Rose Mary Wilson Woolsey transcended her earthbound journey on Monday morning, June 29. She was proud of her time here and pleased with a life well lived. She was looking forward to some hugs and chatting with her family and friends who went on before her. She had joined her daughter Elisa and family in beautiful North Idaho for her transition period and marveled at the lush green scenery and wildlife in abundance. There she enjoyed impeccable loving care from her children, her daughter Elisa and grand-daughter Chelsea in particular, along with constant doting from her grandsons and many others. Fortunately the clan was able to raid the local grocery stores to keep her well stocked with Walkers shortbread cookies which were a favorite of hers as they reminded her of her mother, Maria (Mary Ann) Simmons Wilson. As you can infer from this text, she was extraordinarily well regarded and loved.
Rose Mary was born March 21, 1944 in Wheatland. Her family was poor but honest and virtuous and she retained the honesty and virtue while improving somewhat financially. Her mother, Mary, was of Volga-German immigrant descent and her father, Donald Elijah Wilson, was Irish-English-European. She was a hard worker and contributed to the family income as a child, picking fruit and doing farm work in several Pacific Northwest states as the family moved around restlessly before settling back in Wheatland. She believed that God had given her great parents, for whom she was tremendously grateful and she lovingly cared for them as they aged.
She experienced at an early age a significant disability when she lost her hearing due to measles-related fever. In those days hearing aid technology was abysmal and a large part of her life was spent without being able to hear clearly. This caused a certain amount of confusion, obfuscations, misunderstandings, conflicts, and notable hilarity in her interactions with others. Despite this issue, she remained positive and upbeat throughout her life into her very last day. It probably helped that she was very intelligent and she became an interesting and accomplished conversationalist. She had the kind of knowledge of nature and wisdom of life that surprised you that anyone would possess. She was fascinated with people and their stories and she never knew a stranger.
Her partnership in marriage with Charles “Chick” Woolsey brought challenges, happiness and richness to them both and that relationship flourished for 37 years from 1974 until his passing in May of 2011. She was an excellent companion and she missed him deeply since then. Together they enjoyed farming, rural life, photography, family, and generally had a lot of fun together. Her faith helped her persevere in that inordinately difficult time, as it had in the past and would again in the future.
Essentially a lifelong farm girl, she loved the aspects of farming: the seasons, the ground prep, coffee early in the cool morning before a work day, irrigating, and of course the harvest. She even enjoyed the tiring task of calving and the fun of looking after the new babies. Life on the farm helped to develop in her a rare mechanical inclination that made her a valuable road trip companion, as she could fix nearly anything. For a number of years she helped supplement the farm’s income as a store clerk at Thorne Drug in Wheatland.
She has bestowed upon her friends and family many wonderful sewn items such as clothing and quilts. Sewing was a main interest for her as was helping us all out in any way she could. She dedicated a room in her house completely to the craft, with another rather large area holding the yards and yards of various fabrics, ready at a moment’s notice. Until the time of her death, she had a personal line of handmade project bags which were sold at Windblown Fibers in Casper. The bags sold as fast as she could make them and are now being enjoyed all across the U.S. Unsurprisingly, her skilled work is cherished by all.
As a lover of animals, at any one time there was a bounty of dogs, cats, geese, chickens and whatnot around her. She even became a leader in the 4-H dog training and Tailwaggers club. She was so highly valued that she was once named the Leader of the Year. She enjoyed slightly less furry animals too and served a term as President and photographer of the Old Grads club of Wheatland. She had deeply meaningful, lifelong friendships with a number of those grads but in particular Marilyn Larsen, Doris Thorne, Donna McGuire, and Diane Weaver.
Life took on a special significance fairly early for her when she brought three children into the world, Elisa, Connie, and Lex. She worked through the usual periods of difficulty and instability and emerged an exemplary Mother, kind and loving. Later she became an outstanding Grandma to seven grandchildren, raising two of them for nearly all of their pre-adult lives. As with her parents, she felt that God gave her wonderful children and that they were truly jewels in her crown.
She was a good person by any measure. She was kindhearted and used to gently tease the grandkids, immediately apologizing and saying that, “Granny is just joshing,” or, “Granny has a strange sense of humor.” She was thoughtful and caring and she was infinitely patient as life pitched her one curveball after another. She overcame adversity, built character, and left a legacy of love that will endure in our hearts.
She was and is still a revered family member and friend. She remains one of Wyoming’s best. She is loved and will be forever missed.
She is predeceased by her husband Charles Woolsey, parents Donald and Mary Wilson, brother Jack Wilson, in-laws Boyd and Ethel Woolsey, and stepson Scott Woolsey.
She is survived by siblings Darlene Rexius, Donita Rennick, and Eldon Wilson; children Elisa Juarez, Connie (Mark) Kersting, Lex (Brenda) Martin and two grandchildren who became her children, Steven (Amanda) Martin and Stephanie (Rambo) Hooser, stepdaughter Cheryl (Bruce) Deuel and stepdaughter-in-law Mary Woolsey. Further, she is survived by seven grandchildren: Justin (Dianna) Juarez, Vince (Sarah) Juarez, Chelsea Dawn (Alex) Juarez-Melka, Skylar (Chelsie Bryan) Weber, Storm (Jarvis) Martin, Adam and Blake Woolsey, Boyd, Ben and Brandon Deuel, ten great grandchildren as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their families.
A memorial service is tentatively planned for September 2020 in Wheatland.