Rosemary S. Cousins-Thombs

May 8, 1939February 21, 2013

Rosemary S. Cousins-Thombs, beloved mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, teacher, and friend, died peacefully February 21, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. following a brief illness. Her two daughters and her two granddaughters were at her side.

Rosemary was born May 8, 1939, the youngest child of Edna Dunn Cousins and Leon E. Cousins of East Millinocket, Maine. She graduated from the prestigious Oak Grove School for Girls in Vassalboro in 1957; she received her B.A. in English and French literature from Bates College in 1961, where she was a member of Phi Sigma Iota, the foreign language honor society.

Rosemary had a very special aptitude for teaching, and whether it was in a classroom, in a private studio, or in her home as she raised her daughters, nearly every day of her adult life was spent in some form of teaching and learning. She began her teaching career in the English and French departments at Stearns High School in Millinocket, where she met her future husband, David Thombs, a first-year teacher in the mathematics department. Rosemary taught at Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft for three years before moving with her family to Waterville in 1967. She also taught French and dramatic arts at her alma mater, Oak Grove School, in the late 1960s. In her later life, Oak Grove School once again occupied a prominent place in her life – together with her lifelong friend and classmate, Claranne Hume (Lilly), Rosemary helped to establish an annual reunion and alumni association for the School, serving for several years on the Board of Directors of the Oak Grove Foundation and co-chairing the reunions each year.

When her daughters were in high school, Rosemary began a second career as a piano teacher, which continued for over thirty years right up to the weeks before she died. She loved her students and her students loved her! Her studio was filled with photographs of her students and drawings and cards from them, all serving as a testament to the deep relationship she shared with her students over the years.

Among her other loves were gardening, literature, poetry, classical music and classical movies, as well as the history and culture of the British Isles, and her large extended family. “Aunt Rosie” was an important part of every family gathering, and she was an ardent supporter of every activity in which her grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews. She was at every ballet recital, every concert, every play, and remembered every birthday.

Rosemary is survived by her two daughters, Mary Thombs of New York, NY and Margaret Cole of Durham, ME; grandchildren Elizabeth Cole, James Cole, Rebecca Cole, Liam Cole, Aidan Cole, and Evan Robinson; sisters Margaret Cousins of East Millinocket and Priscilla Nutting of Clinton; sons-in-law John Cole and George Robinson; brother-in-law Chester Nutting; 17 nieces and nephews; and many much-loved great-nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents; her brother, Leon Cousins; and her former husband, David Thombs.

A service and reception commemorating Rosemary’s life will be held Saturday, March 2, 2013 from 3 - 5 pm at Veilleux Funeral Home, 8 Elm Street, Waterville. In lieu of flowers, contributions to help defray the funeral expenses are welcome and appreciated.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Veilleux Funeral Home.

Veilleux Funeral Home 8 Elm Street Waterville, ME 04901 Tel: (207) 872-7676 * Fax: (207) 877-9121


  • Memorial Service Saturday, March 2, 2013

Rosemary S. Cousins-Thombs

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Richard C. Hoyt

March 7, 2013

Rosemary was a fellow French major at Bates. We worked together on the Garnet and I have fond memories of those precious years. I regret that I waited too long to stop in Waterville for a visit.She was a special, special person and will be missed.My deepest condolences.
Dick Hoyt, '61
Lubec, Maine

March 2, 2013

Dear Rosemary & Family, I will miss you, Rosemary as an Oak Grove sister & send blessings and prayers to you and your family. You will be greatly missed by us all, and I am most grateful for the selfless dedication you showed in helping to organize our OG reunions. You set a shining example - what a lovely person you were and continue to be - in our memories. With Love, Sarah & Tom Greenier

Kathleen Morin Albert

February 27, 2013

To the family,
Rosemary was a dear friend from long ago in East Millinocket during my childhood and teenage years. We became reacquainted when she came back home and taught school in Millinocket, and I was proud to be her bridesmaid. I always enjoyed and cherished the times that we spent at her mom and dad's home. I always thought that she was the smartest and sweetest person that anyone could have for a friend. My deepest condolences,

February 27, 2013

My heartfelt prayers go out to the family. I didn't know Rosemary but, was touched to read all the kind and loving words spoken about her. Know that God and others care; he says "I have heard your prayers. I have seen your tears" 2 Kings 20:5.

Jane Lynch

February 27, 2013

Adieux Rosemary,
Thank you for your warm welcome when I became an active member of the Oak Grove Alumni...for your warm smiles and hugs in "sisterhood" at The Reunions..for all of your hard work and dedication hand-in-hand with Claranne to make "it" happen...I hold them very dear and very close.Of course,you know that you are greatly missed by so very many!
I enjoyed the Photo Gallery..always smiling,always well prepared always Rosemary! friendship Jane S. Lynch '56


February 27, 2013

She was my piano teacher for 5 years and every year was special. She became part of our family.

Beverly Shea

February 26, 2013

Rosemary was a very kind and humble person who always underestimated her excellent abilities. She will be greatly missed by all especially those in her Oak Grove class, for whom she did so much as she did for all of the reunion classes.
The world has lost a very caring soul.

Sarah Sirois

February 26, 2013

Dear Mary and family,
My sincere condolences to all of you as you suffer the sorrow of your Mom's passing. May God comfort you.
Sarah LaJoie Sirois, Bowdoin '84