Rosemary Strelcheck, 87, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and longtime Bessemer businesswoman, died on Thursday, March 6, 2014, in Wakefield, with her children at her side.
She was born on Feb. 7, 1927, and was the daughter of Silvio and Rosina (Mascotti) Brentar. She attended St. Sebastian Grade School and graduated from A.D. Johnston High School in 1944.
On July 31, 1948, Rosemary married Donald P. Strelcheck, also of Bessemer, at St. Sebastian Catholic Church with the Rev. David Harris officiating. From 1950 to 1955, she and her husband operated Don's Flower Corner. Don and Rosemary also operated the Motel-ette at the corner of Sophie and Sellar streets during the 1960s. In 1955, they purchased the Gamble store located on Lead Street. In 1960, they moved the business to South Sophie Street.
Don passed away in 1967, and Rosemary and her son Jerry continued the business as a hardware, giftware and furniture business until November 2005. The Gamble store was a daily stop for many people in the community to come in and visit with Rosemary. She loved to offer the Gamble store as the center for merchandise, schedules and tickets for many town events including the Fourth of July festivities, the Bessemer Booster Club and Pumpkinfest.
Rosemary's deepest love was for her family. She always had after-school treats for the grandchildren as they made their way home from Washington School by the way of the Gamble store. Even more special was the time she took each day with each grandchild, one by one, to listen to them as they told her about their day in school. The grandchildren always left the store better and more relaxed than when they entered.
Rosemary is survived by her children, Jerry (Paulette) Strelcheck and Ginny (George) Boline, all of Bessemer; her grandchildren, Mark (Celeste) Strelcheck, of Portland, Ore ., Jill (Scott) Stempihar, of Superior, Wis ., Jamie (Brandon) Petermann, of Glendale, Ariz ., and Brian Boline, of Stamford, Ct. Also surviving are three great-grandchildren, Nevaeh Mae Strelcheck, Sam Thomas Stempihar and Jocelyn Rose Petermann; and arriving soon, great-grandchild Stempihar. She is also survived by her brothers-in-law, Bill (Mary) Strelcheck and Francis (Gloria) Strelcheck. Also surviving are a very special niece, Mary Ann Novascone, and special friend, Gerry Massa. Numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews still survive.
The family would like to thank the staff and caregivers at Gogebic Medical Care Facility for seven years of exceptional care. These people were a part of Rosemary's extended family.
Besides her husband and her parents, Rosemary was preceded in death by her sister and brother-in-law, Ann and Domenic Novascone; brother and sister-in-law, Leno and Mae Brentar; brother and sister-in-law, Mario and Ruth Brentar; and brother-in-law, James Strelcheck.
Cremation has taken place.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at a later date.
Range Funeral Service and Crematory, Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home of Bessemer is assisting the family.