Tenacious and loving were a few ways of describing Roseann Hohenstein. She loved her family, had great hospitality skills, and enjoyed caring for others. Her family jokingly called "Radar Roseann" because you could never get anything past her, and she was always interested and concerned with what her loved ones were doing. She loved to sing, relax with a good card game, and adored her grandchildren. She was great at entertaining and hosting family fish fries and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
The year 1934 saw a turning point in the Great Depression in America with unemployment decreasing to 22%. President Franklin D. Roosevelt set up public works around the country to construct bridges, roads, and flood control dams in an attempt to put America back on its feet. The FBI had considerable success ending the careers with celebrity criminals John Dillinger, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson and the federal penitentiary Alcatraz opened. In entertainment, a star was born when five-year-old Shirley Temple stole the show when she played a minor role in Stand Up and Cheer, Donald Duck appeared for the first time in "The Wise Little Hen" and the first trampoline was invented. On December 27, 1934 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Carl and Mathilda (Hambrock) Harber welcomed Roseann Lucille Harber.
Roseann was the 5th of her parents' 10 children. She attended St. Peter's Catholic School and in 1944, the family moved from the downtown area of Fort Wayne to a farm located south of Fort Wayne "out in the country". In later years, the South Anthony Speedway racetrack was developed on their farm. Living on the farm, Roseann fell in love with horses as a girl and that love stayed with her throughout her life. She later enjoyed watching daughter Julie and granddaughter Christa showing their Arabian horses. At the age of 15, Roseann's mother passed away and she helped raise her younger siblings. She loved spending time with her family and the times spent around their player piano singing together. She did find free time to be with friends and go roller skating. While attending Central Catholic High School, she fell in love with Donald "Jack" Hohenstein. Jack lived near her family and they had known each other since she was 10 years old. As Roseann was graduating with the Class of 1952, she always stayed in contact by writing letters to Jack as he served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. The two made a commitment to be married and she had everything planned out, except the actual wedding date wasn't known until shortly before, while they waited to find out whether Jack would return from Korea by ship or by plane.
Jack, who was raised Lutheran, converted to Catholicism, and surprised her with taking First Communion on Christmas Eve in 1954. The two would be married on October 8, 1955 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Fort Wayne and have their reception in a tent at her family's farm. The newlyweds would move to Tennessee for Jack to finish up his military obligations and return to Fort Wayne. They received a piece of undeveloped property as a wedding gift and being the first new home on the street, they could name the street, choosing "Hystone," a translation from the German name, Hohenstein.
Jack built the new home while Roseann worked to support them and once complete, they started a family. They went through difficult times trying to have a family and at seven months along, lost an infant son, Daniel. Roseann and Jack though would finally welcome a beautiful baby girl and later a boy into their hearts and home: Julie and Mark. Roseann was actively involved in her children's lives and became a Brownie Troop Leader as well as a Cub Scout Den Mother. In 1967, they purchased a "fixer upper" lake cottage on Big Cedar, part of Tri-Lakes north of Columbia City. They took a few family vacations, but really enjoyed hosting her siblings and their entire families at the lake cottage, making many wonderful and lasting memories. Sometimes there would be 20 people staying overnight. One of the big summer events that Roseann loved to attend with her sister, Louise's family, was the nearby Mizpah Shrine Horse Show.
As retirement approached, they expanded and remodeled the summer cottage into a year-round home. In 1997, after retiring from working at Kapp's Greenlawn and Waterfield Mortgage and Financial in Fort Wayne, Roseann moved with Jack to Tri-Lakes. She still loved having family and friends over. She was always offering to make everyone something to eat or drink to make guests feel welcomed and comfortable. During retirement, they enjoyed watching granddaughter Christa perform with DeKalb Show Choirs and in school plays, and watching John perform with the Baron Brigade Jazz Bands.
Once in Whitley County full time, they became members of St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church in Columbia City. There they were actively involved in several groups of the parish and loved singing in the church's Choir. In the choir, "Radar Roseann" met a nice young woman and talked her into going on a blind date with her son, Mark, which led to her welcoming daughter-in-law "BJ" into the family. Roseann stayed physically fit and active by joining the Red Hat Strutters and not only singing and dancing with the group at the YMCA, but also at events in the community. Jack and Roseann took several cruises together to the Caribbean, Alaska, and Hawaii, and made a trip to Germany to visit Jack's cousins.
After Jack passed away in October of 2016, Roseann moved away from the lake home to live at The Hearth at Sycamore Village. She enjoyed participating in many activities there, especially sing-alongs, and made new friends. When her health deteriorated, Mark and his wife, BJ, brought her to their home in January 2020. She remained there until her needs were beyond what could be provided at home and spent her last few days in Hospice care. At 2:50 a.m. on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, Roseann L Hohenstein passed away at Visiting Nurse and Hospice Home at age of 85 with family by her side. With family by her side. She is survived by her daughter, Julie Hohenstein (Paul) Voirol; son, Mark (Barb "BJ") Hohenstein; sisters, Mary Louise (Steve) Leffel, Judy Jett, and Pearl Yoss; brother, Carl Harber; and grandchildren, Christa Voirol, John Voirol and Donald Rosenbaum. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jack Hohenstein in 2016; infant son, Daniel Joseph Hohenstein; sisters, Mildred Foster, Jeri Keipper and Jeanette Hagan; and brothers, Donald Harber and Roger Harber.
Although Roseann deserved so much more, due to the social distancing requirements in place, extended family and friends may pay their final respects to her and her family by a drive through viewing under the portico at DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Dr., Columbia City on Monday, May 11, 2020 from 4 until 6 p.m. and Tuesday morning 9-10 a.m. All people paying their respects are asked to remain in their cars at all times while in line in the funeral home parking lot. Please visit www.demoneygrimes.com to sign her "Tributes" page in place of signing a guest book or to leave her family online condolences and view her funeral Mass after it has taken place.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church for her immediate family and she will be entombed by her husband at Catholic Cemetery, Fort Wayne. Memorial donations may be given in memory to Masses at the church or Visiting Nurse & Hospice Home.
To view Roseann's funeral mass, please click on the link below. Thank you.
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I always find myself seeing similarities I didn't even know were there. Whenever I catch myself saving a bread tie, taking joy in hosting gatherings of friends, or re purposing something old into something new, I smile and think to myself, we are so alike. I love to dance, sing, ride horses, even roller skate. I'm glad that we shared so many things and I know that I will always remember her when I am taking care of others, like she did for me.
I REMEMBER MY BIG SISTER ROSEANN WITH.SO MANY MEMORIES, I ALWAYS LOOKED UP TO HER FOR ADVICE AND COMFORT . She taught me about couponing and how to save. We both loved to line dance and I ALWAYS loved going to visit her at both of her homes.I never heard her say anything bad about anyone she was a saint in my eyes.I will miss here smile and cheerfulness! God Bless You!Your little sis, Judy
My big sister, Roseann, was a shining light ever since I can remember. She was always very supportive of me and made me feel like I was the best thing since sliced bread. Anytime I felt down I always knew that I could turn to her to cheer me up. She was such a positive person and was not only one of my big sisters but was also like a Mother to me, since our Mom died when I was 7 years old. She always worried about us younger ones and when she got married and left home she didn't know how us younger ones were going to get along without her. There are so many wonderful memories of times spent with her that I will never forget. Years ago we used to walk at Southtown Mall every day and, of course, talked and talked continuously until our walk was done. Then when we went out to get in our cars we would continue talking and stand there for another 15 minutes or so before departing to our homes. We never ran out of things to talk about. Like many others that have posted memories of her, one that stands out is her hospitality and how she loved company and always made you feel at home. She bravely battled breast cancer twice and her faith got her through it. She never felt sorry for herself and was always so concerned about everyone else. She was very intelligent and had a very good memory until Alzheimer's took over her mind. Prior to that, many times I would ask her about different things in our life that happened when I was very young and have no memory of and she was always there to answer any questions I had. Even now, when I wonder about some things, I catch myself thinking that I will ask her, then I come back to reality and know that I can never ask her about our past again. It makes me so sad. When I visited her at the nursing home she was always overjoyed every time I saw her and at the beginning she would tell her friends, "This is my sister and she is Pearl Harber." As time went on and her memory faded I was never sure if she knew who I was but I think she knew that I was someone that she knew and always had a smile for me and was always so excited that I came to see her. She never wanted me to leave! I am going to miss her tremendously but I know that she is in Heaven with Jack, our parents, and other siblings that have gone before us. Rest in peace, my sweet sister, I will always miss you and love you.
Pearl Harber Yoss
I will always remember Roseann from Central Catholic High School and the many years after. She and Jack were the nicest and happiest couple you would ever meet. I only have happy memories of them. God bless them. My prayers are with all of you. Much Love, Rosalie Waldon
Aunt Roseann is best known in my mind for her smile. She always had a smile and a hug and a warm word for everyone she met. She never lost her sense of hospitality even when Altzheimers took her memory -she never lost that joy that came into her eyes when she had visitors. And she hosted a lot of big Harber get togethers at her and Uncle Jack's lake cottage! But even in the nursing home during her last years she would be thrilled when we came to see her and wouldn't want to eat her dinner because she felt bad we didn't have food either. She then would proceed to invite us to spend the night- her bed had plenty of room she would insist! I heard stories growing up of how 15 year old Roseann gave up her teenage years to raise her younger siblings (my mom included) when their mom passed away. Roseann never lost that sense of "mothering" everyone she came in contact with either. Years later, my mom was given a copy of a letter Roseann had written to a girlfriend shortly after her mother passed, and I was blown away by the maturity, compassion and responsibility this young 15 year old girl showed. She clearly was meant for something grand and she delivered in the way she made everyone around her feel loved and cared for. I will miss her and I am sorry for Julie, Mark, Paul, BJ,Christa and John for your loss. She was an amazing woman!
I loved Roseanne. She and I became good friends at CHRIP and remained good friends. Love playing cards with her and we were in a bible study group with them. Enjoyed her smiling face and her caring ways. Enjoyed choir with her also.
What a beautiful obituary for an extraordinary woman. I don't think that there was ever a time that I saw her that she didn't have a smile on her face. She lit up the room, and was an example of tenacity through adversity. She had a beautiful life, raised two wonderf children who were always the light in her eyes. I fondly remember the times that I got to see her perform with the Red Hat Strutters...She was simply amazing and beautiful!! Rest in peace, Aunt Roseann. We know that you had one heck of a welcome into the Kingdom of God.
What a special uplifting and energetic choir member! I will always treasure her inner and outward beauty. Live on in heaven, Roseann! Sr. Rose C Ehrlich
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