Freethought Today · May 2013

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Rose Alice Zerwick, 1918–2013

Freedom From Religion Foundation Life Member Rose Alice Zerwick, age 95, died as she had wished, at home in Madison, Wis., surrounded by her four children on April 10, 2013. 

She was born March 6, 1918, in Chicago and was adopted as an infant. She cherished her childhood, growing up on her loving adoptive family’s farm near Carmel, Ind., with a lamb, dogs, cats and her father’s prize-winning chickens.

In 1942 in Indianapolis, she married her devoted husband Otto Zerwick, a Madison native. After his Army discharge in 1946, they moved to Madison, where they raised their children: James Zerwick (Susan), Ellen Zerwick Van Fleet (Jeffrey), David Zerwick (Nina) and Susan Zerwick (Daryl Scherkenbach), all of whom survive her. She is also survived by her four grandchildren: Peter Van Fleet, Tyler Van Fleet, Bradley Zerwick and Douglas Zerwick. 

Her husband Otto, with whom she had traveled much of the world, died in 1993. She was dedicated to her family and led an exemplary and quiet life, in good health to the end. She played volleyball in the Madison School Recreation program until at least age 80, volunteered at Olbrich Gardens and generously supported the Madison Public Library and the University of Wisconsin. She was a voracious reader, an excellent seamstress, an avid gardener, Packer fan and a wonderful mother.

Rose had been a member of FFRF since 1987. Her son, Jim, is FFRF treasurer.

“Rose was a stalwart FFRF’er and steadfast supporter. Our condolences to her family,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

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