Passed away peacefully on September 28, 2023 in Kalamazoo, Michigan after a very long and worthy life. Rose Marie was born December 21, 1921, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Hjalmer and Mathilda (Meile) Blomquist. She attended the public schools and graduated from Coe College in Cedar Rapids. On July 11, 1942. she married John Harrison Kohl there, just before he left for three years of military service in the South Pacific during World War II. While he was away, she taught school in Muscatine, Iowa. Upon his return at the end of the war, they began the family that was to always remain the center of her life. She was a particularly dedicated and caring wife and mother at a time when society still deeply appreciated the value of these roles. Though her family was always the center of her life, it was never all of it. From her youth when she read to the blind, to her old age when she volunteered to mentor elementary school children, she demonstrated her concern for others. Throughout her life Rose Marie was a volunteer or part-time worker in some of the most constructive institutions in society: churches, schools, libraries, and hospitals. She had come from a highly educated family and learning was always important to her. She had been a superb student when young and was always an avid reader. Her example inspired all her children. Aside from reading, she enjoyed craft shows, quilting, golf (which she played until she was 88), and, perhaps most of all, woodland walks in Michigan parks. In retirement, she was very active in a number of organizations, especially the Kalamazoo Newcomers Group, the Ladies Library Association, and Westwood United Methodist Church. She was always optimistic and loved to be around cheerful people. Rose Marie was predeceased by John, her husband of 70 years, but remaining to cherish her memory are four grateful children: Judy (Terry) Michitsch, Lawrence (Maureen) Kohl, Janet (Thomas) Clemons, Thomas (Patti) Kohl; seven grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. A family gathering is planned to celebrate her life.
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