Rosemary Rumely Thomas
May 24, 1949 - June 9, 2014
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|Rosemary Rumely Thomas,
a prominent real estate agent and resident of Evanston for 30 years, died at home on June 9th 2014 at age 65. Rose was born in La Porte, Indiana on May 24th, 1949, the fifth of seven children of Aloysius J. and Frances Murphy Rumely, owners of the La Porte Foundry. Her father was formerly mayor of La Porte.
Rose graduated from La Porte High School in 1968, including one year as an exchange student in Bilbao, Spain. She attended Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Terre Haute, IN and Indiana University, majoring in English. She graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in 1974, where her mother was a trustee and handed Rose her diploma. She graduated from the University of Louisville with a law degree in 1977. While in law school, she met Andrew Thomas, a native of England. They married on January 8th, 1977 in La Porte and moved to Evanston later that year.
Rose began her career in journalism on the city desk at the La Porte Herald-Argus. After moving to the Chicago area, she wrote for Crain’s Chicago Business and then became the managing editor of Pensions and Investments magazine and later, of Building Design and Construction magazine in Chicago. After the birth of her fourth child, she switched to real estate, pursuing a successful career of service for over 20 years as an agent and as the manager of the Evanston office of Koenig & Strey. She was a member of the North Shore Board of Realtors, the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, and also served on the board of directors of Great Bank Evanston.
Rose’s curiosity about other cultures led to a personal commitment to international education. She and her family welcomed exchange students into their home from France, Spain, Thailand, Iceland, and Palestine, and she encouraged her daughters to study and work outside the United States. She retained fluency in Spanish, traveled frequently, and was also an enthusiastic (and pretty good) tennis player and golfer.
Rose is survived by her husband Andrew and their four daughters: Meredith Murphy (Jack) Westwood, Hannah Frances, Emily Anne and Elizabeth Claire (Neal) Miller. She was predeceased by her parents and her brother Paul Rumely of New York City. She is survived by brother Peter Rumely (Lois) of South Bend IN; sister in law Antoinette Rumely of New York City; sister Martha Kuehn (Henry) of Louisville KY, sister Marjorie FitzGerald (Richard) of Louisville, KY; brother John Rumely (Christine) of New York City; sister Frances Jones (Terry) of New Carlisle, IN, and uncle Bert Rumely of New York; as well as many loving cousins, nephews, nieces and her exchange student “daughters”, Marion, Elise, “Q”, Sigrun, and Mai.