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Rosemary Avaritt

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Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:30-31, New International Version


Saturday, January 19, 2013, Rosemary Avaritt left behind the challenges of a body that could no longer keep up with her and moved on to a place of unlimited creative opportunities for gardening, cooking, sewing, crafts, and conversation. Rosemary was born in Saltillo, Texas in 1928 to Herbert and Verona (Dickerson) Avaritt as the third of six children. She graduated from Saltillo high school in 1946. She lived in Tyler, Dallas, Lamesa, Sweetwater, Arlington, and retired in Sulphur Springs, Texas before moving to Edmond, Oklahoma. 

Rosemary's kids include Rosanne Baker (Todd Baker) of Edmond, Nancy Hutchison (Karen Peterson) of Seattle, as well as her son, Mark Hutchison who had preceded her in death. Her grandchildren are Staci Denney Kern, Jamie Denney, Jessan Hutchison-Quillian, Rose Sherwood, and Jacob Peterson; the great grandchildren are Austin Denney and Maximus Denney. Rosemary's sister Shirley Moore lives in Greenville, Texas and her brother, Frank Avaritt resides in Garland, Texas. Sisters Kathryn Orren, Frances (Bitsy) Avaritt, and Cinda Patrick preceded her in death.

In Tyler, young Rosemary worked as a switchboard operator and in Dallas at Altec as a secretary, taking dictation in her beautiful script and typing like greased lightening. She worked as church secretary for the Presbyterian Church in both Lamesa and Sweetwater, then shifted into the field of medical record librarian which she continued even after retirement as a volunteer at Edmond Medical Center. Not one to sit around, Rosemary also volunteered through the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) and was a member of Eastern Star. She attended both the First United Methodist Church and the First Presbyterian Church in Sulphur Springs and the Santa Fe Presbyterian Church in Edmond.

When she retired to Sulphur Springs, Rosemary quickly turned a non-descript grass patch into “Yard of the Month” and an ongoing source of pleasure and pride. Rosemary loved living in Sulphur Springs and loved to garden. Her own yard and garden weren't challenge enough so she became a Texas Master Gardner, working on community projects around town and with the Hopkins County Extension Education Club. In Edmond, she had vegetable and flower gardens in several locations including one at the Santa Fe Presbyterian Church and another at the Baker's home. Rosemary volunteered at the Butterfly Garden at Washington Irving Elementary School, assisting teacher Cheryl Coffelt in helping students learn by doing, and sharing her love of gardening, butterflies, and humming birds. 

One of Rosemary's great pleasures was cooking food to share. Her recipe box is filled with cards, neatly typed or beautifully handwritten, with notes on her special touches that made her cooking memorable to all lucky enough to enjoy some-and that means lots of folks because she shared salads, casseroles, or sweet treats all over town. For many years Rosemary volunteered as a Master Judge of Household Arts for county fairs and festivals. She also collected a colorful stack of prize ribbons at the Hopkins County Fall Festival, winning often for preserves and deserts plus Best of Show awards for pound cake and horticulture.

Rosemary enjoyed bright colors and dressed with style. As an accomplished seamstress with extremely high standards, she created a wardrobe of beautifully tailored clothes and accessories. She enjoyed customizing her clothes with butterflies, fringe, or a touch of bling. Rosanne inherited that talent for style and eye for color and together the two turned Rosemary's homes into showplaces. Rosemary and Nancy liked to garden together and take care of fix-it projects. 

Rosemary's last home was at Quail Ridge Assisted Living in Oklahoma City. Her family gratefully acknowledges the loving care of the staff there as well as the good meals shared at Ava's table. Integris Hospice of Oklahoma County, including Gay, Donna C., and Karen, provided expert care to Rosemary and the family.

At Rosemary's request, no formal services will be held. Plans are in progress for friends to gather at the Santa Fe Presbyterian Church in the spring to plant some roses as a memorial. For those who wish to honor the life of Rosemary, the family suggests making a donation to OKC Beautiful. This non-profit organization provides trees and flowers in the greenscape areas of Oklahoma City. You may send a memorial gift to OKC Beautiful, 3535 N. Classen Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73118. Please note "In Memory of Rosemary Avaritt" on the Memo.

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