School 04


Rosalie M. Gabbert

March 31, 1926 ~ August 16, 2018 (age 92)

Rosalie M. Gabbert

Fairport: Rosalie passed away peacefully on August 16, 2018 at age 92. She was predeceased by her husband, Benson Gabbert; sister, Marjorie Dougherty. Rosalie is survived by her son, Nathan (Susan) Gabbert; daughter, Rebecca (Timothy) Fuss; special niece, Jennifer (Albert) Baxter; granddaughters, Linda (Steven) Rector, Carol Gabbert and Katherine Fuss; nephews, Jeffrey (Lizzie Johnston) and Evan Baxter; great grandson, Chase Benson Rector.

Rosalie Mower was born at home on East Spruce Street in East Rochester on March 31, 1926, to Beck and Cora Mower. Shortly after, the family bought a farm near Weedsport/Jordan, and Rosalie grew up there. Rosalie loved life on the farm and had a very happy childhood.

The family moved to town of Weedsport when Rosalie was in high school. Being closer to school, Rosalie could stay after for extracurricular activities, like basketball, and had a more active social life.

Rosalie graduated from Weedsport High School in 1943, then attended Oswego State Teachers College while living with her grandmother. She student taught in Lyons Falls NY and graduated in 1946.

Rosalie taught kindergarten in Belleville and Auburn NY. Her excellent teaching caught the attention of educators at Syracuse University, who encouraged her to get her Masters Degree. Rosalie graduated from Syracuse University with her Masters Degree in 1952.

Rosalie left Auburn to teach at the college level. She taught at Brockport State for several years, simultaneously teaching college students and kindergarteners in the Campus School. She really enjoyed developing the creative expeditionary environment.

Beck, Cora and sister Marj had moved to a house in Wolcott, where Marj made money taking in boarders. One boarder was a young beekeeper named Benson Gabbert, who stayed there while inspecting bee yards in upstate NY for the Department of Agriculture. Rosalie, home from Brockport for the summer, met Benson and they fell in love. They had a long-distance relationship for quite a while.

Rosalie left Brockport for an opportunity to teach at Oneonta State, her last year of teaching. By then, she and Benson were engaged and were building a house in Macedon, NY.

Rosalie and Benson married on June 22, 1957. They had two children, Nathan in 1958 and Rebecca in 1962.

Benson continued in the beekeeping business, working for the NYS Department of Agriculture for 29 years and keeping his own honey production business. People were fascinated with bees and honey, and Rosalie educated a lot of people about beekeeping.

Her homemaker years included volunteering for Girl Scouts, library story times, teaching Sunday School and other church committees, Palmyra-Macedon School Board, and writing.

Story times at the library became a driver for patrons with families, and in the early 1970s, Rosalie took the offer of a part-time job at Macedon Public Library. Beloved story time puppets Betty Blue and Peter Pocket educated and entertained hundreds of children until Rosalie’s retirement in 1987.

Rosalie and Benson enjoyed retirement with some travel, genealogy, book reviews, more volunteering for community and church, and growth of the family: granddaughters, Linda in 1988 and Carol in 1992, and nephews Jeff in 1990 and Evan in 1992.

Benson became ill with back and bone pain in 1992 and was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Care for cancer became a full-time job, but Mom continued with volunteering for the Fairport Baptist Home Women’s Service Board. Benson died in 1996.

Rosalie stayed in the Macedon home for a few years. During that time, another granddaughter Katherine was born in 1999. Soon after, she cleared out 42 years’ worth of living and moved to an apartment, awaiting placement in Deland Acres. She moved to Deland shortly afterward and lived there for 17 years.  

Following a tip that there was a market for biography for middle readers, she researched and wrote a biography of Lorenzo Langstroth, the father of American beekeeping. In 2013, at age 87, she published her book through Outskirts Press. She felt great satisfaction in this lifetime achievement.

Linda married Steven Rector in 2014, and Chase Benson Rector came along in 2016. Rosalie was delighted to have a great-grandson!

At the end of 2017, she transitioned to the Fairport Baptist Home Assisted Living, and shortly after to Skilled Nursing, where her earthly life ended in peace and comfort.

The family wishes to extend a special appreciation to everyone at Fairport Baptist Homes for their compassion and support to Rosalie.

Family and friends may gather for calling hours from 4-7 PM on Tuesday (August 21) at Murphy Funeral & Cremation Chapels, 1040 Rte. 31, Macedon, NY 14502. Rosalie’s memorial service will be held Wednesday (August 22), 11 AM at First Baptist Church of Macedon, 58 W. Main St., Macedon, NY 14502. Interment in Macedon Village Cemetery. Contributions in Rosalie’s memory may be directed to the church or Macedon Public Library Attn: Director, 30 Main St., Macedon, NY 14502.

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