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Rosalie Jacobson

(March 31, 1921 - April 17, 2014)

A wiggle in her step, a giggle in her voice, and a smile with an outstretched hand for someone near — Rose Jacobson brightened the lives of those around her.

Just weeks after celebrating her 93rd birthday with her contagious sense of humor and laughter, beloved and sweet Rose died on April 17, 2014, after a sudden illness.

Rosalie Mary Jacobson was born in Labret, Sask, Canada, on March 31, 1921, into the loving arms of Clara and John Schill, the third of four children. Her mother died while she was in grade school, thus ending her schooling. She was sent to live with and work for relatives.

At an early age Rose ventured off to create a life for herself and look after her little sister, Bertha. The two shared an apartment in Regina, while oldest sister, Laura, stayed on the small farm to cook for their dad. Brother Wilfred entered the Canadian services.

Upon visiting relatives in the United States, Rose met Gerald “Jerry” Jacobson. The attraction was instant. They married in 1946.

Together they had six children and moved throughout the Red River Valley in eastern North Dakota before moving to Montana.

After the youngest was born, Rose began work at the M and J Steakhouse in West Fargo, N.D., and collected silver dollar tips. With a move to Grand Forks, N.D., she discovered a position to showcase her gift of friendliness and sales when she became the fabric department manager for Sears. In a brave venture to better provide for her family, she moved the four remaining school-aged children to Billings, Mont., where she sold major appliances on commission for Sears. After many notable accomplishments and awards, “Rosemary” retired at age 66 in 1987.

Growing up in the Depression, Rose learned the value of hard work and determination which she instilled in her children. She was very frugal and took great care in the upkeep of her possessions.   

In addition to being a talented seamstress, Rose was a great cook, raised wonderful gardens, and into her 80s could run just about any lawn equipment. Her warm laughter filled greetings for friends or strangers and a batch of warm cookies for neighborhood children were lasting traits. No one ever left her home hungry.

She was quite a ham in a small crowd and there was seldom a dare she would refuse. Rose was game for hopping on a horse in her 60s and attempting cross-country skiing for the first time at age 75. She seemed to have endless energy, often stating that if her children took bee pollen, they could buzz around, too!

No matter how far she traveled, she knew someone and greeted them by name.

After retiring, Rose enjoyed watching son Gary’s thoroughbred race horses, taking pride in stewardship of her home and land west of Billings, gardening, dancing, outings with friends and vacations with family. In 2011, Rose moved to Powell.

Music brought out the best in Rose. Tuesday nights and The Travelers enthused a rhythmic beat and smile. It truly was a “happy hour” each week. With even greater joy, her heart bloomed with the delightful visits of her great-grandchildren. She was devoted to her faith, but often wondered why people argued, and couldn’t all worship together in unity.

More than anything, Rose loved her children. She expressed her love and devotion for them to the very end.

Rose leaves behind a legacy of endurance filled with love and laughter, family and faith. Beginning at an early age, she persevered through a hard-hitting life from the passing of her mother, through a difficult marriage, and into memory loss in her later years. Yet, despite it all, Rose maintained her unstoppable humor and faith.

Her brother Wilfred Schill of Nipawin, Saskatchewan, and younger sister Bertha Swanson of Winnipeg, Manitoba, recently passed, leaving only older sister Laura Snider of Regina, Saskatchewan.

Loved ones deeply mourning her loss are her six children: Jeannette (Wayne) Allard of Eagle, Idaho; Carol (Doug) Stockdill of Billings; Jim (Stephanie) Jacobson of Bridger, Mont.; Gary Jacobson of Bridger, Mont.; Rick (Jackie) Jacobson of Billings; and Laurie Vredenburg of Powell (favorite dance partner Dan Zwemer). Also grieving are her nine beloved grandchildren, much adored great-grandchildren, many friends and extended family.

Vigil will be at Smith Funeral Chapel downtown Billings on Tuesday, April 22, at 6 p.m. Services with Mass will be at St. Pius Catholic Church in Billings on Wednesday, April 23, at 11 a.m. A luncheon will follow burial at Calvary Cemetery.

A celebration of life will also be hosted on Saturday, April 26, at 10 a.m. at the Powell Church of Christ for her new friends in Powell.

Memorials may be made to Powell Valley Care Center, West Wing Recreation, 777 Ave. H Powell, WY, 82435.

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