Lion Rosy Wears (and sells) Traveling Shoes
The Eugene Downtown Lions started out in 1924 as an organization mostly for downtown businessmen. Except for her gender, Lion Rosy Makyadath fits that profile perfectly! She has owned and operated a shoe store in downtown Eugene for over twenty years.Today, of course, nearly half the members of the EDLC are women, and most of our members do not run downtown businesses.
While Lion Rosy has a long history in the shoe business, she is doing business a long way from where she began life. Lion Rosy was born in South India in the state of Kerala. Her father was a successful farmer and the family was solidly middle class.
The oldest of four children, Lion Rosy has a sister and two brothers, all of whom remain in India. She graduated from a Catholic high school and went to nursing school, where she earned her R.N. and began a nursing career. Later, she served three years in India’s Army. She enlisted as a nurse, with the rank of Lieutenant, and worked in an American Mission Hospital.
Then, the big change began. Through a friend, Lion Rosy met the man she would eventually marry in 1973. Shortly after their marriage, she and her husband immigrated to the United States. In fact, they came directly to Eugene and have lived here ever since.
At first, Lion Rosy continued her career in health care, working at a nursing home for six months. Her husband, Lazar, opened an import shop in the building which currently houses the McDonald Theater.
Lion Rosy’s nursing career was interrupted when she became pregnant, and her first child was born premature in 1974. She became a stay-at-home mom, but she helped her husband run the store on a part-time basis. As time passed, Lion Rosy’s family grew to include three daughters, two of whom are now married. The third is engaged to be married. Her only son remains single.
About twenty years ago, Lion Rosy started the shoe business she owns to this day, Shoeaholic on Willamette Street. She has gradually involved her grown children in the business. Her son manages the store, and one of her daughters handles the financial side of the business. The store has three non-family employees, and Lion Rosy continues to work there as well.
However, Lion Rosy is also busy being a grandmother to her seven grand-children. One is in college. Four are students at Marist High School, and one is at O’Hara Catholic Elementary School. The youngest is only a year and a half old, and Lion Rosy cares for her four days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
So, Lion Rosy remains a busy woman who yet finds time for Lions Club and numerous charitable activities through Saint Mary’s Catholic Church.
As to Lions, Rosy’s husband Lazar, who currently runs Lazar’s Bazaar on Broadway in Eugene, was the first to join. Then Rosy joined and although Lazar dropped out, Lion Rosy stayed and has been a Lion for ten years. Lion Rosy enjoys Lions, chiefly because she believes in helping others and values the friends she has made in the club. She would like to participate in more activities, but her busy life makes that a challenge.
Another limitation on her time stems from her frequent trips back to India to visit family. About six years ago, her father passed away and, of course, this necessitated a trip back to her homeland. Currently, her mother is in ill health and requires care. Lion Rosy will return to India this summer to help take care of her for two months.
Over the years, as Lion Rosy has traveled back and forth to India, she has seen major improvements in the standard of living for many Indian citizens. As most Americans are aware, India has made great economic progress recently. One difference Lion Rosy sees between the two cultures is that Indian parents are more likely to “push” their children toward particular career paths. Most American parents want to allow their children to pursue their own interests and “find themselves.”
Lion Rosy also notes that some Americans inaccurately view India as a “backward” country when, in fact, India has a very high rate of literacy and a strong emphasis on higher education.
As to the future, Lion Rosy is presently giving no thoughts to retirement. She started and built a successful business and hopes to continue working there as long as possible.
So, if you are a hopeless “shoeaholic” or are simply in need of shoes, you can feed your addiction and help out a fellow Lion at the same time. Lion Rosy will be happy to sell you a pair of shoes.