Rosemary T. Engelhardt

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Rosemary Teresa Engelhardt, 72, Elkader, died of COVID-19, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, at MercyOne Dubuque. Private graveside services will be held with a public memorial service to be held at a later date.

She was born Jan. 14, 1948, in Independence, to Francis and Clara (DePaepe) Toale.

She graduated from St. John High School, Independence, and later Gates Business College, Waterloo. She worked for a time at the Waterloo Public Library.

On Feb. 22, 1975, she was united in marriage to Ronald Dean Engelhardt at Bethany Lutheran Church in Elkader. The couple made their home in Elkader. She and Ron purchased Miller Ice Cream Company, which they operated for a number of years. They later started their own business, R & R Dairy. She later worked in food service for Central Community Schools.

She was a member of several community organizations over the years: Elkader Lions, Vision 2000, Elkader Chamber of Commerce, Bethany Quilters and Red Horse Fishery.

Rose had a love of sports when it came to her grandchildren, which reflected during every sporting event. She was self-denying beyond what words can describe and was not quick to falter. Her wit was exuberant, her humor was captivating and her love was magnetic. Everyone knew that her love was unwavering and unrestrictive. She was a mom, a grandma and a friend who would set aside imperative tasks just to make each person feel loved. She was the bottom rung of our ladder that was always strong, yet durable. Her love was authentic and deeply appreciated, especially by her grandchildren. She had recently taken up the hobby of rock painting, which she shared with her family and others.

Survivors include her children, Kristine Ann (Pete) Nelsen, Kimberley Sue Heller, Joan Ellen (Robert) Frieden and Brian Jeffrey (Amanda) Engelhardt; 17 grandchildren; sister, Sue (Tom) Knapp of Des Moines; two brothers, Richard (Ann) of Independence and Rev. Msgr. Thomas Toale of Dubuque; and sister-in-law, Marty Toale.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ron (2020); parents; two brothers, Roger and Don; and one sister in-law, Sharon Lee Schlitter.

Memorials can be made to MercyOne Ambulance Elkader, MercyOne Hospital Elkader or the Elkader Library. 

Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elkader is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left with

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