|Rosalie with baby brother G. Oliver Jr. and dog Prince in 1914.|
My grandfather Ronald was 16 when his little sister died, and his brother Percy was almost 14. How sad it must have been for them. My youngest child, Elias, is 10, only a year older than Rosalie, and I know how much his siblings love and care about him, despite those occasional moments when it’s not so apparent.
|Rosalie with brothers Percy, on left, and Ronald, center.|
In the years after Rosalie’s death, G. Oliver never included girls in the bands he directed – not in Bemidji, where he moved in 1919, or St. Cloud, where he moved in 1923. It may have had more to do with the convention of the time than his personal preference. But I do wonder: was it too difficult for him to instruct girls around Rosalie’s age and think about what might have been? If Rosalie had lived, would he have formed that girls band?
|Rosalie, in center, looking at the camera, surrounded by friends.|
|Islea, Rosalie and G. Oliver.|
In December of 1917, the United States was involved in World War I. According to Crookston newspaper accounts, toys for Christmas were scarce, especially dolls, and toys made in Germany could not be purchased. On Dec. 13, the temperature dropped to 27 degrees below zero.
After a busy couple of days participating in the school Christmas program, delivering presents to friends and helping decorate the family Christmas tree, Rosalie developed an ear infection. She became ill the evening of Saturday, Dec. 22, and the infection led to mastoiditis. She died at home in the early morning of Christmas Eve.
I’m not sure who wrote the article in the Dec. 26 Crookston Daily Times about Rosalie’s death, but I’d like to give him or her credit (likely it was a him, probably the editor) because it contains some beautiful writing, the kind we rarely see in modern obituaries.
|A Dec. 26 article in the Crookston Daily Times|
“ ... It is a blow that baffles human reason. It is beyond us all. Rosalie had so many excellent gifts and gave so much promise for the future. Her father and mother had planned great things for her, for she lived in the spirit of an unbroken rhythm.”
|Rosalie at the lake, summer 1917.|
|Rosalie’s grave in the Crookston cemetery.|
We all can learn from Rosalie’s example, and strive to live in the spirit of an unbroken rhythm.
|Rosalie catching grasshoppers while camping out west, 1914.|