Rosemary passed away suddenly on December 7, 2023, just two days after her 89th birthday. She celebrated her birthday with her children, eating her favorite meal (steak), and blowing out the candles on a potato cake made from a long-time favorite recipe of her mother’s. Rosemary’s mother and dad, Ruth and Walter Everts, ran a farm in New London, Wisconsin. Everyone was expected to do their chores, but Rosemary and her siblings, Betty Lou (Much), Jim, Ken, Wayne and Phil found time to have fun together, too. Rosemary liked to reminisce about growing up on the farm…about the time her dad hitched up the horse and sleigh to drive the family to Christmas Eve Mass during a snowstorm, about how her brothers used to tease her mercilessly, and how they walked to school together.
After a short career at Kimberly-Clark, Rosemary married her husband Jerry, in 1957, and moved to Combined Locks, to be a part of his close-knit family. Everyone lived on the same block. There were Grandma-Days, summer corn roasts with Little Chute Pop, and Christmas parties. It was a busy time in their lives, running Jerry Kamps Bar, and raising their four kids. They were a team in everything they did.
Rosemary was The Best Mom in the world. Selfless. Fun. Creative. An idea-person. So hard-working. Faith-filled. Always teaching, nudging, encouraging. She would stay up into the wee hours to type a homework assignment or fix a zipper or iron a shirt. She was always busy, volunteering at St. Paul’s Church, the kids’ schools, Girl Scouts, the Combined Locks Bicentennial Committee, and so many more, but she still found time to cook homemade meals or help us study for a test. She sewed dresses and quilts. She created beautiful floral arrangements, painted ceramics, baked pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, canned tomatoes, taught us to play Scrabble and Cribbage, and planned every detail of our family vacations. She created Easter Bunny Baskets out of bleach bottles and made a Barbie house out of a cardboard box. She made hand-lettered promotional posters for the Dutch Treat Picnic and hundreds of other events at St. Paul’s Church and at the Bar. She encouraged us to always do our best, and to “never say never.”
Rosemary loved being a grandma and a great grandma. She and Jerry never missed an opportunity to go to any event involving their grandchildren. And she loved to make special treats like Mickey Mouse waffles, or K-Bars, or frosted cut-out cookies (meticulously decorated, of course) when the grandkids and great grandkids visited.
Rosemary and Jerry always liked to (as she would say) “go-go-go.” There were so many exciting travel adventures, including several family trips to Hawaii, a big birthday celebration in Southern California, and countless weekend adventures in Door County. She and Jerry went to Scottsdale every winter for many years, to warm their bones, golf, and watch baseball with family and friends.
The weekend before Rosemary died, she was in Chicago with her family, at the wedding of her grandson, Jared. She said numerous times how much fun she was having and how she wished that Jerry could’ve been there, too. (He preceded her in death in 2021.) But she was surrounded by the rest of her family – her daughter Debra (Charles), and grandkids Lindsay (Adam) and Michael; her son Steven (Julie), and grandson Jordan (Allie) with great grandkids Noah, Clara and Maisie, and grandson Jared (new wife Lily). Rosemary’s son Jay was there, with grandkids Vivien and Bennett, and so was her daughter Amy (Matthew), with grandkids Anna and Charlie…(grandson Jack is working in Spain). Rosemary was dazzling in her black sequined outfit, and she danced up a storm at the reception, so happy to be surrounded by the family that she has loved so deeply for all these years.
We could not have guessed that in a few short days she would be gone. But we are comforted to think about her dancing her way to eternal life, reunited with Jerry and with all her family and friends who have gone before her.
Rosemary’s funeral mass and celebration of life will be held at St. Paul’s Catholic Church (410 Wallace St., Combined Locks) on Saturday, December 16, at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be at the church from 9:00 a.m. until the mass begins. Lunch will follow in the church basement.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Rosemary’s name, to St. Paul’s Catholic Church. Donations can be made online at www.stpaulcl.com, or sent to 410 Wallace St., Combined Locks, WI 54113.