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Rosemary Frances (Vyvyan) Poellinger

Rosemary Frances (Vyvyan) Poellinger

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Longtime La Crescent, Minn., resident and La Crosse businesswoman Rosemary Frances (Vyvyan) Poellinger, 85, passed away peacefully Thursday, May 10, 2018.

Rosemary was born Dec. 24, 1932, at St. Ann’s hospital in La Crosse, to Frank and Louise (Schlenzig) Vyvyan. She was the youngest of four children. Rosemary attended Blessed Sacrament School before moving to Milwaukee. There she attended St. Pius XI High School and returned to La Crosse to become an Aquinas High School graduate of the class of 1951. After graduation, Rosemary became a receptionist and bookkeeper for the La Crosse Trailer Company.

She married John Anthony Poellinger Aug. 21, 1954, at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in La Crosse. John was the older brother of Rosemary’s friend Pat (Poellinger) Peterson. Their first encounter was while preparing for a party, when their eyes met and locked. Little did they know it would be the first of many dinner parties and celebrations they would attend or host over their 54 loving years of marriage. They built their first and only home together in La Crescent, which would continue to grow as their family grew. They joined the Crucifixion Parish and served on many committees.

In 1957, Rosemary and John started their own business, Poellinger Plastering. They began as a residential builder and soon included commercial building as well. They were very proud to be one of the few local contractors to help build St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral in 1962. It is said that Rosemary was the glue that held everything together. Rosemary held positions as bookkeeper, treasurer and vice president of Poellinger Inc. She retired in 1998 after 41 years.

Rosemary was an active community member and was bestowed the American Business Women’s Association Award and the Paul Harris Fellowship Award for her accomplishments. Her hobbies included drawing, embroidery and shopping. She turned her love of shopping into a career as a professional secret shopper for Dayton’s department store and served on an advisory customer service panel as well.

On top of all of that, she raised five children, whom she loved dearly. She made sure that each one of them knew that they were always first on her list. She attended their numerous school activities and events, held birthday parties for each of them and somehow balanced it all while working. As their busy lives permitted, Rosemary and John loved to travel and would go to industry conventions, visited friends and relatives and took annual family vacations with their children.

Rosemary cherished her roles as grandmother and great-grandmother. Her grandchildren have many fond memories of their times together. Some of their most treasured moments include family holidays and birthday celebrations. Her well known family recipes were highly anticipated and enjoyed by all. Swimming in her pool, followed by warm fluffy towels and fresh buttered popcorn were the highlight of every visit to Grandma Rosemary’s home. She looked forward to attending all of her grandchildren’s diverse activities and events and did her best to let them know how proud she was of them and their accomplishments.

Rosemary will be missed dearly by her family and friends. She is survived by her children, Ann (Poellinger) and Cameron Harris of Rochester, Minn., John E. Poellinger, Paul F. Poellinger, Mikel and Leanne (Malgren) Poellinger of La Crescent, and Jean (Poellinger) and Giulio Cesarone of Castle Pines, Colo.; her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Stephanie (Harris) and Joshua Burgess and their sons, Marek and Colten, Alison (Poellinger) and Eric Peterson, and their children, Ty and Avery, John Elliot Poellinger and his daughter, Kiley Jo, Mitchell Poellinger, Ethan Poellinger, Elizabeth Harris, Evan Poellinger, Laudon Poellinger, Mason Poellinger, Olivia Cesarone, Amanda Cesarone; and her treasured nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; siblings and siblings-in-law, Robert and Geraldine (Schwinn) Vyvyan, Louise (Vyvyan) and Frank Quinn, Jeanne (Vyvyan) and Tom Mangner, Richard and Marjorie (Foehser) Poellinger, Mary Poellinger and Pat (Poellinger) and Pete Peterson.

Friends and family may gather to pay their respects at a 10:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial Monday, May 14, at St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral in La Crosse. Visitation will begin at 9 a.m. at the Cathedral. Monsignor Charles D. Stoetzel will officiate the ceremony and the burial will follow at the La Crosse Catholic Cemetery. A luncheon will then be served at a local restaurant.

Schumacher-Kish Funeral and Cremation Services of La Crosse is assisting the family. Online condolences may be submitted at

Rosemary’s family would like to thank the loving staff at Eagle Crest South and her devoted caregivers, Darlene Wolter, Ruth Proksch, Jane Darling and Rosanne Buehler.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be given to a charity of donor’s choice.

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