January 16, 1923 – April 18, 2019
Rosalie was born to John Paul and Mabel von Grueningen on January 16, 1923. At the age of five, her family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where she grew to adulthood. Always interested in art and music, she began violin lessons at age eleven, a passion which continued throughout her life. Rosalie graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1945 with degrees in art and music and was hired to teach both subjects at the public schools in Madison.
She met her future husband, Edgar J. Lewis, Jr. when he was a graduate student in music at the University of Wisconsin. After his service in the army in Europe during World War II, they were married in 1948. Shortly after, they moved to Laramie, Wyoming where Edgar was hired to teach at the University of Wyoming (UW) and spent his entire career there as a professor of music. During that time, they had three children. She and Edgar traveled extensively and had an active life during retirement. During his final years, Rosalie cared for Edgar in their home until his death in 2009.
An accomplished violinist, Rosalie had a private violin studio at home, and gave violin lessons in the music department at the UW. For nearly 20 years she was concertmaster of the UW Symphony Orchestra. She was also a member of the UW Faculty string quartet. In addition, for ten years she directed the Laramie High School orchestra. She also performed in her church, at social occasions, and at other venues.
After retirement and with her children grown, she had time to pursue her other passion: art. She was a prolific and accomplished artist and painted many watercolors. She joined the Laramie Art Guild and displayed her paintings at various venues around Laramie and elsewhere.
Rosalie also played a strong role in the Laramie community. She was active in her church, was a member of PEO chapter AX, and participated in many other activities. Her friends still fondly remember the wine and cheese parties she held at her home when she was in her nineties.
Rosalie moved to Montrose, Colorado in early 2017 where she could be closer to her son Paul. She was able to live in assisted living for over two years, first in Laramie, then in Montrose, but eventually required more care and moved to Valley Manor Care Center in August 2018, where she died peacefully on April 18, 2019 at age 96 after a long and full life.
Rosalie is survived by her sister Mary Koch, of Los Angeles, CA, sons Paul (Lynn) Lewis of Montrose, CO, David Lewis and Mona Newton of Louisville, CO, and daughter Becky Reavis and Steve Ronne of Cody, WY. She has four grandchildren: Eric Reavis, Brandon Reavis, Brian Reavis, and Daniel Lewis, and one great granddaughter, Remona Lewis.
By her request, cremation will take place and a funeral service will be held at the Presbyterian Church in Laramie at a date and time to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Rosalie Lewis Scholarship fund c/o the University of Wyoming Foundation, 222 S. 22nd St., Laramie, WY 82070.
Crippin Funeral home in Montrose, Colorado is assisting with final arrangements.