August 28, 1934 July 12, 2020
Rosemarie Wetherbee of Colorado Springs, Colorado passed into the Lord's hands whilst surrounded by loving family on July 12, 2020 at Brookdale Monument Valley Park.
Rosemarie (our "Oma") was born in Dieen am Ammersee in Bavaria, Germany to Josef and Anna Mayr on August 28, 1934. She was raised in a small town just northwest of her birthplace called Schwifting, in the district of Landsberg am Lech. Oma and her older sister, Hilde, lived in the chaos and devastation of Nazi Germany as young girls. Their father, Josef, was the local police chief; he was forced to the Eastern Front during WWII, where he was apprehended by Russian forces and imprisoned as a POW for ten years. As a young woman, Oma gave license to her entrepreneurial spirit and began her own soap and candle business. She also worked at a small town market until she met her future husband, John ("Opa") Wetherbee, who at the time was an Air Force Master Sergeant and later retired as a Senior Master Sergeant. Opa was stationed in Landsberg in the 1950's and met Oma at a regional shooting range where she shot with her father and was a champion markswoman. The couple was wed in Landsberg am Lech, Germany on April 22, 1957.
Opa was soon reassigned to Plattsburgh AFB in New York; it is there that their first son, Edward ("Ed") Wetherbee, was born in 1958. In 1959, Opa and Oma were assigned to Germany once again, this time to the Air Force installation in Sembach. Oma became a US citizen on June 16, 1960 and gave birth to her daughter, Heidrun ("Heidi"), in Augsburg later that same year. The couple received their second son, Anton ("Tony") Wetherbee in 1964 in Landstuhl, Germany. Following his birth the family was transferred to McGuire AFB in New Jersey, albeit their stay was brief, as in 1965 the family moved to Colorado Springs where Opa was stationed at Peterson AFB and also worked at NORAD. The family purchased a home in Security/Widefield and made Colorado their permanent residence.
Oma is remembered by all who knew her as a generous and sincere woman whose enduring smile was contagious and unforgettable. She loved a good belly laugh and truly savored having her home filled with the noises and bustle of her children and grandchildren. Oma spent countless hours of her life cooking and baking for those she loved, particularly substantial traditional Bavarian meals, cookies, cakes and other delicacies. One Christmas season in the early '90's, Oma and Opa baked and decorated over 30,000 holiday cookies out of one single oven to fulfill the copious cookie orders placed with Opa's home-operated bakery business! Oma and Opa reveled in regularly embarking upon scenic road trips throughout Colorado, and they also drove cross-country on occasion to visit family in Massachusetts.
Oma enjoyed crocheting very colorful afghans and gifted them to all three children, her four grandchildren and friends. She lovingly crocheted many hats for newborns with the "Piecemakers" women's group at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Security and distributed them to local hospitals. She also helped deliver food to local families in need through her church's food pantry. Oma graciously cared and cooked for one of her neighbors, an elderly widow, for many years before her passing; similarly, she cared for multiple German friends who had likewise married into the Air Force and been uprooted from Germany to Colorado military bases. A couple of these friends passed from cancer, and Oma visited them daily throughout the course of their treatments to bring them healthy homemade food, drive them to oncology appointments, fetch anything they needed from various stores, and pick up their medications. Oma unconditionally opened her heart to so many people and offered a level of compassion that is unparalleled. Oma was, of her very essence, a nurturer - from lovingly and dedicatedly raising her children and grandchildren to caring for the elderly or the hungry. You could always count on Oma.
Our Oma had a penchant for recounting her colorful memories with loved ones. She had many entertaining stories to share with her grandchildren and friends about transiting multiple cross-Atlantic moves and the various places the family lived while her husband served in the Air Force for over 25 years. She reminisced about her youth in turbulent 1940s Germany only sparingly, but her children and grandchildren were benefactors of the wisdom she cultured from her unique experiences. Her stories painted images of the idyllic beauty of rural Bavaria, the tenacity to survive, and her romance with a young American airman. Oma's memories are ingrained in and treasured by those she left behind.
Oma was preceded in death by her parents and husband. She is survived by her sister, Hilde Kmpfle; eldest son, Ed Wetherbee; daughter, Heidi Crosbie; and youngest child, Tony Wetherbee. She has four grandchildren: Kendra Felice, Mac Wetherbee, Blake Wetherbee and Katherine Sayles. Oma has two great-grandchildren, two-year-old Barrett Felice and newborn Wesson Felice.
Oma's services will be held at Fort Logan National Cemetery, 4400 W Kenyon Ave., Denver, CO 80236, on August 28th, 2020 at 11:15am. A graveside gathering will take place adjoining her husband's plot at 4pm. Donations in her honor may be made to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) online at https://www.casappr.org/
, by calling (719)447-9898 x. 1042 for Nina Horton, or by mailing donations to CASA (Attn: Nina Horton), 418 S Weber St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903.