Rosemary Ann Van Arkel, 92, passed away September 5, 2020

Rosemary Ann Van Arkel, 92, formerly of St. Joseph, passed away, Saturday, September 5, 2020 at White Oak Nursing Home in Lawton, Michigan.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10:00 A.M. Saturday, September 12, 2020 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 211 Church St., St. Joseph, with Fr. Arul Lazar officiating. Burial will follow at North Shore Memory Gardens in Coloma. Friends may visit with the family from 4:00 until 7:00 P.M. Friday, with the Rosary recited at 6:30 P.M. at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph. Social Distancing & masks will be required. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Rosemary’s name may be made to Birthright, Lake Michigan Catholic Schools or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Those wishing to sign Rosemary’s Memory Book online & view a video of the Mass of Christian Burial may do so at video will be available beginning Sunday, September 13, 2020.

Rosemary was born September 5, 1928 in Roseland, Illinois to Paul & Helen (Lipnicen) Valacak. The family moved to Southwest Michigan and she graduated from St. John’s Catholic High School in Benton Harbor, class of 1947, where she was a cheerleader, voted Home Coming Queen, and played on the girl’s soft ball team. After high school, Rosemary worked at Voice of Music Corporation in Benton Harbor and on July 1, 1950, married Robert W. Van Arkel at St. John’s Catholic Church in Benton Harbor. Rosemary devoted her life to caring for her home and family & was active in the PTA when her children were in school. After the children were grown, she worked the holidays at Crystal Springs Florist for many years, later as a cashier at Derby Store, and ended her career as a banquet waitress at Benton Harbor Holiday Inn Banquet Center for twenty plus years. She was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in St. Joseph and Holy Maternity of Mary Catholic Church in Dowagiac. She led the Saturday morning Rosary group for many years. In her free-time, Rosemary enjoyed tending to her flower gardens, arranging the flowers into beautiful bouquets, sewing, making all kinds of crafts, and cherished the time spent with her family and many friends.

Rosemary is survived by her children-Karen (William) Barnes of Portage, MI, Roseann (Jerry) Lowry of Kalamazoo, Robert G. Van Arkel of Grand Ledge, MI, Kevin Van Arkel of Benton Harbor, Michael (Delinda) Van Arkel of Berrien Center; fifteen grandchildren; twenty-eight great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; her brother Thomas (Irene) Valacak of Midlothian, IL; her sister Joann Shane of Benton Harbor; and numerous nieces & nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Robert on September 9, 2015, her daughter-in-law Sarah Van Arkel in 2018, her brother-in-law Phillip Shane, and siblings-Paul, Cyril, Vince & Frank Valacak, Mary Johnson, Helen Valacak, Margaret Murach & Agatha Filush. 

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