Rosemary Patterson, 87, passed away at Providence Hospital on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009, after a short, but valiant struggle against a rare, severe form of pneumonia. For most of her life she was affectionately known as "Rosie" by family and friends. It was a name that reflected her warm, generous, loving, and friendly outlook on life.
Rosie was born in Cloquet, Minn., on Aug. 29, 1921, to Clarence and Ellen Vallie. A short while after her birth, she moved with her family to Duluth where she was to reside for the next 33 years. In Duluth, Rosie attended St. James Catholic School through eighth grade and she graduated from Denfeld High School in 1939. It was at Denfeld High School, during her junior year, that she first saw and met Vern Patterson, known in those days as Pat, who was to become her husband and best friend for the next 66 years. Rosie has long told family and friends that when she first saw Vern at a school carnival that she said to the girlfriend with her, "I am going to marry that guy." They dated through the rest of high school and after graduation they both went to work; Rosie for the Duluth Woolen Mill and Vern for American Steel and Wire. With the outbreak of WWII, Vern joined the Navy and before he left for basic training, they got engaged. In 1943, with Vern scheduled to be shipped overseas for combat duty, Rosie boarded a train and traveled to Newport, R.I. where they were married on Mar. 6, 1943, by a Navy chaplin. Two days later, Rosie returned to Duluth to work and await his return. In a short while, the Navy decided that Vern would not be going overseas after all and he was ordered to Cincinnati for an extended period. Rosie rejoined him there and the following year their first child, Jack, was born. When Vern received orders to report for his next assignment in California, Rosie again went home to Duluth where she stayed until Vern rejoined her after the war. In Duluth, two more children were born, a daughter, Sharon, in 1947, and a son, Steve, in 1950.
After a trip to Oregon to visit his brother in 1953, and having endured enough Minnesota winters, Rosie and Vern moved their family to Bend, Ore., in 1954. Their leaving Duluth started a migration of Pattersons and Vallies to Bend, which ended in 1962 with Vern's parents being the last to arrive. About a year after arriving in Bend, Rosie reentered the work force for the first time since her first child was born. After working for several businesses as an office manager, she was offered a job at the Deschutes County Clerk's office where she would remain for the next 24 years. Rosie was elected Deschutes County Clerk for three terms, 12 years, and retired from that position in 1982.
Upon retiring, Rosie and Vern moved to Southern Oregon to be near their son and daughter who had located there years ago. They built their "dream house" on the Rogue River in the Gold Ray Estates and they lived there for 18 years. Wanting to be closer to family and other services, they sold their river house and moved to Western Carriage Estates outside Jacksonville. Two years ago, they moved to Anna Maria Creekside Retirment Resort in Medford, where they have been extremely happy.
Rosie was always an active person with many hobbies and interests. In her earlier years, she was an excellent seamstress and loved sewing. She also loved to do crafts, knitting, reading, etc. and one very seldom saw her hands empty. Traveling would rank high on her list of things to do. She has been to Europe four times, to Alaska, on several cruises, and traveled to most states.
A deeply spiritual person, Rosie was always involved in her church. Since their move to Southern Oregon, Rosie and Vern have been members of The Sheppard of the Valley Catholic Church in Central Point, and Rosie was an active member of the Catholic Daughters organization.
Rosie was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Ellen Vallie; brothers, Rodney and David Vallie; and her sister, Jean Woodall. She is survived by her husband, S. Vernon Patterson; son, and daughter-in-law, Jack and Andrea Patterson, of Medford, Ore.; daughter and son-in-law, Sharon and Jim Hardy, of Medford, Ore.; and her son and daughter-in-law, Steve and Angela Patterson, of Wheeler, Ore. Rosie loved her grandchildren and was very proud of them. They include: Bryan Patterson (Carie), Atlanta, Ga., Angela Weathers (Scott), San Diego, Calif., Wendy Jones (Chris), Medford, Ore., Jeremy Rich (Marla), Carver, Minn., Amy Patterson and Athena Patterson, both of Portland, Ore. In addition to her grandchildren, Rosie shared her love with six great-grandchildren.
Rosie took great joy from life and in return, she gave joy to all who knew and loved her. She will be missed but never forgotten.
A memorial Mass and reception will be held at Shepherd of the Valley Church in Central Point on Friday, Feb. 27, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. The reception will be followed by an interment ceremony at the Eagle Point National Cemetery at 2:00 p.m. For additional information, contact Conger-Morris Funeral directors at 541-664-3361.