Rosa May Elsey
February 13, 1936 – March 29, 2021
Rosa May Elsey, age 85, of Longview, Washington passed away on Monday, March 29, 2021. Rosie was born the fourth of six children, five girls and one boy, to Raymond and Lula Gann(Weaver)in Vinita, Oklahoma, on February 13, 1936.
In 1937, during the Dust Bowl years in Oklahoma, the family migrated to the Hillsboro, Oregon area. They eventually built their home and had a small farm on Milne Road. Six children with Dad and Mom in a 2 bedroom home - to Rosie, it was a palace and a hard-working but great life. Rosie's parents were very loving and hardworking and instilled it in their kids. All 5 girls married quite young and raised their families. Rosie and her 5 siblings took care of their parents for many years, until they both passed on. In 1952, Rosie married Eugene Elsey with the wedding at her parent's home. Their first son was stillborn in 1953. In 1954, their first daughter, Verrena, was born, followed by daughter Cheryl, sons Eugene (Gene) Jr., and Edwin (Ed).
Rosie stayed at home with her children while her husband worked for many years. Eventually, she went to work as a nurse's aide and then went to work at Birdseye Cannery for a few years, and then worked at Gray & Co. a few years before she got a job at Frito Lay. She worked at Frito Lay for 21 years and retired from there when she was 62.
Rosie loved to crochet doilies and afghans, dolls, and other things that were fun. She bought a camera as a teenager and loved taking photos and creating albums. She spent many months tracing the Family Tree and has provided a record for the generations. Like her folks, she loved gardening and really eating anything right out of the garden. Though this year, she wanted only flowers - hollyhocks & foxgloves for sure.
She loved her grandchildren and enjoyed them very much. While she worked at Frito Lay, she was known as the "Cookie Grandma" because she always had some Grandma's Cookies around. When she was a small girl, she would send away for travel brochures. She eventually made it to all these places she wanted to see. She really loved to travel - Hawaii, Europe, England, Bahamas, Nova Scotia on a Northern Atlantic cruise; New York, Mexico, China. She really liked the Princess cruises to Alaska.
Rosie and Gene divorced in 1973. Rosie bought her own home then and ended up buying, renting, and selling homes over the years to supplement her income. Rosie married Gary Walker in 1978, divorcing in 1981. In 2015, she moved to Longview, Washington, to be nearer to family, visiting her home in Rockaway Beach occasionally for vacation and to visit her friends there.
Her Baby Boy precedes her in 1953 and her very much-loved daughter Cheryl last year. Rosie is also the last to pass on of her immediate family, including brother Junior Gann and their parents. She was the last of the "Gann Girls" - 5 sisters who loved each other and were best friends. Pearl, Pauline, Louise, Shirley, and Rosie experienced the joys and endured the pains of life with one another's support, and she missed them deeply.
She is survived by her daughter Verrena Holliday, sons Gene Elsey and Ed Elsey, grandchildren Carol, Robert, Laura, Crystal, Jaclyn, Andrea, Alexa, Eddie, Patrick, Shaylee, Cameron, and Sienna as well as several great-grandchildren. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews who were very special to her and brought her joy and comfort. She worked so hard, never quit, and had a determination to do things her own way she rarely (willingly) compromised on.
A memorial service will be held by the family at a later time.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.skylinememorialgardens.com for the Elsey family.