Rosemary Patricia Procunier (Horey), age 92, was a Hillyard kindergarten teacher, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, and friend who completed her life’s work on December 20th. Born in Wenatchee, WA, on Oct. 20, 1927, to Pearl and Richard Horey, Rosemary relocated with her family to Spokane’s Hillyard neighborhood while in elementary school. To her classmates at Rogers High School, she was “Rosie”—a cheerful majorette with dark curls and sparkly eyes who would serve on Rogers reunion and fundraising committees for decades beyond graduation. After high school, Rosemary took a clerical position at Darigold. It was at a Darigold staff picnic where she met Gerald (Jerry) Procunier, a co-worker and WWII veteran who caught her eye. The two started courting immediately and—within a year—became engaged. On Nov. 4, 1950, they began their 69-year marriage, parenting three children. With her sights set on a career as an educator, Rosemary worked through college and earned her teaching certificate in the late 1950s. She taught kindergarten for 19 years at Hillyard Baptist Church and 19 years at St. Patrick’s Catholic School. To her hundreds of students, she was “Mrs. Procunier,” a caring, creative woman who incorporated music, art, and fun field trips into lessons. She provided a sense of stability for students with difficult home lives—even popping popcorn for kids who arrived to school hungry. A chatty, inquisitive social butterfly, Rosemary enjoyed festive gatherings. Whether the event was a wedding, baby shower, or Zags playoff game, she was there with her famous almond and peppermint bark, mingling and wearing pink, “the best color in the world.” In addition to teaching and mothering, Rosemary was always volunteering at school and church functions. Her Catholic faith lead her to attend weekly mass and quietly donate to dozens of charities. She often vacationed at Diamond Lake, then later, Priest Lake, where she and Jerry built a cabin in the 1970s. Rosemary took up ballroom dancing, snowmobiling, and golf, and treated family pets like royalty. Her five grandchildren knew her as “Nana,” a supportive, witty woman who never missed a beat, keeping her mind sharp with Jeopardy! and the daily paper. Rosemary’s contributions to the Hillyard community and her extended family will be felt far into the future. She is preceded in death by parents Richard and Pearl Horey, son Jerry, siblings Richard Patrick (twin brother), Elsie Bennett, Patricia Platt, Carol Ann Olmstead, and Richard John Horey. Rosemary is survived by husband Jerry, sister Linda Schuerman, daughters Patti Ball and Michele Benz, grandchildren Elissa & Kevin Ball, Jeannette (Joe) Procunier Fennel, and Larissa & Kaylee Benz. Her funeral service will be held Fri. Jan 3 at 11:00AM at St. Charles Church, 4515 N Alberta St. Reception to follow.
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