Rosalee R. "Rosie" Kerk, 90, of Rapid City, SD formerly of Chappell, NE died Friday, December 8, 2023, at The Good Samaritan Society St. Martin Village in Rapid City.
As per her wishes, she was cremated. A private graveside burial in the Lodgepole cemetery will take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers and plants, a memorial has been established in Rosie's name to support education and care of special needs children.
Holechek-Bondegard Funeral Home is assisting the family. Online condolences may be shared on the funeral home website. http://www.bondegardfunerals.com
Rosalee Rae Kerk was born May 23, 1933, in Trenton, NE to Sydney G. and Golda M. (Williams) Finch. The family moved to Crook CO and eventually Oshkosh NE where she graduated from Garden County High School in 1951. She was active in Job's Daughters and served as Honored Queen for Bethel #46 in Oshkosh. She went on to get her teaching certificate at Kearney State Teacher's College and was the drum majorette for the marching band. While home on break, she was working at her parents' drugstore in Lodgepole as a "soda jerk" where she met a young sailor by the name of Willard Kerk. They were married on June 19, 1955, at the Lodgepole Methodist church.
They made their home in Sidney, where Rosie was a Kindergarten teacher, and she gave birth to their three children, Lana, Carter and Andy. The family moved to Lakewood CO in 1961 and 3 years later, decided to leave the bustle of the city and move back home to be closer to family.
They settled in Chappell, NE in 1963 where her husband was the owner/operator of the Kerk Barber Shop. Rosie tended to the home and children, was troop leader for Girl Scouts and den leader for Cub Scouts. She worked as a teacher's aide and taught special ed preschoolers in Sidney at Service Unit #13. Rosie attended Chadron State College and in 1981 earned her bachelor's degree. (She got to experience dorm life and roommates too!) She retired from her teaching job in Sidney in 1998 but continued to volunteer to listen to young children learning to read in the Chappell school system. She LOVED children!
Rosie was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Chappell where she belonged to circle, taught Sunday School, choir, sewed banners, gave the children's sermon, and helped serve funeral dinners.
Rosie enjoyed sewing and painting while family and friends enjoyed her dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls. Rosie served on the advisory board for Home Health/Hospice, served as a hospice and CASA volunteer.
Survivors include her husband, Willard of Rapid City, SD; one daughter and son-in-law, Lana and Chris McCoy of Grand Island, NE; two sons and daughters-in-law, Carter and Colleen Kerk of Rapid City and Andy and Julie Kerk of Hartland, WI; seven grandchildren Nicholas (Crystal) Frederick, Anthony (Melissa) Frederick, Josie (Jacob) Davis, Janna (Tanner) Nelson, Steven Kerk, Sam (Claire) Kerk, Jonah (fiancé-Susie) Kerk and eleven great-grandchildren with the twelfth one on the way, and a host of extended cousins and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and her brother and sister-in-law, Donald and Dolores Finch, and 3 beloved pets, Frosty, Pepper and Jazzy.
Our sincerest thanks to all the staff at the Good Samaritan Society for their tender care of our folks these past few years. We truly appreciate you!