Rosalee “Rosie” Kerk

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There will be no funeral services for 90-year old Rosalee “Rosie” Kerk of Rapid City, SD, formerly of Chappell, NE. 

As per her wishes, she was cremated with a private graveside burial in the Lodgepole cemetery taking place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers and plants, a memorial has been established in Rosie’s name to support the education and care of special needs children.

Online condolences may be shared at bondegardfunerals.com

Rosalee Rae Kerk was born May 23, 1933, in Trenton, NE to Sydney G. and Golda M. (Williams) Finch. She died Friday, Dec 8, 2023, at The Good Samaritan Society St Martin Village in Rapid City.

Rosie’s family moved to Crook, CO, and eventually Oshkosh, NE, where she graduated from Garden County High School in 1951. She was active in Job’s Daughters and served as Honored Queen for Bethel #46 in Oshkosh. 

She went on to get her teaching certificate at Kearney State Teacher’s College and was the drum majorette for the marching band. 

While home on break and was working at her parents’ drugstore in Lodgepole as a “soda jerk,” she met a young sailor by the name of Willard Kerk.  They were married June 19, 1955, at the Lodgepole Methodist church.

They made their home in Sidney, where Rosie was a Kindergarten teacher and where she gave birth to their three children, Lana, Carter and Andy. 

The family moved to Lakewood CO in 1961, but 3 years later decided to leave the bustle of the city and move back home to be closer to family.

They settled in Chappell, NE in 1963 where her husband was the owner/operator of the Kerk Barber Shop.   Rosie tended to the home and children, serving as troop leader for Girl Scouts and den leader for Cub Scouts. 

She worked as a teacher’s aide and taught special ed preschoolers in Sidney at Service Unit #13, then attended Chadron State College to earn her bachelor’s degree – which she did in 1981. (She got to experience dorm life and roommates too!)  

She continued to teach in Sidney until retiring in 1998, but even then for many years volunteered to listen to young children learning to read in the Chappell school system. She LOVED children!

Rosie was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Chappell, where she belonged to circles, taught Sunday School, choir, sewed banners, gave the children’s sermon, and helped serve funeral dinners.

Rosie enjoyed sewing and painting while family and friends enjoyed her dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls. Rosie served on the advisory board for Home Health/Hospice, served as a hospice and CASA volunteer.

Survivors include her husband Willard of Rapid City; daughter and son-in-law Lana and Chris McCoy of Grand Island, NE; sons and daughters-in-law Carter and Colleen Kerk of Rapid City and Andy and Julie Kerk of Hartland, WI; 7 grandchildren – Nicholas (Crystal) Frederick, Anthony (Melissa) Frederick, Josie (Jacob) Davis, Janna (Tanner) Nelson, Steven Kerk, Sam (Claire) Kerk, Jonah (fiancé-Susie) Kerk; 11 great-grandchildren with a twelfth one on the way; and a host of extended cousins and friends.

Rosie was preceded in death by her parents, her brother and sister-in-law Donald and Dolores Finch, and beloved pets Frosty, Pepper and Jazzy.

Our sincerest thanks to all the staff at the Good Samaritan Society for their tender care of our folks these past few years. We truly appreciate you!

Holechek-Bondegard Funeral Home is assisting the family of Rosie Kerk.