Remembering Rosemary: My Unread Blog

Rosemary was a dedicated reader of this blog, one of my biggest fans, and my mother. This is the first blog post she hasn’t read and it’s just as well: she’d be embarrassed. Unfortunately, it won’t be the last blog post she doesn’t see. I will miss her all the days of my life.

Longtime Ukiah area resident Rosemary Torell passed away after a brief hospitalization on Sunday, October 23rd. Her health had declined subsequent to a fall at home last winter. She was 89 years old.

Born in Jewell, Kansas in 1922 to James Claudius Miller and Maude Marion Jones Miller, the family left Winfield, KS in the forties to pick fruit in Washington. They later settled in Denver, Colorado. Along with many at the time, they did what they could to make ends meet. Despite the challenges, she remembered those days fondly. She worked for the Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, where she met and married the love of her life, Donald T. Torell, in 1950. They were married 62 years. At the time of her passing, they lived in Central California where they moved to be near children and grandchildren.

Family and faith in Jesus Christ were  Rosemary’s highest priorities. She was a compassionate and loyal advocate for both.  She worked with Don on their sheep ranch near Ukiah, helped with his research at the Hopland Field Station, and together they raised two children. They traveled to many countries and lived in Uganda, Kenya, and Chile. They were members at Ukiah First Baptist Church for almost 50 years, where she also served as a deaconess and secretary under Pastors Taylor and Duncan.

Rosemary was active in the Mendocino County sheep ranching industry. She was a member of the California and Mendocino Woolgrowers and the Bo-Peeps, for years working at local fairs, serving on scholarship committees, judging Make It Yourself With Wool contest at the Grand National at the Cow Palace, and helping put on annual Woolgrowers BBQs in Boonville. She was a passionate promoter and ambassador for agriculture, the sheep industry, traditional Western values, an accomplished artist, and woodcarver.

Rosemary is survived by Don, children Teri and her husband Richard Murrison of Eagle, ID, Mike and his wife Vikki Torell of Chowchilla, and grandchildren Mike Torell II and his wife Sarah Torell of Chowchilla, Megan and her husband Jordan Geary of Copperas Cove, TX, and Colton, Mikayla,  and Zebediah, and great grandchildren Tanner and Mia Torell of Chowchilla. She also leaves behind her sister Elizabeth Jasper, brother Winfield Miller,and many beloved nieces and nephews and their families: Judy Greer,  Dr. Don Jasper, Craig and Gary Miller, and Jeannie Edwards. She will be missed by faithful friends Louise Fennessey, Robert Lopez, Ritchie Wood, and many others. Rosemary was predeceased by her parents, siblings Marguerite Brane, and Richard Miller.

At her request, no memorial service will be held. Rosemary did not want people to be sad, but asked that family and friends remember her life with joy and celebrate her homegoing. In keeping with a large heart and her generous nature, she would ask that anyone who wants to donate to a memorial fund simply find a soul who needs help and give it.

When all was said and done, Rosemary aspired to hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” I am confident she achieved her goal.


32 thoughts on “Remembering Rosemary: My Unread Blog

  1. Teri, I am so sorry to hear you lost your mom. What a beautiful tribute you wrote! What a wonderful woman, and what a full, blessed life. You were very fortunate to have such a great mom. Hugs and blessings, Lorri Wickenhauser

  2. Oh Terry, may the Lord comfort your heart with His sweet presence and the rich promises that are resplendent and abounding in His Word. . .What a beautiful, beautiful tribute to your dear mother. . .so well written, so thoughtful, so full of love and so seeking to give honor and glory to the Lord. You are a blessing and you will be in my prayers in the coming days and months as you mourn the loss of one so dear, all the while rejoicing in her home-going .

    So the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 51:11

  3. Forgive my inattention. . .and racing fingers . . .as I spelled your name incorrectly! (Thankfully that doesn't affect the prayers that have been sent; the LORD knows you by name!) Blessings and hugs! Jan E.

  4. Thank you, Jan! I'm counting on IS 51:11! Thank you, thank you for the prayers. I hope your sorrow is also receding. Life gets hard sometimes, no?

    • Thanks, Ellen. I am at peace, I'm just so darn sad for us sometimes! 🙂 I hear it gets easier. Thanks for writing!

  5. Teri,
    The loss of a loved one is so very difficult even when they have had a full life as your mother did. We lost my father, who you met several times, in June at 103. Our prayers are with you and your family.

    • Thank you, dear Pat! It's never easy – even when they've had a long, full life. Sorry for your loss too. love you!

  6. So sorry to hear of the loss of your mom, Teri. What a sweet awesome lady and what comfort to know she is in HIs presence.We're praying for you and the family. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. Blessings and our love, Gen and French

  7. Thank you, Gen and French! You would have loved her. I appreciate your prayers and friendship and remember you are intimately acquainted with this kind of sorrow yourself. 😦 Hugs!

  8. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. And I'm also sorry that we're so out of the loop on what's going on with you. I love you my cousin and promise to do better.

    • We're all too busy these days, Vicki! I totally understand. I love you too. I'm glad you got to see Meg and Jordan on the way through.

  9. Hello Teri,
    I'm so sorry to read about your mothers passing. Your Sonora friends are passing you hugs and kisses!!!
    Love Stacey

  10. Teri
    Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
    We miss you~!!
    Don and Gloria Escallier

    Twain Harte, California

  11. Teri, so sorry for your loss but happy you mom is at peace. She was a very warm and beautiful person. I have so many memories of the good times he had at the sheep ranch. Horseback riding on Tami and doing whatever you and Marca were doing, like jumping into the Russian River , bareback, and sliding off the back. Your Mom was always so sweet and welcoming, and an awesome woodcarver. I'm sure you made her proud everyday, take care.

    • What a great reminder of great times, Marie. You inextricably woven throughout my memories. Thanks for being my friend. I’ll never forget your insisting that she HAD TO BE my natural mother because we had the same toes!

  12. Teri, My deepest condolence – I lost my mother 1 1/2 years ago and she is always in my heart and your mother will always be in your heart. With love, your big sister.

  13. Teri and family, I was saddened to hear of your mother's passing. She must have been a wonderful friend, wife and human being. I know she was a great mom because you are a testiment to her dedication to this important life accomplishment. YOu will all be in my prayers, I love you, Patti

  14. So sorry about your loss, please know we are thinking about you and you are in our prayers. Know that the pain of your loss does not last forever and in time all the memories of yesterday will comfort you and make your heart smile again.
    Love always, Fred, Karen, JC & Sammie.

    • Thanks, Karen and Fred. It's an unavoidable part of life… don't like it much, but I didn't get to vote on it. Miss you all.

  15. Teri, Sorry to hear you lost your mom. She sounds like someone who would have been nice to know. My mom died following years of Alzheimers and,I felt like I should have been "ready" to let her go, but it was so hard. My thoughts are with you.

    • Thank you, friend! She truly was. I was fortunate to be loved by her! Hope you are keeping everyone straight out there… and they are returning the favor.

  16. So sorry to hear about your Mother. I really enjoyed her and your Dad. I am so glad to have brought woodcarving into her life. She was so good and it is nice go leave your carvings to those you love. Tell your Dad I miss him too…and mikie!

    • Hey Sharon! Nice to hear from you! They enjoyed you too. Woodcarving was a great passion for her and her art remains. She so enjoyed her friendship with you and her other carving buds. It looks like Big Mike and Mikie want to try carving now. I'll pass on your greetings. Hope life is treating you well down in AZ. Love, Teri

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