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Rosemary Ann Schmiedeler (nee Kinsella) passed away peacefully at home on July 19, 2022 with family by her side. She was 90 years old. Those who knew Rosemary realize she will be remembered by so much more than the what the last four years of dementia tried to erase. She was tenacious and loved by many. Family, faith, and education were Rosemary’s superpowers that helped her persevere no matter what the challenges she faced throughout her long life. These are the cornerstones of her life by which she will be best remembered. Rosemary was born in Chicago, IL. on November 10, 1931 to William and Rose Kinsella and had two older brothers. She attended an all-girls school, Trinity High School, in River Forest, and forever remained fond of her Chicago roots and all this great city has to offer. She made frequent trips back over the years, often with grandkids in tow, creating lasting memories that include time spent at the Deer Path Inn, Lake Michigan, Cub’s and Sox’s games, Loyola University, Lincoln Park Zoo, museums, and visiting friends and relatives. However, Rosemary’s favorite pastime when visiting any city was to check out the public library. Regrettably, during a visit to the new and architecturally impressive Seattle Public Library, Rosemary left behind, never to be retrieved, a small leather pouch that contained her father’s rosary, which she carried with her everywhere. Following high school, Rosemary traveled by train from Chicago to Kansas City in 1949 to attend Mount St. Scholastica College, an all-girls school in nearby Atchison where she graduated in three years with a Bachelor of Arts. Although Rosemary was academically bright by all accounts, it is believed her expedited degree completion had more to do with the fact that Rosemary, a cheerleader, set her sights on a handsome basketball player at St. Benedict’s (later Benedictine College) who was a class ahead and due to graduate in 1952. So, three years it would be. It was at the same train station, Union Station, that brought Rosemary to Kansas City over 70 years ago that the love of her life, John, proposed. The two would later marry immediately following graduation and kickoff their honeymoon with box seat tickets to a White Sox’s double header. John’s idea of heaven. A harbinger for Rosemary of many sports-filled days ahead. Later the newlyweds returned to Kansas City to begin building their family of seven daughters and decades-long careers within Catholic education. Rosemary was forever shaped by and grateful for the topnotch education and faith formation the Benedictine Sisters provided her. A special highlight occurred in the early 80s when Rosemary received a call from the Mount inviting her to meet Mother Teresa during an unpublicized drop off at the Kansas City Airport following a private retreat in Atchison. Rosemary forever cherished getting to hold Mother Teresa’s hands, pray with her, and share something about her seven daughters and their service-related career choices. Rosemary also made many lifelong friends while attending the Mount and together with John met and maintained friendships with several couples in their early days of marriage in Kansas City that have endured across generations. Rosemary earned a master’s in library sciences, a goal she set for herself and one she never lost sight of even as her own family expanded. She acknowledged within her thesis the “joyous interludes” her grandchildren provided her as she worked to complete her research. Across her career, Rosemary served as the librarian for several Catholic High Schools (Lillis, Hogan, and St. Teresa’s Academy), taught at Notre Dame de Sion Lower School, and post retirement returned to establish libraries at Hogan Charter and University Academy. Her daughters often joked that their mother was still building her resume into her 80s. She earned a scholarship from the American Library Association to study the works of the Bronte sisters at Connecticut College. Rosemary shared her love of literature with others throughout her life whether it be during book clubs with friends, leading “Ladies in Literature” author tours across the U.S. with students, or while attending author and book-signing events around town with anyone she could coax into joining her. She was especially proud (and forward thinking) of a grant she wrote that resulted in St. Teresa’s Academy having the first networked high school library in the KC Metro Area that provided internet access to search the public library’s and several local university libraries’ collections and databases. Most of us were not clear what she was even talking about in the late 80s and early 90s regarding technology and the “internet,” but looking back Rosemary more than proved to us that she did in fact know a thing or two. Rosemary knew a lot of other important information and taught her loved ones many valuable lessons much of which is reflected in the work of the various groups and associations that she was involved with across the years, including NAMI, Westwood Woman’s Club, St. Agnes Altar & Rosary Society, KC Public Libraries, KCPT, and the Truman Library. Rosemary encouraged and mentored not only her daughters but countless others to pursue educational opportunities. In addition, she was a tireless advocate for access to health and mental health services for veterans. Two things Rosemary would encourage anyone to get (and use) if they do not already have them are library and voter registration cards. Rosemary was preceded in death by her beloved husband, John L. Schmiedeler, daughter, Mary Jo, parents, William and Rose Kinsella, and two brothers, James and William Kinsella. She is survived by her daughters: Patricia McKenna (Michael), Suzanne Barnthouse (Michael), Dorothy Schmiedeler, M. Teresa Schmiedeler (Paul Welling), Judith Donnellan (Phil), and Kathleen Howe (Samuel). Rosemary is also survived by 11 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren: Jeffrey (Jill), Brian (Jaye), John, David (Jill), and Katherine Rose Barnthouse; Mary and Patrick McKenna; Kathleen, Michael and Matthew Donnellan; Margaret Welling; and four great-grandchildren, James and Bradley Barnthouse; and Benjamin and Lily Barnthouse. Also surviving are many much loved relatives on both sides of the Schmiedeler and Kinsella families. Rosemary’s daughters are grateful for the many years and many memories they shared together. They can think of no better words to capture Rosemary’s spirit, than to borrow the following from one of her favorite authors, Emily Bronte: No coward soul is mine, No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere: I see Heaven’s glories shine, And faith shines equal, arming me from fear. May you rest in peace, Rosemary. Private family service. A Mass and Celebration of Life to be scheduled for late fall. The family recommends in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the John L. Schmiedeler Scholarship at Benedictine College, Attn: James Kew, 1020 N. Second St., Atchison, KS 66002; or to the Benedictine Sisters at Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, KS https://www.mountosb.org/donate/make-a-donation/. Condolences to the family may be left at www.muehlebachchapel.com.
Saturday, December 3, 2022
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