Early Sunday afternoon, over 300 community members came together in the gymnasium of the Waldport High School to celebrate the life and legacy of Rosemary “Rose” Kathryn Burbee. Colleagues and former students shared warm memories created throughout
Rose’s 14 years of teaching at Waldport High School, and friends and family members described experiences throughout her 65 years of life. These stories included a statement from former student Misty Corwin who said she was inspired to become a teacher after spending time in the classroom with Rose, known better to her as “Mrs. Burbee”, as well as former Waldport High principal Von Taylor describing his effort to bring Rose from Newport Middle School to Waldport HS.
Terry Burbee, Rose’s husband, was amazed at the response from the community, saying “when I came inside and saw all the people, I [thought] ‘Wow, Rose touched a lot of people’s lives.’ There was a lot of people that I recognized, and a whole lot more that I didn’t recognize, and I think that’s probably just a fraction of the people that she touched their lives. It kind-of brought some joy to my heart to see all the people there that wanted to remember Rose.”
Rosemary passed away at her home in Seal Rock on December 5, 2015, after a lengthy battle with cancer. Shortly before, she was visited by former students, who said when they walked into the living room, a beautiful smile stretched across her face, and she was eager to talk to them.