Cover photo for Dr. Rosemary “Rosey” Walker's Obituary
Dr. Rosemary “Rosey” Walker Profile Photo
1931 Rose 2023

Dr. Rosemary “Rosey” Walker

July 24, 1931 — December 19, 2023


Rosemary "Rosey" Walker, 92, of Warsaw, IN, passed away on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, at her residence in Warsaw, Indiana. Born on July 24, 1931, in Kokomo, IN, to the late Gladys (Drake) and Cleo Adams.

Rosemary was a proud graduate of Kokomo High School and Indiana University. A gifted pianist, she generously shared her musical talents as the church organist at the First Presbyterian Church in Kokomo, where she and her late husband, Herbert Walker, were devoted members. Their union began on August 2, 1953.

In 1967, Rosemary and Herbert relocated to Marion, Indiana, where they successfully owned and operated two restaurants. Sadly, Herbert passed away on December 24, 1970. Undeterred by life's challenges, Rosemary embarked on a remarkable academic journey. At the age of 42, she moved to West Lafayette and enrolled at Purdue University, earning her Master's Degree and Ph.D. in Consumer and Family Economics in 1978.

Rosemary’s passion for education led her to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL, as an Associate Professor and later to Michigan State University, where she served as a tenured Professor from 1984 until her retirement in 2001. She was a valued member of a research team seeking to better understand family-owned businesses. Beyond the classroom, Rosemary served as a docent at the Kresge Art Museum at Michigan State University. She was dedicated to community service, having served as a Board Member for the MSU Federal Credit Union and on the Chrysler Corporation Arbitration Board for many years. Rosey had a servant's heart, volunteering for PBS, recording tapes for the visually impaired, and consistently supporting food banks. She was a staunch advocate for education and libraries, emphasizing the importance of reading and education for children.

An enthusiastic supporter of MSU Spartan football and basketball, Rosemary also cherished the arts, frequently attending performances at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts. Her diverse interests included participating in book clubs, playing bridge, engaging in board games with her grandchildren, and tending to her garden. In recent years, she found joy in cheering on her grandson Matthew, a member of the Lake City Skiers Water Ski Show team during the summers.

Progressive, brilliant, wise, witty, faithful, and virtuous, Rosemary always placed her family first.

Rosemary is survived by her children, Bruce Walker, Betsy Voss (Juergen), and Lisa Hayes (Butch); grandchildren, Michelle Shipley (Kris), Matthew Voss, Lindsey Parker, and Lauren Parker; and great-grandchildren, Cameron Shipley and Claire Shipley. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her son-in-law, Michael Parker.

All local arrangements were entrusted to Titus Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held at 2 pm on Wednesday, December 27, 2023 at Shirley and Stout Funeral Home, 1315 W. Lincoln Road, Kokomo, with Pastor Jeff Haill officiating. Friends are invited to visit with the family from 12 pm until the time of the service, Wednesday, at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made in Rosemary’s name to the Michigan State University Library, 366 W. Circle Drive East, Lansing, MI 48824 or online at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Rosemary “Rosey” Walker, please visit our flower store.


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