LOUDONVILLE — Rosemary Lifer, 72, of Loudonville died Friday evening, July 3, 2009, in Samaritan Regional Health Systems after suffering an apparent heart attack at her home. Rosemary was born April 12, 1937, into the loving arms of Charles Martin Messner and Rosella Zody Messner, of Loudonville and Perrysville, respectively. She met her lifetime love, Gene F. Lifer, in eighth grade at Loudonville Junior High School, where she first began her lifelong devotion to him by helping with his homework! Rosemary enjoyed growing up in the country and became a finely polished majorette in high school and enjoyed acting in her class plays. Upon graduation in 1955, the following spring she and Gene married.
Rosemary was a spirited renaissance woman. Long before it was remotely commonplace for a woman to work outside the home, she not only worked but owned and partnered with her husband and parents to create and operate Rose-Linn Campground, at the homestead she grew up on from 1968 to 1978. She and her father and husband created and oversaw the entire layout of the campground and excavation of the 100-by-200 yard swimming lake. Rosemary and her mother managed the campground, receiving a four-star Rand McNally rating each season. Rosemary hired and educated 15 to 20 young people each summer, many who returned several seasons. She thought fondly of all of them as “her kids.” In the mid-70s, Rosemary and Gene purchased and operated Culler-Swank Lumber Co.
After a brief retirement, Rosemary opened three locations of Rosemary’s Place, (Loudonville, Millersburg and Mansfield), effective yet comfortable fitness for women. During this time her daughter, Jamie, was partners in owning and operating Loudonville Canoe Livery, where she often helped out. Jamie was also involved in politics, and Rosemary and Gene enjoyed traveling with her.
Throughout Rosemary’s entire life, she looked upon her proudest moments and accomplishments as those of her family’s. Her devotion and loving loyalty to her family could be rivaled by no other.
She is survived by her husband and lifetime sweetheart since eighth grade, Gene F. Lifer; her daughter and forever best friend, Jamie S. Lifer; Aunt Doris Power, Aunt Ardella Miner, both of Chattanooga, Tenn.; sister, Linda Hans, nephew, Kevin Hans, and many cousins of both Messner and Zody heritage.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Rosella Messner; brother-in-law, Calvin Hans; grandparents, David and Ivy Zody, and Willard and Estelle Messner. Rosemary is forever loved, as deeply as humanly possible, by her husband and daughter.
Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday, July 8, at 2 p.m. in the Byerly-Lindsey Funeral Home, Loudonville, with the Rev. James Bennett, officiating. Burial will be held in Greenlawn Cemetery, Perrysville. There will be no visitation.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, P.O. Box 7247-0260, Philadelphia, PA 19170-0260. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.Byerly-Lindsey.com.