Growing up in New Jersey, Rosebud Archer had a nickname: the “Little Mayor of Plainfield.” She was well known for her community involvement in that city, where she went to the local nursery once a week to read to children and helped plan outdoor youth programs at City Hall.
The octogenarian recalls her mother emphasizing to her and her siblings that it was their job to help people who were less fortunate than they were. That directive came from a widow who worked 16 hours a day to provide for her six children after their father suffered a heart attack and died. Archer was 8 when she lost her dad.
The inherited sense of duty coupled with her family connection to the military (her uncles and brothers served) led Archer to join the Navy, where she earned a Good Conduct Medal. She served from 1952-56, during which she traveled and performed with a naval entertainment troupe, worked in a photography lab, helped in the education office and eventually became a flight attendant. She later joined the Army, where she became a master sergeant and served until 1993.
No matter which job she was doing, she was known to go above and beyond.
“When I got a promotion, nobody wanted to take my job,” Archer recalled. “They said, ‘Wow, we didn’t know you had to do all of this’ … and I was doing it all by myself.”
We honor you, Rosebud Archer.