Mass of Christian Burial
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Life Story / Obituary
With a welcoming smile and a warm heart, Rosemary D. Bastos lived a life rich in faith, family, and friends. A woman who embodied the principles of her faith, Rosemary lived a heart-centered life and never hesitated to give of her time and talents in the service of others. She welcomed each day as a gift and every person as a friend, even in the face of her own hardships. Rosemary listened with grace and empathy and reflected the goodness in others. In so doing, she proved an unwavering source of comfort and confidence. A devoted matriarch, Rosemary led her family with love, commitment, and grace. She was a powerful role model who will long be remembered and ever so missed.
1948 proved a year of continued celebration of the nation's momentous victory in World War II. America's heroes eagerly returned home to a country filled with renewed spirit and hope, ready to claim their share of the American Dream, which they fought so proudly for overseas. As American prosperity grew like no time in our history, hope sprang eternal, and the Greatest Generation soon proliferated, creating the age of the Baby Boomers. In Chicago, Illinois, the cause for celebration grew even greater as John Deasy, who was stationed in the Philippines in the Navy, and Adeline (Gerlock) Deasy welcomed their daughter Rosemary into their hearts and home on August 20.
The oldest of the three Deasy kids, Rosemary grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, where her father worked as a printer in Chicago, and her mother was a switchboard operator for a phone company. Rosemary's early years centered around family and faith. She attended parochial schools, first at St. Angela Elementary School and later, Mother Theodore Guerin High School in River Grove. Her schooling included daily mass and many opportunities for Rosemary to shine. Naturally magnetic, Rosemary was very social and often the life of the party. She was very popular and enjoyed following her heart's desire to use her gifts in service.
A proud student council member, Rosemary graduated with the class of 1966 and set her eyes on a career caring for others as a teacher. Rosemary began working on her Bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois. After a year, she transferred to Bradley University, where she completed her degree in 1970.
Six days after graduating from college, Rosemary married David Bastos, a fellow student at Bradley. The couple settled into married life and were soon blessed with three children. Kevin, Matt and Kara, quickly became the centers of Rosemary's world, and she dedicated herself to ensuring them a loving and supportive home. Though she and David divorced in 1995, she was always grateful for the greatest gift of their marriage, her treasured children.
Rosemary lived in West Michigan and settled in Portage where she spent most of her adult life, she began working at the SLD Learning Center. Rosemary flourished in her work for the local nonprofit. She loved the challenge of teaching kids with dyslexia, learning differences, and other reading challenges to develop lifelong language skills. She developed meaningful relationships with each of her students and all of her colleagues. A lifelong learner herself, she went on to earn her Master's degree from Western Michigan University.
Rosemary possessed an indomitable spirit and a genuine love for people. She was resourceful, persevering, and frugal. She never threw anything away and believed in paying cash for her purchases. Though she never made a lot of money, she was always able to stretch her earnings. For ten years, she worked at Starbucks on Stadium. She loved the work environment and especially enjoyed working the drive-thru. She only retired at 70 because her cancer treatments made working an impossibility.
During her leisure time, Rosemary loved to read historical fiction and began each book by reading the last chapter first. She enjoyed her traditional girlfriend get-a-way shopping trips with her girlfriends twice a year when she and "The Neighbors" bargain shopped and shared many laughs. Rosemary loved to dance and dreamed of taking the floor with John Travolta. She was often the life of the party at weddings, inspiring all in attendance to take a celebratory spin on the floor. Her fellow daily mass goers at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Portage were lifelong friends.
Always thinking of others first, Rosemary never wanted to be a burden on her kids. Anyone who knew her even for a minute was clear that that was an impossibility. Rosemary could never be anything but treasured for those who were lucky to know her. As her family grew to include grandchildren, her joy in her role as Gramma was palpable. She relished in every moment she shared with her grandkids, and her world stopped when they spoke. She really listened to everything they shared no matter what and took them all seriously. She eagerly got on the floor to connect with the little kids and vibrantly reflected their goodness, even when she was in pain. She was their greatest fan, and she encouraged their every endeavor.
For all who knew her, it was easy to see that Rosemary treasured nothing more than her family. She cherished their time together, especially Christmas Eve when the family gathered, and she made sure everyone had the same number of gifts. She loved their traditions, including her signature style of wrapping her presents in the craziest boxes. Though she didn't travel a lot, she always loved her vacations to see family in Chicago and Connecticut.
A meat and potatoes gal, Rosemary wasn't a great cook. Her great talent was connecting with others, inspiring joy and laughter wherever she went. She was a true servant who tended to others at every turn. Even as she was dying, she continued to support her children and show them how to live every moment to its fullest. This is the beautiful legacy she bestows upon us to carry forward in our own lives. With each stranger we greet as a friend, challenge we meet with faith instead of fear, loved one's dream we cheer on, and disco we dance, we celebrate Rosemary's bright and beautiful life. In this way, we keep her spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired us.
Rosemary Deasy Bastos, of Portage, age 72, died peacefully on February 10, 2021, at Rose Arbor Hospice. Preceded in death by her parents, John and Adeline Deasy, and by her brother, John Deasy, Rosemary's legacy is proudly carried forward by her 3 treasured children: Kevin (Christy) Bastos, Matt (Genny) Bastos, and Kara (Travis) Morse; 8 cherished grandchildren: Madeline, Rachel, Sarah, Isaac, Ethan, Logan, Skylar, and Daniella; a sister; Ellen Deasy (Roman Dumiak) and many nieces and nephews. Cremation will take place. A Life Story Visitation will be held Monday (FEB 15) from 5PM – 7PM at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday (FEB 16) 11AM at St. Catherine of Siena Church. Burial will take place at Portage Central Cemetery. Please visit Rosemary's personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can read her life story, archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign her online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.