Madison, at dawn on Sunday, June 29, 2014 we lost our mother, matriarch of our family, who left us to join her soul-mate of 59 years, our father, Clarence, who left us five years ago, to be in a better place together. Rosemary, 94 years young, was in peace and departed with members of her family at her side.
Through their example and encouragement, Rosemary and Clarence made their children aware of a wide variety of activities, including music, sports, travel, the outdoors, museums, and many other kinds of recreation, and to this day we all enjoy these. Whether it’s bird-watching or Green Bay Packer-watching (Rosemary’s uncle Herb played for the Pack, of which she was quite proud), their zest for life was contagious among us.
Rosemary was born in Fond du Lac, WI, on March 11, 1920, to Edna and Frank Schmidley, one of five sisters and a brother. Upon graduation from high school she moved to Madison, WI, her home for the next 70 years. During World War II she was a volunteer Red Cross nurse’s aide. She graduated from business school and worked for many years as the executive assistant to the director of the Madison Board of Education, where she met Clarence in 1949.
Rosemary was a loving and caring homemaker, spreading her values of love and generosity to all, and occasional discipline to her (well-deserving) sons. Then she would cook us pasties, the family’s favorite meal.
She learned to drive in her 20s and had 70 years of fault-free driving. Her only ticket was for jaywalking in downtown Madison. Rosemary was also an accomplished quilter and displayed her creations in quilt shows in Madison.
Rosemary was an avid golfer, camper, hiker and traveler. She willingly cooked the fish, fowl and sometimes unidentifiable game her family (mainly Tom) brought home. Family road trips in the station wagon to places like northern Wisconsin, Yellowstone National Park or Washington, DC were meticulously planned well in advance with each traveler being handed a to-do checklist. Following Dad’s retirement, they expanded their travels to Hawaii and Europe.
Three years ago she left her beloved Madison to be with her daughter Anne Clare and granddaughter Michaela in Helena. She made many new friends and became well-known for her bridge-playing expertise.
Rosemary is survived by her children Stephen (Marilyn) Riederer, Anne Clare Wolfinger, Thomas and Richard (Shirley) Riederer, sisters Rita Jaffe and Bernadette Perszyk, grandchildren Dillon Riederer (Sonya) Yonash, Michaela Wolfinger, Julie, Christopher, Caitlin, Emily Riederer, great-grandson Thorin Riederer Yonash, sister-in-law Jenny Riederer, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mother used to end her phone calls saying “Love, love,” which are the last words she said to me.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, August 4, 2014 at OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 401 S. Owen Drive, with Msgr. Kenneth Fiedler presiding. Burial will follow at Resurrection Cemetery.
Visitation will be at the church on Monday from 10 a.m. until the time of Mass. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com.