Rose Marie Speerly

July 5, 1928-March 31, 2019

Rose was born July 5, 1928 to William (Bill) and Marie Roesti Speerly, at the home ranch. She attended school at Node through the tenth grade, then went in to Lusk to finish high school, graduating from the Lusk HighS chool in 1945. Rose was an excellent student and would have been Valedictorian of her graduating class, but at that time Lusk did not accept the grades from rural schools. Later she made the comment that she was glad she wasn’t Valedictorian so she wouldn’t have to give a speech.

After graduation, she went to Denver and attended and graduated form the Parks Business School. After graduating from there, she went to work for New York Life Insurance Company. Also, while in Denver, she modeled clothes. She was a beautiful lady, but commented that she didn’t get paid much for modeling. Rose as also an excellent dancer. For many years her and her dancing partner, Jack Coffee, won contests all around the country. Rose continued enjoying music and dancing even after she was in the nursing home, thanks to Warren Ransom and Betty Marshall, who took her dancing at Manville and the Senior Center many times.

For several years, Rose, her brother Ed, and their good friends and neighbors Johnny Bruegger and his sister Madaline went on vacations together. Some years, not much of a trip, depending on money and how much work they had to do. One year they did travel from coast to coast.

When brother Ed went to the Army, Rose stayed home at the ranch and helped her folks. When Ed returned from the service, Rose went to Jackson, WY, and was bookkeeper and secretary for the Jackson Lake Lodge. A few years later, Rose’s mother became ill and she came back home to take care of her. Rose and Ed remained on the ranch after their folks had both passed away. Rose loved the ranch life, the cattle and sheep and her favorite horse, Goldie. They always had cats but one year they had 23 and Rose said they had to milk two cows to feed the cats and themselves. They remained on the ranch until moving to Lusk in the fall of 2008. They purchased a house and lived there until Ed passed away October 12, 2011. Rose, then not wanting to live alone, moved into Cozy Corner. She resided there until failing health forced her to move to the Niobrara County Nursing home where she passed away March 31, 2019 at the age of 90.

Rose was preceded in death by her mother, father, brother Ed and special friend and dancing partner for 25 years, Jack Coffee. Rose had no other known relatives. There are family you are born with and family you make with friends. Rose had many of the latter, including neighbors, care givers at Cozy Corner, then at the nursing home and at Physical Therapy. The nurses, aids, kitchen workers and the therapist women all loved Rose and always showed their affection right up until the very last. They always gave her chocolate cookies and coffee which she very much looked forward to. She will be sadly missed by her many loving, care-giving friends. Services will be held at the Pier Funeral Home in Lusk on Friday, April 6 at 1:30pm. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to the Cozy Corner of Lusk or Big Country Rehabilitation in Lusk.


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