ROSEGRANT, Ruth M. (Drusie)
January 30, 1922 – March 14, 2020
Ruth Marie (Meyer) Rosegrant (“Drusie”), age 98, of Kalamazoo, MI, died peacefully on March 14, 2020, with family at her bedside.
Drusie was born on a farm near McKittrick, Missouri, to Herbert F. Meyer, Sr., and Felicia Peters Meyer. Her family has many happy memories of summer time spent on the farm. Drawing on these memories, Drusie’s son Mark won an award in college for a poem he wrote about the Loutre River.
Drusie earned her AB from Central Methodist University, in Fayette, MO, where she met the love of her life, William (Bill) Rosegrant. They were married in Chicago, where they were both attending graduate school. In 1955 they moved to Kalamazoo, where Drusie taught at Parson’s Business School for many years, while Bill taught American Literature at Western Michigan University (WMU).
Bill and Drusie had five children by the time they spent 1965-66 in the Philippines, where Bill had a Fulbright Fellowship to teach. Drusie treasured the memories of this year, which led to her love of pancit and flan, and the eventual addition to the family tree of cherished in-laws, grand-, and great-grand-children. After returning from the Philippines, Drusie earned her MA in English at WMU. From then until her retirement she taught General Studies at WMU. After retirement, Drusie and Bill enjoyed exploring various countries in Europe, including special times in Germany when visiting her brother Herb (“Junie”) and his wife, Nancy.
“Fierce” is a much-overused word these days. However, it is still a good description of Drusie. Fiercely independent, she chafed at the limitations and restrictions that came with increasing age and decreasing abilities. She believed fiercely in equality and social justice, and was at home with the principles and perspectives of Unitarian Universalism, participating as a stalwart member of People’s Church, in Kalamazoo. She was fiercely invested in and protective of her voting rights, and was energized to have been able to cast her vote in the presidential primary held several days before her death. She was fierce in her love of nature, the outdoors, and especially birds. An avid birder, she had an ABA lifelist of 609 species of birds. She was also a fierce and prodigious reader. Another of her passions was yoga, which she practiced regularly until she was 96. She valued education highly, and was committed to the work she did with the scholarship fund of the Kalamazoo Area branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She was fiercely interested in and curious about the world – its people, politics, culture, art, and nature. Finally, she was fiercely loving and supportive of her family. She was happiest when in the company of one or more family members.
Her large family and many friends will miss Drusie terribly, but we are comforted by the thought that she is free of the various limitations of recent years, and by our many joyful and powerful memories of our time with her. The example she vividly modeled of an engaged, meaningful, and self-directed life will continue to inspire us. We will miss her interest in everything we said and did, and we will toast her memory forever.
Drusie is survived by her five children and their spouses: Ann Alvarez (Tony), Mark (Susan Avanzado), John (Donna Bender), Susan (David Lampe), and Jane (Andrew Tweedy); eleven beloved grandchildren and six dear great-grandchildren; one brother, Colonel (USAF Ret) Herbert F. Meyer, Jr., and his wife, Nancy (of Matthews, NC); loving nieces and nephews and their families; former in-law Sony Rosegrant; and special family friend of more than 65 years, Marie Bahlke, and her family.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, William R. Rosegrant (Bill); brother Roy O. “Sonny” Meyer and his wife, Gloria (formerly of Jefferson City, MO); and by many dear friends.
Drusie’s family sends special thanks to the many Friendship Village staff members and residents who cared for and about her for the past nine years, as well as hospice workers from Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, who helped ease the last two months of her life.
A memorial gathering will be held at a date still to be determined. In accordance with their wishes, ashes of Drusie and Bill Rosegrant will be interred in the family plot in St. Marcus Cemetery, Rhineland, Montgomery County, MO.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Drusie’s name can be made to the Kalamazoo Nature Center by check, or by going to https://naturecenter.org/Donate/DONATE-TO-KNC, checking the box under “Tribute Gift,” and typing “Drusie Rosegrant” in the box that will appear.
The family is being assisted by the Avink Funeral Home & Cremation Society, Schoolcraft, MI.