MERRILLVILLE, IN - Rosalee Gene Washburn, 94, longtime resident of Merrillville, to be with the Lord peacefully from her home on July 9, 2019. She was born on March 20, 1925, to Harry and Marguerite Austin in Kansas City, MO. She was affectionately nicknamed "Pat" by her older siblings, June, Marianne and Bob.
Rosalee was introduced to Verne through her brother and his wife, Mance, while both men served in the Air Force in San Antonio, TX. Once married, the couple settled in Gary, IN, where Verne joined his father in the real estate business and Rosalee worked in the accounting department at US Steel. They were soon blessed with three sons, Jim, Rick, and Gregg, and eventually moved to Merrillville in the early 60's. Rosalee was fulfilled as a homemaker and was the most supportive, creative and loving mother and wife. But she loved to take on a new project, talent or hobby! She was a brilliant seamstress, ceramicist, knitter and later took on golf at Innsbrook (Gary) Country Club and Beta Gamma Sorority. She is credited with starting the club's first junior golf program and also opened the Cricket Box gift shop in Chesterton, IN with her friend, Jean Glesne.
She was an active member at 43rd Avenue, Independence Hill, and currently at First Presbyterian Church of Crown Point.
To her family and friends she was an amazing organizer and the gift of hospitality did not escape her as she gathered them for home cooked meals and parties-chicken and noodles on mashed potatoes and beef brisket were her trademark. She relished the summer months going with Verne to farm and you-pick-em stands far and near for fresh produce. Blueberry buckle and putting-up peach pies were an awesome yield. Her favorite place in the world besides sharing Sunday and holiday meals with family, was her garden. She truly had a magic touch with her glorious plantings, flowers and fish pond. Unable to physically garden for the last couple of years, she got her exercise and time with her Creator doing the next best thing-sweeping the patio daily! Rosalee's energetic and gracious character and courage took her well into her 90's on this earth and her strong faith was all she needed to arrive safely Home.
She was preceded in death by, Verne Washburn (2011) and Gregg Washburn (1976). She is survived by sons, Jim Washburn (Char) and Rick Washburn (Cindy): grandchildren, Doug Washburn (Erin), Scott Washburn (Sara), Ashley Abbott (Matt) and Kelsey Wierczgacz (Ben); great- grandchildren, Clara, Tommy and Brooke. The Washburn family is eternally grateful to Follie Hicks and her daughter, Sibongile (Bongi) for being the wings beneath Rosalee's ability to live happily and safely in her home. Their love, friendship and patient support has made all the difference. Deepest gratitude to Anna and her team at VNA Hospice Care for their compassion, skill and comfort for this journey.
Friends may visit with Rosalee's family on Monday, July 22, 2019 from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at BURNS FUNERAL HOME, 10101 Broadway, Crown Point, IN. Funeral Service Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. with additional visitation from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service directly at First Presbyterian Church of Crown Point. Rev. Dr. Jane Lynn Young officiating. Entombment Calumet Park Mausoleum. Contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Crown Point. www.burnsfuneral.com