Rosemarie Bighouse, 92, formerly of Berryville and Hamilton, passed away peacefully on April 4 at Spring Arbor in Leesburg, with her family by her side.
Rosemarie was born April 21, 1926, in Columbus, OH, to the late Carl and Esther Weisgerber. She was the “Queen of the Family,” sharing her birthday with Queen Elizabeth II, an anecdote Rosemarie was always quick to tell.
In high school, Rosemarie was a volunteer nurse’s aide, a position she took quite a bit of pride in, and considered joining a cadet program for military nursing. While waiting for the program to begin, Rosemarie took a job at the telephone company in the accounting department, enjoyed the work so much and made so many friends, that she stayed.
While in high school, Rosemarie often studied at her friend, Agnes’s, home. During one of these study sessions, she was charmed by Agnes’s older brother, Ed Bighouse. When he was drafted into the Army in World War II, Rosemarie waited for her GI to come home and they married on June 21, 1947. They had a wonderful marriage for 67 years before Ed predeceased her in 2015.
Ed’s career with the Federal Aviation Agency led to homes in Maryland, Bluemont and Hamilton Virginia. Shortly after the family moved to Virginia in 1973, Rosemarie became the parish secretary for St. Francis de Sales Church in Purcellville on a volunteer basis. The position quickly became a paid, part time job, then a full time position, retiring in 1994. Always an active member of St. Francis, Rosemarie volunteered for many church activities. She worked many an antique show and both Ed and Rosemarie chaired the annual event. Rosemarie was also on the church Bereavement Committee for many years.
Rosemarie was very proud of her German roots, often telling stories of her immigrant grandfathers. Her fondest memory was of her baker grandfather, coming down the walk with a basket of fresh pies and goodies from his bakery. Her family was very close, a value she instilled in her own daughters.
Rosemarie enjoyed reading, gardening and spending time with her family. She delighted in her 9 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren and was looking forward to the impeding arrival of her latest great-grandson.
In addition to her husband and parents, Rosemarie was predeceased by her sisters, Ruth, Helen, Margaret, Marylu and brother, Carl.
Rosemarie is survived by her daughters, Susanne (Barry) Walsh of Reston, Jo Ellen Bighouse of Berryville and Janet (David) Hedrick of Leesburg, 9 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews who felt lucky to have “Aunt Rie” in their lives.
A memorial Mass will be held at St Francis de Sales Church, Purcellville, on April 9 at 11 a.m. A private, family internment will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that anyone wishing to honor Rosemarie’s memory, make a contribution to the charities she supported, American Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Foundation and the ALS Association.