Rose Leah Swalander passed away Jan. 27 at her Elma home. She left this world quietly and without pain. The mother of three, grandmother of 11, and great-grandmother of 21, Rose Leah, known to many as Rosie, was a tower of strength to her family and friends.
Rose Leah was born in Twin Falls, Idaho on July 14, 1938, to John and Ruth Gorow. She had two older brothers: George and John. The brothers adored their little sister and were always concerned about her feelings. After her parents passed away, Rosie did her best to hold the little family that was left together. She often made calls to one of the brothers to say, “Have you called your brother lately?”
Rosie graduated from Franklin Pierce High School. She married her husband Ed Swalander Aug. 4, 1956. She and Ed settled down and started their family in Puyallup. They moved to Elma in 1971 when their three children were very young. Ed worked for the phone company and was a gentleman farmer. At various times, Rosie worked for Loertscher Chiropractic Clinic and Zepp Logging.
Rosie and Ed raised three remarkable children in Elma. They are some of most hard working, practical and family-oriented people you would want to know. The three children, their children and grandchildren are a proud legacy Rosie has left for us.
Rosie attended most all the activities her children and grandchildren participated in. Whether it was a ball game, concert, livestock show, performance or school function, Grandma Rosie was there. This demonstrated to these children the importance of love to family.
One of the characteristics that everyone saw in Rosie was the smile. The beaming smile she had for everyone. It was much more than just a facial feature, it was a look that said, “You are important to me.” Even those last few days when she had suffered tremendous pain, whenever any of the family members were able to visit her, they could see that beautiful smile begin to form.
Rose Leah was preceded in death by her parents, John and Ruth Gorow, and her brother George Gorow. She leaves the family that meant so much to her. This includes her loving husband, Ed, her three children: Robert (Doris), Ruth (Terry) Malyjurek and Roger (Julie). Also, her eleven grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and her caring brother John. They all know Rosie is still looking down and wishing the best for them. She had unconditional love for all members of her family.
A celebration of life for Rose Leah is scheduled for Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. in the McCleary VFW Hall.
In lieu of flowers, consider a donation be made to “Swalander Reunion.” Donations will be used to purchase a memorial in Rose Leah’s memory for the Panhandle 4H camp. Panhandle had a special place in Rosie’s heart. She enjoyed many Swalander Family reunions at the camp. It was an event she looked forward to every year. She was surrounded by family, young and old.
Donations may be sent to: Swalander Reunion, 2203 62nd Ave NW, Olympia, Wa 98502