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Rosella Josephine Houselog was born September 5, 1925, to Joseph Henry Houselog and Helen Pearl (Knutson) Houselog, on a farm in Grange Township, in Pipestone County, MN. As the eldest of six children, she helped on the family farm. She attended country school for 8 years, and graduated from Ruthton High School in 1943. In 1944, Rosie traveled by bus and train to Washington, DC, and worked in the personnel office of the Navy Department during World War II, returning in 1947 to again help on the family farm. In 1947, she began work as a telephone switchboard operator for Northwestern Bell, in a 2nd story office above the Ben Franklin store on Pipestone’s Main Street, until late-1948 to early-1949.
On June 15, 1948, Rosie married Robert Cletus McGinty at St. Martin Catholic Church in Woodstock, MN in a double wedding ceremony with her sister, Angeline Houselog and Omer DeWitte. The two couples celebrated with a wedding dance at the Hollyhock Ballroom in Hatfield, MN, with music by the Arlen Steen band. Bob and Rosie lived in Pipestone at 212 6th Ave. SE, where they began their family, and Bob worked as an electrician for Beal-Schafer Electric. In 1954, they purchased the Weinkauf Boarding House in Holland and moved their young family, while Bob began his own electrical business, and Rosie was his bookkeeper. Having worked outside on the farm while growing up, Rosie later taught herself kitchen skills, and loved to bake, sew clothes for her children, and cook for her family. She made a delicious flaky apple pie, and liked to make calico beans. Bob and Rosie were active in their little town of Holland. In the 1950s and 1960s, the businessmen sponsored Saturday night outdoor movies for the area at the Holland Park. Rosie served as Holland City Clerk for 20+ years. At the time of her passing, she also was a long-time recorder of the books of the Holland Cemetery.
On April 14, 1973, Bob passed away following surgery. Rosie then managed their electrical business before selling it to Ken VanEssen in 1975. Then she worked for 16 years as a secretary to Herm Meyer in the Meat-cutting Department at the Pipestone Vocational School, from 1974 - 1990.
Rosie attended St. Leo Catholic Church, and belonged to the Catholic Daughters and the Holland American Legion Auxiliary. She was a promotor of the Holland Senior Center, serving in several capacities. She also served as secretary for the Southwest Minnesota Senior Federation.
Music was an integral part of Rosie’s life. Bob and Rosie square-danced with the Hollyhoppers, and had music in their home much of the time. Rosie and friend Janet VanderPlaats attended the first dozen or so annual WeFest events. Rosie was a longtime bowler, and at one time kept the books for the 300 bowlers in the Pipestone leagues. Good record-keeping was Rosie McGinty’s calling. ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person’, and that was Rosie. She volunteered at the Clothes Closet and the food shelf, and as a driver transporting clients for Family Services. She also belonged to RSVP, and volunteered at the Pipestone Hospital.
Rosie was active with the Golden K, working with Terrific Kids and the big Christmas food and gift giveaway to families that needed a little help. She also. belonged to the Red Hat Ladies.
Rosie wrote her first Holland News column for the Pipestone Star on December 10, 1998. For nearly 23 years, she chronicled weekly the activities of the residents of the Holland area. She once remarked, “I write the way I talk.” On May 19, 1999, Rosie was chosen outstanding senior citizen queen of Pipestone County. A patriotic American, Rosie was active with the creation of the Holland Area Veterans Memorial at the Holland Park, stating, “We didn’t want to miss a veteran.” It was dedicated on May 10, 2010.
In July 2021, Rosie attended the Ruthton All-School Reunion, and was invited to speak as the eldest alumnus there, having been graduated for 78 years. Rosie loved playing cards, lately especially Pinochle with her siblings. This past New Year’s Eve, Rosie didn’t get to bed until 3:50 a.m., following oyster stew-making and card games.
Love of travel was a part of Bob and Rosie’s adult life, taking them with family and friends to most of the states of the USA. They also drove their young children to Willmar, MN, then boarded the Great Northern train for a cross country trip to visit relatives in the Seattle area. The train contained an elevated Dome Car, with much glass that allowed beautiful closeup views thru the Rocky Mountains. Trips for Rosie included the Holy Land, Hawaii, the West Coast, Ireland, and the Virgin Islands. She also attended the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, in June 2004.
Rosie cherished her cats, Buffy and Ivy, and enjoyed her flowers, indoors and out, and her tomato plants. For many years, she and friend Janet visited with the residents at Good Sam in Pipestone, and Rosie shared her fresh tomatoes or Halo oranges. They visited there weekly until Rosie was 94 years young.
Rosie remained in the Holland family home for 67 years. On September 3, 2021, Rosie suffered a serious stroke while with friends at the Holland Senior Center. She passed away Saturday, September 11, 2021, at the age of 96 years and six days.
She is survived by her six children, Linda McGinty (Magnus Olson), Diane (Roger) VandeKieft, Gary McGinty, Mary Ann (Larrie) DeGroot, Michael McGinty, and Colleen Bents; 13 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren; sisters, Angeline DeWitte, Marilyn Udstuen, and Jeanne (Don) Sik; brother, Darrell Houselog; brother-in-law, Earl (Flo) McGinty; and nieces and nephew. Rosie was preceded in death by her husband, Bob; her parents; her brother, Joseph Houselog, Junior; her brother, Leonard in infancy; her sisters-in-law, Doris Houselog and Shirley Houselog; brothers-in-law, Omer DeWitte and Bob Udstuen; sons-in-law, Bob Schmitz and Dwayne Bents; nephew, Douglas DeWitte; niece, Kim Kalas; and several brothers- and sisters-in-law; and nephews, nieces, on the McGinty side.