Date of Birth: June 26, 1940
Date of Death: May 26, 2023
Rosemary Pauline Winner Blankenship Michaelis, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and dedicated caregiver, passed away on May 26, 2023. Born on June 26, 1940, in Pittsfield, Illinois to the late Cloyd N and Hilda G Winner, Rosemary's life was marked by love, compassion, and a profound commitment to her family and community. Rosemary's journey began in Barry, Illinois, where she attended Barry High School, graduating with her classmates in May 1958. She was a woman of strong character, known for her unwavering determination and kind heart. Rosemary was blessed with seven siblings whom she cherished dearly: John, Vita, Clarice, Jessie, Sherrill, Cloyd Jr (Butch), and Terry. In 1959, Rosemary entered into matrimony with her beloved husband, Jim Blankenship. They made their home in Algonquin, IL. Their union was blessed with three wonderful sons, Jeffery (Bonara Lim), Steven (Leslie), and David (Donna) Blankenship. Rosemary's role as a mother brought her immeasurable joy and fulfillment. She dedicated herself to nurturing and supporting her sons as they grew, imparting upon them the values of love, kindness, and resilience. After Jim’s passing in 1980, Rosemary found love again and married Claude Michaelis. However, she soon suffered loss again as Claude passed away in 1988. After Claude’s death, Rosemary moved back to her hometown of Barry, Illinois. She spent the next three decades sharing adventures with her sister Sherry. They worked, played, and served the community of Barry together. Their adventures were legendary. They shared an incredibly special bond until Sherry left us in 2016. In 2018, Rosemary left Barry, Illinois to be closer to her sons in Phoenix, Arizona. She moved to Sun City West with her brother-in-law Charles Wendorff in January 2020. Rosemary enjoyed spending time with friends swimming at the rec center and playing with the members of the Putters Club. The arrival of grandchildren brought an added dimension of happiness to Rosemary's life. She took immense pride in her three grandsons, Danny, Jesse, and Samuel, and two granddaughters Nina and Tonya. In time, Rosemary's family grew to include a great-grandson and two great-granddaughters, who brought her immeasurable joy and filled her heart with love. Rosemary had a unique and cherished relationship with her nieces and nephews, treating them as her own. Her love and care extended beyond her immediate family, touching the lives of many others. Her nurturing spirit and genuine compassion led her to find fulfillment in her work as a CNA at the Barry Community Care Center. Rosemary devoted herself to the wellbeing of the residents, considering them as part of her own family. Her dedication and loving care earned her the esteemed recognition of CNA of the year in 2007. She brightened the lives of those she cared for, and her beautiful smile brought solace and comfort to many. Travel held a special place in Rosemary's heart, and she relished every opportunity to explore the world with her family and friends. From traversing the United States to venturing across Europe, Rosemary embraced new experiences and created lasting memories. Her adventurous spirit and curiosity enriched her life and left an indelible impression on those fortunate enough to accompany her on these journeys. Rosemary Pauline Winner Blankenship Michaelis leaves behind a legacy of love, compassion, and dedication. Her impact on the lives she touched, both within her family and the community, will forever be cherished. Though she may be physically absent, her spirit will live on through the countless memories and stories shared by those who were fortunate to have known her. May her soul find eternal peace, and may her memory continue to inspire us to live with love, kindness, and a sense of adventure.
A memorial service to honor Rosemary's life will be held on Sunday, June 4, 2023, from 9-11 am at Best Funeral Services in Peoria, AZ.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to St. Vincent de Paul Charities, a cause close to Rosemary's heart.