NORWAY - Rosemary Elizabeth DeBakker, 83, passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, at St. Francis Nursing Home in Fond du Lac, Wis.
Rosemary was born on May 1, 1929, in Chicago, daughter of John and Mary (Bergen) Ropelle. She graduated from Norway High School with the class of 1947 and then attended Miss Brown's Business School in Milwaukee.
On Jan. 28, 1950, she married Donald DeBakker at St. Barbara Catholic Church in Vulcan.
A woman of strong faith, she was a member of St. Mary Queen of Peace Church in Kingsford and attended daily Mass at St. Francis Home where she resided until the time of her death. She devoted many years of volunteer clerical service to Holy Spirit School and was a member of the Daughters of Isabella. Dear to her was an HIV positive orphan, Fern, whom she sponsored at Sarnelli House Orphanage in Nongkai, Thailand.
Rosemary was also a member of the Norway Women's Club and the Hospital Auxiliary. She was an avid Michigan State and Green Bay Packer fan. She enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles and the beaches of South Carolina. After her children were grown, she took up the sport of golf and spent many years trying to perfect her game. She was a member of Oak Crest Golf Course.
In her life, family always came first. She dedicated her life to raising her children and greatly enjoyed milestone celebrations with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Holidays were special to her, spending hours cooking and baking to carry on family traditions. Her most appreciated gift was to have family around her table.
She is survived by her son, Michael (Kristin) DeBakker; daughters, Cynthia (Hub) King and Jayne (Al) Kimichik; sister, Jeanette Erspamer; grandchildren, Melissa (Paul) Menghini, Matthew (fianc, Jamie) Laydon, Lindsey (Erick) Fabyan, Nicholas (Anna) DeBakker, Haley DeBakker, Jordan DeBakker, Ayinde Starling, Andrew (Jess) Kimichik, Joseph Kimichik, and Kassandra Kimichik; great-grandchildren, Samuel, Lily, Magdalaina, and Kinley. She is also survived by a special first cousin, Mary Trudeau.
Rosemary was preceded in death by her husband, Donald on Jan. 10, 1991.
Friends and family are invited to attend her funeral services on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Queen of Peace Church in Kingsford. Fr. Michael Woempner will offer the Mass of Christian Burial.
Burial will be in the Norway Township Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in her memory to the Holy Spirit School in Norway.
The family wishes to thank the staff of St. Francis Nursing Home for the loving care, kindness, compassion, and preservation of dignity extended to Rosemary while she was a resident.
Condolences may be expressed to the family of Rosemary DeBakker online at ernashfuneralhomes.com.
The family has entrusted the Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home with the arrangements.