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Rosetta Francis (Ellis) Palkowitsh



Rosetta Francis (Ellis) Palkowitsh was born on November 26, 1947, to Raymond and Stella Ellis. We all know that the youngest child is the favorite being the seventh sibling and last Rosie was no exception.

Stella and Rosie had a special relationship and were almost inseparable. When electricity came to the farm in 1950, they were able to install a shower in the well house, a luxury her siblings never had. The bathroom was always a 2-hole outhouse, so she was not spoiled at all. Tragedy came just months before her 7th birthday in 1954 when her mother became ill and had to have a medical procedure that was followed by complications and her passing. As her dad did his best to take care of the two girls that were still at home (Jane 14, and Rosie 6), the family was involved in helping Raymond. By August of 1955 it was apparent that the girls needed to move to Garden City and attend school, Jane would live with Grandma Ellis and Rosie would live with Maybelle and her two daughters Venitta and Verna Ruth.

Within the next 8 years Maybelle would have 4 more children (all boys) to add to the household. Josephine who lived in Lakin, KS also had two daughters Donna and Peggy, and Rosie would spend her summers with this family. In 1962 Rosie’s Dad, Raymond would begin his battle with emphysema, Milton and Josephine, Bob and Karen, Kenneth and Maybelle, would take turns providing home health care for Raymond as he was bedridden and on oxygen. He suffered a heart attack and passed away just one day before Rosie’s 15th Birthday in November 1962. Rosie graduated from Garden City High School in 1965. She met Raymond Palkowitsh during the summer after high school and left home to attend Brown Mackie Business College in Salina graduating 9 months later. She then took a job in Washington DC. After it became apparent that he would fulfill all her dreams, Rosie returned to Kansas in July 1966. Rosie and Raymond made wedding plans for November 5, 1966, and had a beautiful wedding at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Garden City.

In August 1967 Raymond and Rosetta welcomed their first child Ricky Paul into their blessed lives. Soon after in March 1969 they welcomed a beautiful baby girl Richelle Ann into the family. After residing in Scott City, KS for the next 21 months Raymond, Rosetta and family packed up everything including the house and moved it all to Burlington, Colorado to begin the next chapter of their lives. As Raymond started farming in the Burlington area Rosie was instrumental in the success of the farm as a full partner while raising two young children. In December 1977 Raymond and Rosie moved everything they owned to the farmstead they currently reside at north of Burlington.

She started working at Kit Carson County Memorial Hospital in 1978 as an admissions clerk. After 30 years and many different positions within the hospital she retired as a medical records transcriptionist supervisor. The greatest fulfillment she received from working at the hospital was helping and getting to know so many community members. During this time, she continued to help on the farm, volunteer as a 4-H leader, religious educator, and many other church leadership positions. Over the next 7 years she welcomed four granddaughters Jennifer Lucille, Leslie Ann, Abbigail Elise and Alyssa Marie. She always said, “If I had known grandchildren were so much fun, I would have had them first”.

She had so much joy in her life following the girls around to all their activities. Many hours of sitting on bleachers in gyms, softball fields, swimming pools, and show rings made her so proud. She enjoyed teaching knitting, crocheting, sewing, baking and cooking to her granddaughters and several other young ladies. Her wisdom was still being passed on as late as the night before her illness. After her and Raymond both retired, they spent several years traveling, seeing the United States in the pickup and travel trailer meeting many wonderful lifelong friends along the way. As health concerns and issues grew later in life travel became less frequent and more limited to seeing family and welcoming in granddaughter’s new husbands.

It brought Rosie so much joy as she has been able to get to know her Great Grandchildren. Rosetta Palkowitsh passed away after a brief illness on March 11, 2023, in Colorado Springs. She was preceded in death by her parents Raymond and Stella Ellis, her siblings Josephine Coerber, Raymond Ellis, Robert Ellis, Ronald Ellis, Mary Jane O’Brian, nieces and nephews. Rosetta will be missed by her loving husband Raymond Palkowitsh, her children Rick Palkowitsh (Bonnie), Richelle Harmsen, grandchildren Jennifer Irvin (Rob), Leslie Palkowitsh, Abbigail Leuning (Tanner), Alyssa Harmsen, great grandchildren TJ Leuning, Audrey Leuning, Robbie Irvin, Bentley Leuning, Ruari Irvin and sister Maybelle Bowen. In lieu of flowers the family is asking for donations to the Kit Carson County 4-H program in Rosie’s name.

Public is invited to visit with the family Friday March 17, 2023, from 5-7 pm at St Catherine’s Catholic Church and attend the funeral mass at 10:00 am Saturday March 18, 2023, at St. Catherine’s with burial to follow at Fairview Cemetery in Burlington, Colorado.