Rosemary Verkest (1941-2021), loving wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and aunt, passed into Eternal Life on Thursday, March 11. Rosemary was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the second child and first daughter of Leo and Helen Clancy. Her family settled in Detroit, Michigan, and after graduating from Mercy High School, Rosemary spent time discerning a vocation with the Sisters of Mercy. But she realized that God was not calling her to the religious life, and not too long after leaving the convent, she spied a dashing young man traveling to work on a Woodward Avenue bus in Detroit. Robert and Rosemary Verkest were married at Precious Blood Church on May 12, 1962.
Rosemary and Robert spent their adventuresome young married life welcoming and raising five children while moving frequently, first to Salt Lake City, Utah, then on to Rock Springs, Wyoming, followed by Peoria, Illinois, and finally returning to their home state of Michigan. Rosemary held numerous administrative and sales positions throughout the years with Vernors, Burroughs, Sears, and General Motors Corporations. Her final position before retirement was with the Office of the President at Oakland University.
“Rosie” loved nothing more than being with family and friends, whether gathering at home, vacationing at the Burroughs Farms cottages, camping at Hoeft State Park, or hosting loved ones at the beautiful cottage Robert built in Six Lakes, Michigan.
Rosemary was predeceased by her parents, Leo and Helen, and her siblings Eileen, Jerry, and Jim. She is survived by the love of her life and husband of 58 years, Robert; her five children, Peggy, Kathy (Chuck), Susan (Jeff); Amy (William); and Steve (Becky); thirteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; her brothers John, Joe, and Dan, and sisters Colleen and Katie.
A devout Catholic, Rosemary spent her time on earth doing “small things with great love,” as Mother Teresa once described the task of a Christian. She leaves behind an impressive record of Scrabble victories, her amazing Thanksgiving stuffing recipe, and a legacy of love and laughter.
My wild Irish Rose,
The sweetest flower that grows.
You may search everywhere,
But none can compare with my wild Irish Rose.
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