Rosemary Anthony Norris, 71, of Peachtree City, Ga., passed away peacefully with loving family members by her side on February 7, 2018, following a courageous battle with lymphoma.
She is survived by her husband of 41 years, Joel Norris; her son, William Norris (Dorothy); two step-daughters, and five grandchildren.
Rosemary was born in Brighton, Tenn. on July 11, 1946, to William Brown and Ada Rose Anthony. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Marjorie Anthony Tyson.
Rosemary grew up in the small rural area of Clopton Community near Brighton, where friends and neighbors were often kin as well and where the seeds of many meaningful life-long relationships were planted in her life. The Anthony family was active in both Brighton Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and Clopton Methodist Church.
An excellent student, Rosemary was the valedictorian of her high school class and attended Memphis State University on an academic scholarship, earning a Bachelor of Science in Education with a minor in Library Science. Upon graduation, she entered the University of Illinois, where she earned a Master of Library Science degree. Rosemary later attended Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, earning a Diploma for Advanced Study in Librarianship (6-Year Degree).
Beginning her career in education in 1969, she became the first librarian at C.J. Hicks Elementary School in Conyers, Ga. She enjoyed working with elementary age children and made it a priority to know each child’s name so she could greet all children by name when they came to the library. She shared this amazing gift with others throughout her life, using it not only in her teaching profession, but also in her many volunteer activities.
When Braelinn Elementary School in Peachtree City, Ga. opened in the fall of 1990, she became its first librarian. Rosemary created the first morning video broadcast at the school, allowing 5th grade students to broadcast the weekly announcements to all of the classrooms on classroom TVs. She retired in 2007, after 18 years of service at Braelinn and a total of 35 years in education over the course of her career.
Rosemary met her future husband Joel at a Georgia Library Association show in Atlanta. After their marriage in 1976 at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Stone Mountain, Georgia, they lived in Lithonia and Marietta before moving to Peachtree City in the summer of 1990.
She and Joel were active members of Peachtree City United Methodist Church, joining soon after moving to Peachtree City. For more than eight years, she coordinated the church greeters’ schedule at Peachtree City UMC. She was active in the Naomi Circle, served on the funeral reception team, and participated in an ongoing “small group.” She found great joy in serving others through her church.
Rosemary was also deeply committed to work in the community. She was an active member of the Fayette Starr’s Mill Chapter of DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution). She was also active in Alpha Delta Kappa (ADK), an honorary organization of women educators, throughout her career as an elementary school librarian. Rosemary was a charter member of the Beta Mu Chapter of ADK in Rockdale County. She was a founding member of ADK Gamma Epsilon Chapter in Fayette County and was instrumental in getting the chapter chartered in August of 1991. She took very much to heart the ADK mission of promoting “educational excellence, altruism and world understanding.”
Rosemary and her husband Joel co-founded the Peachtree City Rotary Community Corps (RCC), a team of adults with developmental disabilities who are committed to improving their community by supporting the ideals of Rotary International. This organization provides an opportunity for developmentally challenged individuals to come together for a monthly program, with the goal of service to their community. Since the group’s founding in 2015, they have helped provide two service dogs for deserving military veterans with Healing4Heroes. The group is currently working to support the Georgia Special Olympics and the Joseph Sams School for special needs children in Fayetteville, Ga.
Rosemary and Joel enjoyed bowling and traveling together, having traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad, making friends wherever they went. They had just returned from a trip to South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe when Rosemary was diagnosed with lymphoma in November of 2017.
Rosemary enriched the lives of many. She blessed numerous life-long friends with the beautiful gift of her friendship, and she was a loving grandmother to her five grandchildren. She was a dedicated wife, mother, and friend, who loved the Lord and found immense joy and fulfillment in serving others. While she had many “firsts” in her professional career, the most significant “first” she achieved in her life was the place she occupied in the hearts of her family and many friends. Her gentle, soft-spoken manner, her sincere compassion and concern for others, and her friendly smile will be sorely missed.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, February 16, 2018 at Carl J. Mowell and Son Funeral Home, 200 Robinson Road, Peachtree City, Ga. 30269.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at Peachtree City United Methodist Church, 225 Robinson Road, Peachtree City, Ga. 30269. All attending are invited to a reception immediately following the service at the church.
A memorial and graveside service will be held later this spring at Clopton United Methodist Church (Brighton, Tenn.).
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Wellspring Living, an organization serving women who are at risk for or victimized by sexual exploitation. Donations can be made at the organization’s website: http://wellspringliving.org/give.
Carl J. Mowell & Son Funeral Home, Peachtree City – www.mowellfuneralhome.com