Rosemary Ann Van Arkel
Rosemary Ann Van Arkel, 92, formerly of St. Joseph, passed away, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, at White Oak Nursing Home in Lawton, Michigan.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 211 Church St., St. Joseph, with Fr. Arul officiating. Burial will follow at North Shore Memory Gardens in Coloma. Friends may visit with the family from 4 until 7 p.m. on Friday, with the Rosary recited at 6:30 p.m. at Starks and Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph.
Social distancing and masks will be required. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Rosemary’s name may be made to Birthright, Lake Michigan Catholic Schools or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.
Those wishing to sign Rosemary’s Memory Book online & view a video of the Mass of Christian Burial may do so at starks-menchinger.com.
Rosemary was born Sept. 5, 1928, in Roseland, Illinois, to Paul and Helen (Lipnicen) Valacak. The family moved to southwest Michigan and she graduated from St. John’s Catholic High School in Benton Harbor, class of 1947, where she was a cheerleader, voted home coming queen and played on the girl’s soft ball team.
After high school, Rosemary worked at Voice of Music Corporation in Benton Harbor and on July 1, 1950, married Robert W. Van Arkel at St. John’s Catholic Church in Benton Harbor.
Rosemary devoted her life to caring for her home and family and was active in the PTA when her children were in school. After the children were grown, she worked the holidays at Crystal Springs Florist for many years, later as a cashier at Derby Store and ended her career as a banquet waitress at Benton Harbor Holiday Inn Banquet Center for more than 20 years.
She was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in St. Joseph and Holy Maternity of Mary Catholic Church in Dowagiac. She led the Saturday morning Rosary group for many years.
In her free-time, Rosemary enjoyed tending to her flower gardens, arranging the flowers into beautiful bouquets, sewing, making all kinds of crafts and cherished the time spent with her family and many friends.
Rosemary is survived by her children, Karen (William) Barnes, of Portage, Michigan, Roseann (Jerry) Lowry, of Kalamazoo, Robert G. Van Arkel, of Grand Ledge, Michigan, Kevin Van Arkel, of Benton Harbor, Michael (Delinda) Van Arkel, of Berrien Center; 15 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; her brother, Thomas (Irene) Valacak, of Midlothian, Illinois; her sister, Joann Shane, of Benton Harbor; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert, on Sept. 9, 2015; her daughter-in-law, Sarah Van Arkel, in 2018; her brother-in-law, Phillip Shane; and siblings, Paul, Cyril, Vince and Frank Valacak, Mary Johnson, Helen Valacak, Margaret Murach and Agatha Filush.