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Rosemary Lenzen 11/08/2022

Rosemary Lenzen, age 95, of River Falls WI, peacefully passed away in the presence of her children on November 8, 2022 at The Willows in Hudson WI. Rosemary was born February 4, 1927 in Hankinson ND to John and Veronica (Novack) Birnbaum. She grew up on the family farm, attended school at St. Francis Academy in Hankinson and at Providence High School in Chicago IL. Following high school, she taught in a one-room schoolhouse near Hankinson. On August 30, 1948 she married Raymond Lenzen at St Philip’s Catholic Church in Hankinson. In 1949, they moved to River Falls where they farmed in the Clifton Hollow area and eventually moved into River Falls. In 1980 Raymond and Rosemary went out to live in Estes Park CO, returning to River Falls in July 1986. One year later Raymond passed away. In 1987 Rosemary began working at The West Wind in River Falls as a waitress and hostess, serving for over 20 years until retiring at age 85. Rosemary and her husband sang duets in their church choirs for years, and Rosemary continued singing, as well as serving as a sacristan, reader and leading the hymns for daily Masses, right up to her major stroke in May 2018. She was known for beautiful flower beds wherever she lived, and for the tins of delicate Christmas cookies she made and gifted to others for years. She included her children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren in the making and decorating of 100s of cookies. Rosemary enjoyed games with family and friends, especially Cribbage and Scrabble, and taught her great-grandchildren the fun of playing them. She loved lunches with her friends, cooking and baking sumptuous feasts for family gatherings on holidays and birthdays, keeping up contact by email, and traveling to visit her siblings wherever they gathered in Minnesota and North Dakota, or hosting them here in Wisconsin. Rosemary was preceded in death by Raymond, her husband of 39 years; her son André; her son-in-law Larry Smith; her siblings Lawrence, Lorraine, Cecelia “Beanie”, and James “Jimmy”; and all of Raymond’s siblings. She is survived by her daughters Jennifer, Barbara Smith, and Rebecca; her sons Douglas, Raymond, Joseph (Sandy), Michael (Stacy), Bruce, Jeffrey, and John; her grandchildren George (Rhonda), Daniel, Stephen (Jessie), Kristin, Nicole (Alec), Davis, Austin (Ellayna), and Sam; her great-grandchildren Barley and Chloe, Dante and Silvia, Autumn and Chloe, and Kingston; and her siblings John (Pam), Leona, Agnes, and Raymond (Marilyn), as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday, November 19, 2022 at 11 am at St. Bridget Catholic Church 211 E Division Street River Falls, WI.  Visitation was on Saturday, November 19, 2022 from 9-11 am at the church.  Interment was in the St. Bridget Cemetery in River Falls.  Cards and memorials may directed to:  The Family of Rosemary Lenzen C/O Bakken-Young PO Box 43 River Falls, WI 54022.  Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.

Click here to watch the recording of Rosemary’s Mass of Christian Burial


  • Mary Posted November 9, 2022 6:03 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear Mother. She was a wonderful woman and a very good friend of mine for over 50 years. You have my love and prayers

  • Jackie Brux Posted November 9, 2022 8:30 pm

    Rosemary, I love you enough to let you go. To your children, your mother was the most gracious woman I’ve ever known. To Bruce’s ex, I’ve loved you all these years for the flowers you always sent to Rosemary. (She rinsed and fixed them every day, just like I do.) My favorite moments were our once every Sunday scrabble game. We decided she could cheat a little because she was a stroke victim. We always managed to come up with porn or “potty-talk” words! I am so sad that I cannot attend the funeral on the 19th, as I’ll be presenting a paper at a conference in Ft. Lauderdale that day. Rosemary always encouraged me to persevere in my work and writing. To Rosemary’s family, I attended the Mass of Remembrance this week 2 days before Rosemary died, and I thought of all the people who died this last year. I thought of and prayed for Andre. My best to all of you.

  • Erin Tomlinson Posted November 10, 2022 10:01 am

    Ray and Joe, I am sorry for your loss and will remember her as a great neighbor and hard worker. I wonder if she knew that we were talking about her Tuesday? We will toast to her tonight when we are at the Westwind.

  • Tom Magee Posted November 10, 2022 5:19 pm

    Rosemary had a wonderful sense of humor and wit. I enjoyed every visit and always left smiling. Rest In Peace, Sweetheart. You’re with the Lord whom you prayed to so often.

  • Fred & Yvonne Benson Posted November 12, 2022 9:33 am

    To Rosemary-‘s Fanily,
    Fred and I want to send all of you our deepest sympathies with the loss of Rosemary. She was a icon at the Westwind and was always a hard worker. Rosemary always came to Lumd’s at Christmas to send her wonderful homemade Christmas cookies to her friends and family. Ir gave her great pleasure to share them. Sending you our love and prayers. God Bless you!!!

  • Sandra ADAMIETZ Posted November 15, 2022 9:54 am

    Our deepest sympathies. She must have been such a strong Christian woman and loved by her familoy

  • Cynthia L Hebert Posted November 15, 2022 11:03 am

    Bruce your Mom was a wonderful loving and generous person. She was always so kind to me. She made the most wonderful cookies and always shared them. We shared your wonderful beautiful children and I know they loved and will miss their Grandmother Rosemary. I offer my condolence to you, Ray, John, Joe, Mike, Jeff and the girls. You and your family are in my thoughts and I wish you peace and some good memories of your Mom.

  • Sue Fritz Posted November 16, 2022 8:31 am

    Surely, God threw open heaven’s doors to welcome our dear Rosemary into her heavenly home where she hugged Ray, Andre’ and all her family and friends who went before her. She immediately joined the heavenly choir and is singing again!

    My husband and I were her bacon connection, bringing her meaty, thick-cut, baked bacon to warm In her microwave for breakfast. She beat me at weekly Scrabble games, unless she helped me with a few choice moves. I did a bit better when we played cribbage. She prayed me and my family through little trials and bumps in the road of life. We are blessed to have another saint in heaven who will continue to pray for us all.

    She loved her children and grandchildren and was so proud of them. She embraced life and was a dear friend. Rosemary, I love you and miss you.

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