CALUMET - On Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, Rose Marie Barrons was called by name to return home to the loving arms of Our Heavenly Father.
Rose Marie entered this world on Nov. 16, 1929, at the beginning of the Great Depression. Her parents, John and Mary (Strauss) Stariha immigrated to American from Yugoslavia after her father served in the U.S. Army during WWI.
Rose lived her entire life where she grew up with her sister, Mary, and brothers, Matthew and John.
She met her husband, Stewart, when she applied for a job as a waitress in his restaurant, Barrons Brothers Lunch on 5th Street in Calumet. It was love at first sight and they were married in June of 1947. They were together for 44 years before Stewart went home to be with the Lord.
During that time, they were blessed with six children: Rose Marie (Robert) Klein of Sun Prairie, Wis., Stewart William (Sally) Barrons of Quinnesec, Mich., Joseph, Margaret May (Richard) Keen of San Diego, Calif., Robert James (Holly) Barrons of LaMesa, Calif., and Marilyn Frances (Lloyd) Peabody of Descanso, Calif.
Her children enriched her life with 10 beautiful grandchildren: Kevin, Jason, Suzanne and Michael Klein, Stephanie, Steven and Seth Barrons, Katherine Margaret Keen and Robert and Heather Barrons. Her grandchildren further blessed her with eight great-grandchildren: Kaden and Megan Klein, John, Maxwell and Henry Klein, Juliet Rosalie Klein and Cannon and Aubrey Thompson.
Rose was preceded in death by her son, Joseph, in 1953; husband, Stewart, in 1991; daughter, Marilyn, in 2004; granddaughter, Katherine Keen, in 2006 and son-in-law, Robert Klein, in 2011.
Rose lived a life of love and service for her family, friends and church and spent many hours baking pasties, poticas, cookies and pies. She was a fabulous cook and we will miss her Slovenian walnut and apple poticas made with love and lots of honey and walnuts or apples and raisins.
She loved music - all genres - and she played the piano and accordion in her younger days. Her home was always filled with music streaming from her vinyl record collection, tapes or the radio. She truly believed you could never have a bad day listening to a polka. She also loved classical music and anything by Montovani, Strauss, Bach and Rachmaninoff in addition to Frankie Yankovic. She sang along with Mitch, loved Lawrence Welk and often sang her beloved Slovenian folk songs. She enjoyed religious hymns too, and was never shy expressing her love of God through song in church.
Mom loved to play cards, bingo, crossword puzzles and board games, especially Scrabble. When the young Turner family moved in next door, all the games and puzzles had new life while she spent time with little Lexi, whom she loved dearly, and her brothers. She truly became their U.P. Gramma.
Mom loved to travel and spent many happy days visiting family in San Diego, Detroit and Wisconsin, but she loved her beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula the best. Mom especially loved Bete Grise Bay where we spent many summer days as a family. And, during the past several years, she finally forgave the portion of the Big Lake where she nearly drowned as a kid at Bucky's and enjoyed spending time with family and friends at the cottage on Waterworks Drive.
Rose was a devout Christian and proud member of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church. The church was originally named St. Joseph's which was formed in 1889 by Slovenian immigrants who came to the Calumet area to work in the booming copper mines. She was baptized and married in this church. She and Stewart later became members of Sacred Heart Church while raising their family and she served as a member and later as president of the Ladies Altar Society. During that time, she and the ladies made an inventory of items that had been donated to the church and stored in the church kitchen. Mom typed the list in triplicate using the technology of the day - a manual typewriter and carbon paper. She kept one copy of her work at her home in the cedar chest as a souvenir. That copy proved useful for Lloyd's of London while settling the claim for the fire that destroyed the church on Aug. 13, 1983. All other copies were destroyed in the fire.
Mother was always proud of her labor of love for her church. When St. Joseph's became St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church as part of the Keweenaw Parish consolidation, she returned to her first church and was a very proud and active member of the parish, serving as lector and assisting with historical tours. She loved her church and her pastor.
Mom was a 14-year cancer survivor and was blessed to have been surrounded with loving and caring family, friends and neighbors. Throughout Mom's life, she showed strength, dignity and courage in the face of adversity, inspiring everyone blessed to know her.
The family wishes to thank the health care professionals of Aspirus Keweenaw Home Health for their daily visits last year while Mom lived independently at home. Thanks also to the entire staff of Portage Health and especially Dr. Jahoda, Dr. Wade Liston and Dr. David Kass for their exceptional care and treatment. We will also be forever grateful to the entire staff of the Houghton County Medical Care Facility, where Mom was a resident these past months for their exceptional and compassionate care. Thanks also to Portage Health Hospice for comfort and peace in her last days.
In lieu of flowers or other remembrances, please direct memorials to Houghton County Medical Care Facility or Portage Health Hospice in her name.
Rose's final service and Mass of Christian Burial to celebrate her return to Our Heavenly Father will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, at 11 a.m. in St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church on 301 Eighth St. in Calumet. The Rev. Fr. Abraham Mupparathara will officiate. A luncheon will follow the service.
As it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV)
Mom, may you rest forever in the presence of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and may perpetual light shine upon you. We love you forever.
Ryan Funeral Home in Calumet is assisting the family.