Rosella M. Wahlburg, nee Erickson, born May 15, 1924, passed gracefully into the loving arms of God to be with her beloved Robert in Heaven on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022.
Rosella “Rosie” and Bob were married for 63 years prior to his passing in 2011. Their years together not only brought joy to them and their immediate family, but Rosella found extreme delight in opening her heart and home to everyone she encountered, making them feel as though they had been part of her family forever. Her door was always open with pastries and piping hot coffee. To say she was the “hostess with the mostest” just might be the understatement of the century! Robert and Rosie were known for bringing people together in the most fantastic ways; with elegant dinner parties, roaring theme parties, ladies’ luncheons, holiday meals, and the infamous family picnics at Fox Lake.
Rosella was the youngest of three siblings. Her childhood was rooted in the North Park area of Chicago and the family peony farm in Lake County. Rosella attended Northern Illinois University and earned her teaching degree. She worked as an elementary school teacher prior to starting her own family. She had a love of reading and often encouraged kids to pick up a book starting with early classics such as “Dick and Jane.” She always emphasized the importance of education and encouraged her family and children to excel in academics. Throughout her life, she demonstrated a quiet but devout faith. As her name sake implies, Rosie loved flowers, especially peonies and all things pink. Her therapy was often of the retail type. She loved clothes, shoes, and could never pass up a good sale! She was always dressed to impress.
Rosella was the backbone of her family, often caring for her elders. Family connection was her foundation. She took homemaking to heart, always making her house a home where she was the support behind her husband and children, Burt and Nancy’s, success. Her house often operated like clockwork, like a well-oiled machine, but the constant unpredictable variable that brought that extra sparkle to her eyes and laugh was always the family dog….from Duke to Dano to Beauregard to all her grand-dogs and great-grand dogs….. Rosie lived for slipping them a special treat and a loving pat. Her ultimate joy was found in her four grand daughters, always encouraging them to strive for their best and find a love like she and Bob shared.
In addition to her dedication to family, Rose gave countless hours of time volunteering at Uhlich orphanage, Swedish Covenant Hospital and the YMCA. Rosie often found time to visit those that were elderly or home bound to brighten their day.
During their retirement, Bob and Rosie enjoyed time at their lake house, and condo in Punta Gorda, FL. On any given morning, you would be sure to find them together at the table enjoying coffee cake, coffee, and the morning paper. Rosie loved the sale ads while Bob gravitated to the comics and horoscopes. Conversation around the table was always wonderful. Rosie had many favorite dining spots and often planned her week by their dining plans and restaurants, even though everyone knew she was sure to order an end cut or burger well done. No meal was complete without a bowl of ice cream, which she reveled in being the one to introduce all babies to their first bite of ice cream. They enjoyed a beautiful life well lived.
Rosie was preceded in death by her parents, Emma and Carl Erickson, brothers Norman and Elmer Erickson, and husband Robert Wahlburg. She is survived by her son Burton (Eileen) Wahlburg, daughter Nancy (Allan) Sabatka, grand-daughters; Julie (Ian) Lang, Melissa Wahlburg, Casey (Patrick) Campbell, and Jessica (Tim) Hussey, and great-grandsons Bryce Lang, Abraham Mills, in addition to countless relatives and friends.
Visitation will be Wednesday April 27, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. until time of funeral service at 11:00 a.m. at Simkins Funeral Home, 6251 Dempster St. Morton Grove, IL 60053. Interment Ridgewood Cemetery, Des Plaines, IL. Memorial donations may be made to your favorite animal shelter. (847) 965-2500
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