RIO/DEFOREST-Rosemary V. “Roni” Nelson, age 85, passed away peacefully at the Columbia Health Care Center on May, 18th, 2019. By her side was Russ Nelson-her beloved husband of over 65 years; also with her were her children. She was born on November 4, 1933, in Racine, the daughter of Andrew and Mary (Best) Vassh. When Rosemary was the young age of 13, her mother became sick with a terminal cancer. Being the oldest daughter, she took over the task of running the household and caring for her younger sisters and brother. When her mother died at the young age of 37, heartbroken Rosemary made a promise that she would live half of the rest her life for her. That promise turned out to shape the person she would become. She grew up in Racine, WI, and attended St. Catherine’s High School. She met the love of her life and married Russell Nelson on October 7th, 1953 at Notre Dame Cathedral in Laon, France. Russell served in the Air Force and was stationed there. He sent for Rosemary to join him. They lived in Laon, France for 3 years and returned in 1956 with two children; a son born in Germany and a daughter born in France. They went on to have four more children and raised them in the DeForest area. Rosemary worked part time as a server at the Thunderbird Club in DeForest for many years. It’s there that she became “Roni”. Her family was her number one priority. Later in life after her children were raised, she continued to share her enthusiasm and love for life and turned to caring for the elderly. Loving them as her own, she imagined her own mother in their sweet faces. She worked at Oakwood, Middleton Village and the Sun Prairie Health Care Center where she was an Assistant Activities Director. She brought life, fun and joy to all those around her. If Roni was in the room, that’s where you wanted to be. Roni had a strong faith and was devoted to prayer. She would begin each day praying the rosary for her family and many others. She had Russ place large wooden crosses in clear view amongst the large Oak trees of their rural property. She had a resounding faith in our Creator…the very reason she was a radiant light in the lives she touched. She loved nature and animals, especially the hummingbirds that danced at her breakfast window. She had a special love for tulips and took several trips to the tulip festivals in Michigan and Iowa with Russ. Roni was gifted and talented, always creating beauty with her limitless abilities. The holidays at home were especially enchanting with all the hand painted ceramics and twinkling lights in every corner. She had a story to share with each grandchild as they stepped into her magical world. She was a gifted writer of poetry and of many handwritten letters to her family. The letters are now lasting keepsakes of her love for us. Roni had a love for music (the louder the better) and loved to dance. As a young mother looking for a hobby, she took Polynesian dance classes at the YMCA. It was the beginning of a lifelong love for the music and the Hawaiian culture. She went from student to teacher, sharing all that she knew. Her husband, daughter, son and later granddaughters, would become part of the show, entertaining at luaus and summer parties. She has now arrived to a resounding “Aloha” at Heaven’s gate. Dad, thank you for “finding the right girl”. It’s no wonder you never left mom’s side. You are both loved beyond measure. #Eagles. “Aloha Mom…until we meet again.” She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Russ; her children, Dain (Carol) of Naperville, IL, Katherine (Keith) Popp of DeForest, WI, Dale (Rose) of Oxford, WI, Karen (Jeff) Durst of DeForest, WI, and Derek (Christi) of Hudson, WI; her 15 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; her sister, Dolores (John) Verway of Las Vegas, NV; her step-sister, Sandra Clark of Racine, WI; her sister-in-law, LaVerne Puchter of Oconomowoc, WI; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her infant son, Wayne; her brothers, Andrew and John Vassh; a sister, Mary Scholz; a step-sister, Patricia Vance; and her brother-in-law, Richard Puchter. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 23, 2019, at ST. OLAF CATHOLIC CHURCH, 623 Jefferson St., DeForest, with Fr. Vincent Brewer officiating. A luncheon will follow at the Parish Center. Burial will be held at St. Olaf Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of the Mass at the church on Thursday. “To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart and sing it back to them when they have forgotten.” Thomas Chandler Roni’s family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the staff at the Columbia Health Care Center and Agrace Hospice for their support and care. In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to the Dementia Society of America. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services Windsor/DeForest Chapel 6924 Lake Road (608) 846-4250
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Rosemary V Roni Vassh Nelson November 4 1933 May 18 2019 (age 85).
Death notice for the town of: De Forest, state: Wisconsin