Rose Lovejoy (1929-2022) was waitress at the Wagon Wheel, fried cake roller at Rockton Methodist Church


Rose Marie Lovejoy of Rockton passed away peacefully, with her daughters at her bedside, on Saturday, January 15, 2022 at 92 years old. She was born March 31, 1929 in Rockford, Illinois to Vera (Carpenter) Bates and Carl Bates.

Rose graduated from Hononegah High School and Northern Illinois State Teachers College (now Northern Illinois University in DeKalb). Rose married Newell Curtis Lovejoy on July 30, 1949, at Roscoe United Methodist Church. During the wartime manpower shortage, she started traveling throughout Winnebago County on a detasseling crew for DeKalb Hybrid Seed Corn, working at area farms. She was a longtime waitress at the Wagon Wheel

Rose’s other passions were volunteering for her community of Rockton. She was involved in 21 years of service to the Rockton Grade School PTA, 4-H, and Scouts. She was a member of the Rockton United Methodist Church, with her favorite role as “the roller” for the Fried Cake Ladies (you won't learn that on YouTube). She was also active in Rockton United Methodist Women, Fidelis Circle, and the Memorial Committee. In the community, she was involved with the Rockton Historical Society, Greater Rockton Centre, and major community events. Rose also had many happy memories of her winters in Arizona.

She had a big heart focused on her children as a supportive mother, dutiful daughter to her parents’ care, wife, outstanding grandmother, a generous neighbor and friend. Survivors include her daughters Julie Nichols (Dave), Janet Kibler (Eric), Jody Ware (Bill) and Jill Knoespel (Keith). Gayle Lovejoy, daughter-in-law, wife of son Jack Lovejoy, has also been a special part of Rose’s life. 

Rose had many grandchildren including Stacia Hale (Jason), Scott Nichols (Alix), Ryan Lovejoy (Kelly), Chad Lovejoy (Angela), Tyler Lovejoy (Heather), Ethan Kibler (Jana), Justin Ware (Karen), Jamie Brackemyer (Zachary), Jason Knoespel (Polina Zasheva) and Jared Knoespel (Lauren Jones). Rose’s great-grandchildren include Jace and Jordyn Hale, Isabella and Isaac Nichols, Avery, Owen and Miles Lovejoy, Evelyn and Joseph Lovejoy, Noah Lovejoy and Audrey Halsted, Stella and Lucy Brackemyer. Rose is survived by her brother Roger Bates (Judy) as well as numerous nieces and nephews who Rose was close to and loved.

Rose was predeceased by her parents, Vera and Carl Bates; her loving husband, Newell Lovejoy; son, Jack Lovejoy and granddaughter Kelly Lovejoy. In addition, Rose was predeceased by her sisters, Norma Bloom and Lois Peterson, and her brothers, Charles Bates and John Bates.

Rose requested that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be given to Rockton United Methodist Church, Talcott Free Library and Rockton Lions’ Club - Jack Lovejoy Scholarship.

Many thanks to NorthPointe Terrace for their love and care while she was a resident.

Visitation and remembrance for Rose Lovejoy will be Saturday, January 22, 2022 at McCorkle Funeral Home, 767 N Blackhawk Boulevard, Rockton, Illinois. Visitation will be at 9:00 a.m. followed by a memorial service at 10:30 a.m. The family requests wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. A burial of Rose’s remains will be held in a private family service at a later date.

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