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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Rosemary Heidkamp Cramer (1923-2014): Sacred Heart Alumna, Lifelong Educator and Volunteer

Rosemary known by fellow Sacred Heart classmates as "Heidi" is pictured above in 2012 with
her daughter Betty Pozzi, BC '73 and below with Barbara Hinkes Coy, BC '72 

Rosemary Heidkamp Cramer a 1946 alumna of Barat College passed away Monday February 3, 2014 in Darien, IL, she previously lived in Mequon, WI. Rosemary taught in the Milwaukee Public School System, earned a Fulbright Scholarship, taught in England from 85 -86. Rosemary was active with the Miss Wisconsin Pageant. She moved to Plainfield in 1999, directed the Carillon Chorus for 12 years, and lifetime Girl Scout. She is survived by her children Mary Linari, John (Jinx), Betty (Joe) Pozzi, Bob (Nancy), Marjorie (Gunnar) Brinck, Thomas (Janet), William (Carrie), Terry (Brenda), James and Hung (Tuyet); 16 grandchildren; 3 great grandchildren siblings Sister Marjorie Heidkamp B.V.M., Philip (Jean), Francis and Jerome (Donna) Heidkamp; many nieces and nephews. Preceded by her parents Herbert and Mary; brother Robert and sister Mary Lou McCall. Visitation Thursday 3 to 8 p.m. at the Anderson Memorial Home, 21131 W. Renwick Rd. in Crest Hill. Funeral Friday February 7, 2014 visitation 9 to 10 a.m. Mass to follow at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, 8404 Cass Ave. Darien. Donations in lieu of flowers to Sacred Heart Foundation ( or Sisters of Charity B.V.M. (  Published in the Chicago Tribune - to share a message, photo or video, click here.  

Note: The following is taken from the Barat Magazine - Spring 2004 (see top photo)-
"We hear every week of Barat alumni who, in part because their lives were transformed by Barat, have in turn transformed the lives of others.  In 2003 Rosemary Heidkamp Cramer was the well-deserved recipient of Barat’s Leadership and Service Award. 
Rosemary believes that education is a life-long journey, which takes place within and beyond institutions: in the family, in the neighborhood, and in the community. Her commitment to the service of others began early. During her years at Barat, surrounding the Second World War, she assisted the Red Cross by logging 500 volunteer hours of wrapping bandages. She volunteered for Hull House in Chicago caring for pre-school children of working mothers. She worked with the Ladies of the Grail from Holland as they prepared Adlai Stevenson’s Doddridge farm for European Jewish refugee children. She also worked with the Girl Scouts in many capacities – as camp counselor, leader and board member of the Sybaquay Council of Girl Scouting – all this while attending Barat College, earning her Bachelors Degree in Psychology in 1946.
Rosemary spent 35 years as an educator in both the Chicago and Milwaukee school districts. Her experience ranged from teaching at the Spaulding School for the Orthopedically Challenged to receiving a Fulbright Scholarship in 1984, which took her to England. Rosemary taught English at the Northampton Middle School from 1985-1986.
She also had the honor of being presented at Court and she is proud to say that she enjoyed high tea with Elizabeth, the “Queen Mum”.  Rosemary’s dedication to service and volunteerism continued throughout her professional life. While working in real estate sales, she helped to build two “Habitat for Humanity” homes in Milwaukee as a member of the Realtor’s Association. She remained active with the Barat College Alumni Association and the Associated Alumnae/Alumni of the Sacred Heart (AASH). She also served as president of the Milwaukee area Sacred Heart Alumni Association. During that period, she reinstated a Barat Scholarship for a Milwaukee resident. She was a national delegate to the AASH for six terms. While raising ten of her own children, Rosemary and her wonderful family opened their home to numerous runaways, displaced and homeless women, children of addicts in rehabilitation, five veterinary students from Purdue University and international students requiring housing. Rosemary happily states that her home was always open to anyone in need. As Rosemary reflects upon her enriching experiences, she “feels privileged to have had the opportunity to share in the diverse cultures of all these individuals. ”Presently, Rosemary shares her many talents with the Carillon, Illinois Community Chorus and Theatre Guild as their director. The chorus consists of 70 members ranging in age from 55-89 years of age. They entertain four times a year within the community of Carillon, but their greatest pleasure is presenting their musicals to nursing homes, rehab centers, churches, hospitals and senior centers.

Rosemary has created a Barat legacy within her family. She has three daughters, a granddaughter and grand-son-in-law who are all Barat graduates!
There is no doubt that Rosemary Cramer has touched numerous lives with her enormous generosity, compassion, intelligence, beauty, energy and wit."

Having attended the beautiful and most memorable funeral mass on Friday, February 7th, I'd like to share part of the program (see below from the mass booklet).  The mass was a true celebration of a remarkable woman who led by example.  Rosemary's faith was a most obvious guiding influence that impelled her to persevere throughout difficult times in her life.   I kept seeing her smiling throughout the mass and eulogy. I'm certain that Rosemary would have been very proud of the way her closing act was choreographed by her ten children!  Kudos to those that carry on her spirit and love of God!


 A constant presence in our lives.
A scout on life's journey pointing the way to womanhood.
Generous optimist able to see possibilities where shadows blinded others.

Creative-almost god-like-in making 
something out of nothing.
Standing up to crushing burdens and emerging with deepened faith 
in an ever present God
Hardworking imaginative career choices kept family together against all odds.
World traveler seeing the Ritz in every hostel.
Musical dreamer from backyard song fests, 
through Girl Scout "Singing Lady" 
To Carillon Community Chorus.
Music! Music! Music!

Faith-filled child, adolescent and adult seeing
with a believer's eyes,
Present in every sorrow and every joy.

Woman of hospitality whose door was always open
Whose table always had an extra chair
Whose roof could always shelter one more.
Mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend.

1 comment:

  1. Rosemary's son James is producing a film about his mother - "A Sacred Heart: Rosemary Heidkamp Cramer" to learn more about the film and how you can help make it become a reality, click here -