked part-time bartending – meeting so many new people with the best stories to tell. She loved putting smiles on people’s faces. This lit her up inside and as a result, lit others around her up.

She was a wonderful bright light to me, specifically as my 7th grade science teacher/life mentor. She truly taught me about understanding through me being a naughty boy trying to find who I was and who I wanted to be. Love you always and forever for your time. You are and will always be a special person to me.

A Former Student

People always said she was a fantastic communicator despite being so busy herself. One of her peers told us at her funeral that ‘she always took time for me, and she was so present with people and having people feeling heard and seen.’ She just knew how to light people up! Another friend of Andrea (for more than 30 years) told us, ‘ I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about her.’ She was such a beautiful spirit. 

Her impact was seen in multiple generations through kids and their parents across many demographics. There were 1,000 people at her funeral, and if this wasn’t a clear picture of her impact and legacy, then we don’t know what is.  

Losing Andrea has inspired us to do more in our community, church, relationships, businesses, and lives – everywhere.

Mrs. Rose stood out to me because she was always there for me when I needed it the most. She and another very kind teacher helped me get a summer job that helped me support my family when both of my parents were sick and couldn't work. She made me feel comfortable.  The only time I would let my emotions out and cry was when I was with her because I knew she wouldn’t judge me and would just understand.

A Current Student

When we reflect on what more is, more means: being more involved, don’t just show up – BE involved. More also means spending time and investing time in kids and our personal and professional relationships. 

Getting into the thick of it. 

After all, what’s everyone waiting on? 

  • Waiting for one day to get healthy?
  • Waiting for one day to take action on something you’ve been afraid of?
  • Waiting for one day to launch your business?
  • Waiting for one day to make that phone call? 
  • Waiting for one day to make that career change?
  • Waiting for one day to tell that person you appreciate them?
  • Waiting for one day to forgive?
  • Waiting for one day to do the things that bring you joy?


Please, don’t wait. Get after it. 

Book that trip, make that phone call, make amends, make that change and show up daily as your very best self. 

Andrea went all out every day with whatever she was doing. Of course, we always knew this about her, but to see so many people inspired by her actions is something we will never forget. There were a thousand people at her celebration of life. People drove from hours away to say their final goodbye’s, lined up around the block and shared the most heartwarming stories.

When we look back over the last few weeks since Andrea’s passing, there are layers to the grief we are working through separately and together. Still, we have also spent time closely examining our own lives. What is our legacy?

One might ask if this involved any regrets.

I’m proud of the last 90 days because I have really been after it. No more procrastination- with anything. If someone comes to mind, I need to stop and call them. I’ve realized I must be more present and stop putting things off. 

Sarah Zolecki

I’m choosing to look forward. First, I need to continue focusing on strengthening my relationships. Second, I need to spend more time connecting with family, friends, and colleagues.

Tony Zolecki

A proactive approach is key to planning your succession and successfully navigating critical transitions. 

Great leaders are strategic in thinking about the future and embrace challenges that arise in preparing for change. It’s crucial to consider the long-term impact you want to have in and around your life. Encourage lifelong learning and invest in building strong personal and professional relationships to create a solid foundation for the future.

Drea was able to demonstrate this in her work and throughout her life. In many ways, she designed her life. She never settled. Always went the extra mile. Designing a life she loved.

We hope you find inspiration in her legacy that will translate into your lives. 

And we would love to encourage you today, to write down the things you want to be part of your life – describe in detail that vision of 5, 15 or 50 years down the road. Make a list of the things you want to take action on, make happen and truly consider the legacy you want to leave in this incredible world. 

Dream Big and Dream Often. 

We Believe In You.

Thank you, Andrea, for all the laughs, the memories, and teaching me not only 6th grade science, but also how to live life to the fullest, to never stop fighting for what you think is right, and to share your opinion often and loudly, even if it doesn’t make everybody happy.It’s not a goodbye, it is a see you later. I love you Mrs. Rose and will never forget you.

Andrea Rose was a force of nature. Anybody who knew her, knows that is true. When thinking of her there are so many things that come to mind, her infectious smile and laugh, her radiant personality, her booming voice, and how she truly was the life of the party.

I had the privilege of not only having her as a teacher, but also as a close family friend. For as long as I can remember, Andrea has been a part of my family’s life.

As a teacher, she wouldn’t let you get away with any shenanigans, but, somehow you always had the most amazing time. She was a comforting voice when you were having a bad day and knew just what to say to make you smile. Central Middle School will not be the same without her, but she was an integral part of making it the amazing place that it is today. She cared so deeply for each student at CMS. While she was taken from us too soon, her memory will live on forever in the hundreds of students' lives she changed.

As a family friend, she was the first one to call out your first and middle name from 100 yards away and give you a hug whenever she saw you, no matter what she was in the middle of. I always loved hearing about her crazy life debacles like running into the HVAC with the lawnmower or accidently ruining the pool by cleaning it with the wire brush. With her, there was certainly never a dull moment, You never knew what was going to come next! You never had to guess what she was thinking.. Everyone knows, when she had a thought, it came out! She was the brightest light with a heart of gold and made the room come alive.