Rosemary (Kunz) Holbach

May 23, 2023


Rosemary (Kunz) Holbach

May 27,1927 to May 23,2023

Rosemary Holbach (nee Kunz)—Beloved wife of Robert Franz Holbach for almost 75 years; loving mother of Marie (Gerard) Thomas, Barbara (Thomas) Hojnacki, Robert (Susan) Holbach, James (Mary Beth) Holbach, Michael (Marion) Holbach, and Richard (Sandra) Holbach.

Dear grandmother to 17, Matthew (Leanne) Thomas, Katherine (Kris) Deutmeyer. Mark (Jodie) Hojnacki, Caroline Roesch, Andrea (Doug) Jones, Robert (Rachel) Holbach, Alexis (Matt) Rittler, Allyson Holbach, Melissa (Aaron) Morris, Daniel (Hollie) Holbach, Stephen (Chyna) Holbach, Christopher Holbach, Megan Holbach, Jonathan Holbach and Kaitlynn Holbach. She was preceded in death by grandchildren Britany Holbach and Elizabeth Breede.

Great grandmother to 30, Chelsea Coyle, Olivia Holbach, Noah Holbach, Kevin Breede, Laura Holbach, Annie Thomas, Maggie Breede, Emily Holbach, Teaghan Holbach, Theresa Hojnacki, Zachery Ronning, Molly Breede, Simon Thomas, Elliot Thomas, Alexander Ronning, Alexa Morris, Greta Deutmeyer, Clarity Holbach, Lincoln Holbach, Sully Roesch, Jake Hojnacki, Tillie Deutmeyer, Avery Morris, Brooklyn Morris, Riley Holbach, Weston Holbach, Blake Holbach, Caleb Morris, Jackson Holbach, and Amelia Rittler.

Great-great grandmother to 2, Grayson and C.J. Coyle.

Visitation will be held on Friday from 3:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at Cooney Funeral Home located at 625 Busse Hwy. in Park Ridge. Funeral Saturday, May 27,2023. Family and friends are asked to meet at St. Viator Church, Chicago, IL for Mass at 10:00 a.m. Interment St. Joseph Cemetery, River Grove, IL.

Rose’s story

Rosemary was born on May 27,1927 to Marie and Stanley Kunz at Murphy Hospital in Chicago.  A sister Rita and brother Timothy followed. The family lived on Wayne Avenue in Chicago and attended St. Josaphat’s Church. Her godparents were Anna Furey and George Kunz.

In 1933 at the age of 6, Rose contracted scarlet fever and their house was put under quarantine. Rose and her mother, Marie, stayed in one room until her recovery. Her father Stanley moved to the front room of the house. Rita her sister went to live with Aunt Anna. Uncle George and cousin Jim Kunz lived across the hall. When it was over, all of Rose’s bedding, clothing and her favorite doll had to be burned.

Grandma Bertha Kunz, who lived in an upstairs apartment, called her Rozalin, which meant Little Rose in German. Bertha gave her a small cream pitcher to use as a tea cup and they often enjoyed “tea time” together.

Rose graduated from St. Alphonsus Secretarial School in 1940. In 1947, Rose got a job at Wieboldt’s as an elevator operator. Her father thought it was a good idea and encouraged her to do it. Her mother was opposed to the idea, fearful for her daughter’s safety. Rose gave her mother a ride in her elevator, taking the two of them all the way to the top and back down again. Her mother ultimately pronounced, “OK, Rosie you can take the job.”

“Rosie’s Work History” was found written inside one of her cookbook covers. She wrote: “Eugene Dietzgen Company, 3 months, Wiebolts, 2 years part-time, Schultz Brothers Company 3 1/2 years.” All these were before 1948.

On August 28,1948, when Rose was 21, she married Robert Franz Holbach, the son of Franz and Karolin Holbach, at St. Bonaventure Church in Chicago. Rose and Bob moved into a new home on Springfield Avenue in 1954, where they raised 6 children. They belonged to St. Viators Parish and attended Independence Park. In 2022, they celebrated 74 years of marriage.

Rose always loved to cook. Just before the birth of her son, Michael, in February of 1961, she was named “Cook of the Week” by the Chicago Daily Tribune. Several of her favorite recipes were included in the article about her, along with photos of her children Marie, Barbara, Bobby, and Jimmy.

In 1974, using the article as a resume, Rose applied for a job as a cafeteria worker at Gordon Technical High School. She went to the bosses’ office, presented the “resume” and started work the next day making pizzas and sandwiches. She was quickly moved up to working the register earned two raises. Sons Bob, Jim, Mike, and Rich all attended Gordon Technical High School. Gordon boys liked going through her line. Some even brought her apples and called her Miss Rosemary. She saw that they got generous helpings of food. Rose attended daily Mass in the Gordon chapel and then hurried off to the cafeteria to make breakfast for the boys.

On Easter Monday,1962, Rose felt a sudden pain in her side. Five months pregnant with son Richard, doctors quickly determined that her appendix was about to burst and she was rushed to the hospital where her appendix was removed. During her hospital stay Rose was in pain and found it very difficult to sleep. Because of her pregnancy, doctors did not want to give her any drugs. Late in the evening, Rose remembers a little nun coming into the hospital room. The sister gently rubbed her arms and back and helped her relax and finally fall asleep. Rose remember the nun saying, “There, there, mother. All will be well.” The next morning when Rose awoke, she asked about the sweet nun who had visited her during the night, as she wanted to thank her. The nurse on duty said, “We have no nuns on the night shift.” Rose, who always had a devotion Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, believed that the kindly nun who had come to her aid had been Mother Cabrini. 

Rose was declared Senior Citizen of the Year in 1992 to represent the Independence Park Seniors group. In 1994, her famous rye bread won 1st place in the Chicago Park District’s Bake O Rama.

Her hobbies included attending craft classes at Independence Park and Rummage sales at St, Viators. She served as a Judge of Elections for 15 years.

Rose liked to keep things simple. She had a low tolerance for yelling, arguments, fights, pressure, tension, and general complications. She enjoyed ice skating, entertaining, traveling, wine, friends, and praying the rosary.

And, her favorite flowers were roses, of course!


May 26, 2023

3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Cooney Funeral Home
625 Busse Hwy
Park Ridge, IL 60068

Funeral Mass
May 27, 2023

10:00 AM
St. Viator Church
4170 W. Addison St.
Chicago, Illinois 60641


Congregation of the Resurrection
3601 N. California Avenue, Chicago IL 60618
Tel: 1-773-463-7506

Viatorian Province Center
1212 E. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights IL 60004
Tel: 1-847-398-1350


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