Rosemarie Schliesske

Rosemarie Schliesske (nee Jung), 81, died peacefully at her Oak Park home on Oct. 13, 2019. Born on March 29, 1938 in Wuppertal, Germany to Adele and Max Jung and affectionately known as Rosi, she was the youngest of their four daughters. She attended grade school in Germany during the WWII and trade school in the lean years afterwards.  At 19, she immigrated to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. While there, she met the man she would share the rest of her life with, Horst Schliesske. After getting married, the young couple moved to the Chicago area and settled in Oak Park. There, they raised their family of three children, helped raise Rose’s niece, Aliza, and fostered two children, Lisa and David.

She loved her new homeland and worked at several administrative and clerical jobs to help support her young family until she became the office manager for Genesis Management in Oak Park, where she worked for many years. She and her husband eventually became small business owners themselves and built their own property management company. They rehabbed several apartment buildings. 

An avid crafter, she enjoyed a number of different hobbies. After her last child left home, she nurtured her newfound love of dogs by breeding Coton de Tulears. Even after a catastrophic stroke stole her independence, she still found ways to create, give to others, and stay busy. She was an active member of her church community, first at Forest Park Baptist Church and then at Calvary Memorial Church. Later, the couple regularly attended Willow Creek Community Church. She had a deep compassion for others that was selfless and generous. Along with her husband, she opened her home to children who could not live with their own families and provided financial support through World Vision to children whose lives were restricted by poverty. She struggled with missing her mother, sisters, and nieces after leaving Germany but found ways over the years to stay connected, ensuring that her children would know their German relatives and her homeland with frequent trips home. 

Always good for a road trip to just about anywhere, she loved the vastness of North America that allowed for seemingly limitless opportunities and new experiences. 

At the age of 65, Rose suffered a devastating stroke that put an abrupt stop to her previously very active life. Although she was unable to act independently from that time forward, she continued attending her weekly Sunday morning church services, enjoyed visits from her children and grandchildren, and made her annual trip to Florida with her husband, who cared for her at home until her death. 

Rosemarie Schliesske is survived by Horst Schliesske, her husband of 54 years; her children, Heidemarie, Andrew and Judith (David) Schliesske Waters; her grandchildren, Armando, Ryan, Declan and Grayson; her sister Sigrid Robinson and the late Lotte Halbach and Marlis Dahiem; and her niece, Aliza Hutchinson and many other nieces and nephews.  

Visitation and service were held on Oct. 18 at Forest Park’s Zimmerman-Harnett Funeral Home. 

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