Rosanne Klea Armstrong, age 92, of Burdett, New York, passed from this life peacefully at dawn on Sunday, March 18, 2018. Rosanne had been a resident at Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility in Montour Falls for two years; her husband, John Gormley, gratefully having been allowed to assist in her daily care and support. With courage, determination and acceptance she transformed her "dementia" into a process of healing and completion. Abundant thanks to the entire staff for their compassionate care and to her co-residents for their friendship.
Rosanne was the first of four children of Wanda Amanda Kempton, a music teacher and an accomplished pianist, and Paul Harold Armstrong, an industrial chemical engineer. She was born in 1926 in the home of her maternal grandparents in Utica, Ohio. She grew up in Cleveland along with her siblings, Enaid, Edwin and Linda. The family spent many happy sojourns at a family cottage on Hamilton Lake in Northern Indiana. She was exposed to the fine arts as a young girl with frequent visits to the Cleveland Museum of Art and attendance at concerts of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra. She attended John Marshall High School where she was a member of several school organizations and the illustrator for the school paper. She graduated in 1943 and with two scholarships she attended the Cleveland Institute of Art which set her on a life-time of creative accomplishments. She once said that her deepest desire was to become an artist. She continued throughout her life to produce sketches, paintings, portraits, and water colors that brought delight to many. As an art teacher she taught many children, now adults, to appreciate the beauty in life and how to express it in their own creative works.
Later on, as an excellent and very loving and sensitive and compassionate yoga teacher for several years, she helped many people learn how to improve and enhance their physical and spiritual lives. Her own deep and developing spirituality was always quietly, peacefully and gently evidenced. She studied under several Native American teachers. She revered the sacredness of Mother Earth, Father Sun, and Grandmother Moon-all manifestations of the Great Mystery that encompasses us with love and calls us forward. She was an excellent cook, loved gardening, loved music, had a lovely singing (and humming) voice, and was an avid reader.
Rosanne raised four beautiful and wonderful children in her first marriage: Mark, Heidi, Matthew and Peter and set them on their way with her constant love and support. And she suffered and survived the heart-breaking loss of Matthew when he was 37. And now her five grandchildren: Klea, Joshua (Emily), Brittany (Christopher), Ethan and Caitlin continue in their own lives to mirror the goodness, the truth and the wisdom they learned from her as well as from their good parents. Brittany and her husband, Christopher, are now preparing for the birth of Rosanne's first great-grandchild in September. Rosanne is survived by her husband for 45 years John; her son Mark (Diane) and family; daughter Heidi (Blake) and her son Joshua; son Peter (Claire); sister Linda; special niece Salowa (Kirk); special nephew Brian (Shelly); other nieces and nephews; in-laws, and many dearly cherished friends.
In two different marriages she sacrificed and gave so many years of her life faithfully, patiently, lovingly, and supportively as a help-mate to her spouses. During her whole life Rosanne has helped many of her friends when they have been troubled or having difficulties in their lives and they will never forget her. Her kindness, her generosity, her love of life, her joyousness, her radiant smile and her unique sense of humor and full-hearted laughter have enriched the lives of all who have known her. The way Rosanne lived her whole life is the Masterpiece of this remarkable woman. The world is a better, more beautiful place because of her presence in it. A gathering of family and friends to honor and celebrate Rosanne's life is planned for a future date. Arrangements are under the direction of Vedder and Scott Funeral Home, Montour Falls.