Rosalie Agnes (Thorson Jenne) MacCary was born on Feb. 4, 1934 in Wenatchee, to Earl and Helen Marie (Jensen) Thorson. She passed away peacefully on July 17, 2013 in Spokane.
She touched the lives of many people in her work to provide services to the disabled, the blind and senior citizens, but her reach was so much more. She remembered everyone she met, and neighbors and acquaintances often became good friends.
From the time she was four until she was six, Rosalie and her mother lived in a simple log cabin in the Methow Valley next to the river. She loved to gather the first buttercups of spring near her old home in Colville. It was a tradition she continued with her husband Mac for many years.
Rosalie valued education and she earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish in the 1950s, a teaching certificate, and a master’s degree of fine arts (specializing in poetry) in 1992. As one of the few women attending college at the University of Chicago in 1951, she was forging the way for future generations.
Rosalie loved the color blue. She enjoyed word games, puns, and humorous and creative use of language.
Rosalie was fascinated by genealogy and searched for her roots in Norway and Denmark. Eager to communicate with her relatives in Norway, Rosalie decided to learn Norwegian in the 1990s. She was such a talented linguist that se was fluent in Norwegian, Spanish and English. An active member, she later taught Norwegian at the Sons of Norway. Rosalie made several trips to Norway and enjoyed a warm relationship with her many Norwegian cousins.
She was a committed correspondent, sending cards and letters to friends, family, and acquaintances, always remembering birthdays and anniversaries. She maintained ties to many of her former high school classmates and attended every reunion in Colville.
Rosalie lived in Boulder, Colorado from 1965-1982. She and Mac found each other there in 1973 and took their first vows together in 1974. They were officially married in 1977 in the Unitarian Church. She worked with Boulder County to provide transportation to senior citizens. One of her acquaintances was poet Florence Becker Lennon.
She and Mac took many driving trips throughout the western United States in search of Utopia. While they never found a physical place to fit the definition, the search together became their Utopia.
Rosalie and Mac were avid gardeners, and ran a health food store and restaurant in Cheney. They were active members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane for many years, serving on various boards and committees. Rosalie was an avid poet and she and Mac enjoyed attending poetry readings together. Rosalie and Mac rescued and adopted numerous cats and dogs and even one intrepid escargot.
Mac said, “I often told Rosalie that if she were a Catholic, the Pope would beatify her. I never met anyone else like her. In all the time I knew her, she never had a bad word for anyone.”
She is survived by her loving husband, Lawrence “Mac” MacCary; sister Eva Payne; brother Dave Cronawert; son Ralph Jenne; daughters Roseanna and Serena Jenne; stepdaughters Kae Warnock and Laura MacCary; grandchildren Helen, Ben, Carissa and Naia; and many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews in the Pacific Northwest as well as in Denmark and Norway.
A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane on Saturday, August 3 at 2 p.m.