Rosalyn “Rosie” Eppens

Friday, November 10, 2023 4:43 pm

Rosalyn Mae Eppens, 91, of Decorah, passed away on Nov. 9, 2023, at Barthell Eastern Star Home in Decorah from natural causes.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, at the First United Methodist Church, 302 W. Broadway St, Decorah, with Rev. Catherine Stokes officiating. Burial will be in Phelps Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour before the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to First United Methodist Church Solid Walls/Open Doors Campaign (302 W. Broadway, Decorah, IA 52101), the Winneshiek County Veteran’s Memorial Association (104 State Street, Decorah, IA 52101), WinnMed Hospice (901 Montgomery Street, Decorah, IA 52101), or a charity of your choice.

Rosie was born on June 12, 1932, in Decorah, Iowa, the daughter of Lenn and Margaret (Vine) McIntire. She grew up in Decorah and graduated from Decorah High School in 1950. She married Robert Lawrence Eppens at the Congregational Church in Decorah on Jan. 18, 1953. They were blessed with five children and celebrated 66 years of marriage.

In their early years together, Bob was enlisted in the United States Air Force. During that time, they lived in Geneva, NY, and Colville, WA. After Bob’s honorable discharge in 1956, they moved to Austin, MN. Most of their married life, however, was spent in Calmar and Decorah where they formed countless, lasting friendships. Rosie always had the coffee pot on and was eager to start up a conversation and share a laugh with their many friends.

Rosie’s career included working at the Posten bookstore in Decorah and as a telephone operator in Decorah, Colville, and Austin. From 1965 until her retirement in 1996, she worked as a switchboard operator and information desk attendant at the Luther College student union.

Rosie had a great love of music and was an accomplished pianist, playing the piano from age 10 until her final days. She would talk about running home from school so she could practice and play the piano as much as possible. As a child, she would save up her allowance not to buy toys or candy, but to buy sheet music instead. It gave Rosie great pleasure to share her talent with others, and in her last few years she especially enjoyed playing for her fellow residents at Eastern Star Arlin Falck Assisted Living. Rosie also had a beautiful voice, and when she was younger, she was asked to sing at numerous church services, weddings, and funerals.

Although Rosie had many health issues in her later life, she always kept a positive attitude, making it a point to find joy in each and every day.

Rosie belonged to several clubs and organizations and was active in the Methodist Church and American Legion Auxiliary while she and Bob lived in Calmar. In Decorah she belonged to the Luther College Women’s Club, Winneshiek Medical Auxiliary, Order of the Eastern Star, the Petra Circle at the Congregational United Church of Christ, and Eve Circle and Women’s Fellowship at the First United Methodist Church. Rosie was so proud of her children and their families, and she cherished the time when she could be with them.

She is survived by her five children, Larry Eppens of Minneapolis, Minn.; Bob (Tammy) Eppens of Ogden, Utah; Linda (Jeff) Rodman of Sioux Falls, S.D.; Kevin Eppens of Ankeny; and Lori Ernest of Lisle, Ill.; as well as grandchildren Ashleigh (Billy) Haas, David (Suzy) Eppens, Ben Rodman, Jon Rodman, Emily Eppens, Elissa (Evan) Koehler, and Nicole Eppens; great grandchildren William Haas, Jane Haas, Eliza Eppens, and Lily Eppens; and several nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents Lenn and Margaret McIntire, her husband Robert Eppens, sisters Majorie Gunderson and Norma Fede, and brother William McIntire.

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Stacene Maroushek
6 months ago

RIP Rosie. I remember her well when she worked with my grandmother Ede Teslow at Luther Switchboard. She helped babysit and entertain me when I occasionally accompanied gma to work. ✌🏼❤️📞