Rosetta L. Auernheimer died in her sleep on Thursday morning, Dec. 5, 2019, at the age of 93, at Pine Village, Moundridge, where she had lived for almost 14 years.
She was born on January 11, 1926, at the Bethel Deaconess Hospital in Newton, to Heinrich B. and Maria (Voth) Unruh. Rosetta was the first of their children to be born in a hospital, because the doctor didn’t want to travel to Burns in the winter to deliver a baby! Henry and Maria were tenant farmers, which meant that they moved every couple of years. Consequently, all their children were born when they lived at different places: Otis and Hunora on farms near Goessel, Rosetta and Velma in the hospital, while the family lived near Burns and Elbing, Annetta on a farm east of McLain in southeastern Harvey County, and Darlene on a farm south of Halstead.
Rosetta started first grade at Kent country school near Hutchinson. The family then moved to Henry’s parents’ farm south of Goessel for thirteen months, and she attended Sand Creek country school, finishing first grade and all of second grade.
In 1934, the family moved to a place south of Halstead that Henry’s brother Simon had found for them to live. Darlene Ruth was born there in 1935, but died six days later.
Rosetta attended Halstead schools from third grade to 12th, graduating in 1944. She sang in the girls’ choir and played the trombone in high school. When she told her parents she wanted to become a nurse, her mother told her that when she was born, one of the deaconesses told her that “this baby girl will grow up to be a nurse.” Of course, her father expected her to go to Bethel Deaconess in Newton, but Rosetta insisted that she would go to the Halstead Hospital School of Nursing! She graduated in 1947, became an RN (registered nurse), and started working at the Hertzler Clinic.
Around this time, a young man from her church returned from CPS after the war, and they met at young people’s activities and started dating. On Aug. 26, 1948, she married Roy A. Auernheimer at the church in Halstead.
Rosetta retired from nursing in 1981.
Roy preceded her in death on August 21, 2008, five days before their 60th wedding anniversary. She also was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Hunora Schmidt (and husband Harvey), Velma Klassen, Annetta Howard, infant sister Darlene Unruh; sister-in-law Vera Unruh; and daughter-in-law Janet Auernheimer. Her husband’s siblings and all of their spouses also preceded her in death, leaving her as the last one of that Auernheimer generation.
Rosetta is survived by her children Ronald (Marilyn) Auernheimer, West Kingston, R.I., John Auernheimer, Moundridge, Darlene (Michael) Powers, Newton, and Douglas Auernheimer, Halstead; brother Otis Unruh, North Newton; brothers-in-law Pete Klassen, Hillsboro, and Marvin Howard, Hutchinson; grandchildren Paul Kaufman, Sacramento, Calif., Laura Guggemos, Tehachapi, Calif., Jason Auernheimer, Salina, James Powers, Newton, and Justina Auernheimer, Moundridge; and great-grandchildren Brenna, Amelie, and Quinlan Kaufman, and Gavin and Ethan Guggemos.
The family wishes to thank all the doctors, nurses, nurse aides and staff who took care of Rosetta in her final months, at Mercy Hospital, Newton Medical Center and Pine Village, and by Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice. Your compassionate care was greatly appreciated, and Rosetta loved sharing her nursing stories with you all!
A private family inurnment will be at Halstead Cemetery. A Memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at First Mennonite Church, Halstead, with Pastor Steve Wilcox officiating. Memorials may be given to the church or Pine Village in care of Kaufman Funeral Home, Halstead.