Rose Marie Cernazanu
Sept. 15, 1928-May 21, 2014
Rose Marie Cernazanu, 85, joined her Heavenly Father on May 21, 2014, following a long and courageous battle with cancer.
She passed peacefully at her home in Gold Beach, with her son and daughter by her side.
Rose was born Sept. 15, 1928, on the family cattle ranch in Polaris, Montana, to Edward and Wilda Marchesseau.
She graduated with the class of 1946 from Beaver Head High School in Dillon, Montana, and attended the University of Montana in Missoula. While there, she met Pete Cernazanu, a young man from Romania who became her husband of 60 years. They were married at the Marchesseau ranch on April 10, 1948.
They spent their years together primarily in the Pacific Northwest following Pete’s career with the U.S. Forest Service and raising their daughter, Jeanna, and two sons, Jim and John.
After Pete’s retirement on the Malheur National Forest in John Day, he and Rose arrived in Gold Beach in 1982, where they managed the Indian Creek RV Park. Charmed by the coast’s beauty and the allure of the Rogue River Chinook, they decided to settle in. Rose quickly caught on to salmon fishing and landed a 42 pound springer out of the Rogue’s “Ferry Hole.”
Growing up in Montana’s breathtaking Grasshopper Valley, riding horseback in the high Cascades of Washington, exploring Eastern Oregon’s high desert and the Southern Oregon Coast allowed Rose to nurture her love of nature and discover many pursuits. She was an adventurous and free spirit who delighted in portraying her life through stories and stagecraft. Her passions included rockhounding, camping, fossil and arrowhead hunting, fishing, beachcombing, clamming, and picking morel mushrooms, huckleberries and wild choke cherries. She loved music, literature, travel, and animals. Rose was also known as a formidable opponent on the bowling lanes.
She leaves a legacy as “The Montana Gal on Horseback who Killed the Huge Bear.” The story hit the newsstands from San Francisco to Washington D.C., after she killed a large black bear with a .22 rifle at the age of 16, while tending to a herd of sheep on the family ranch in Montana. Letters and postcards poured in from across the country from fascinated readers.
Rose is preceded in death by her husband Pete; and son Jim whom she lost just six months ago from brain cancer.
She is survived by daughter and son-in-law Jeanna and Tim Hall of Portland; son and daughter in-law John and Karen Cernazanu of Broomfield, Colorado; daughter in-law Tootie Cernazanu of John Day. Also surviving are 19 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
Rose was an active member of the Bethany Lutheran Church, and had a special bond with Pastor Tim Brueckner and his congregation. She cultivated many close friendships throughout the Gold Beach community. Her kindness and compassion for others will fondly be remembered.
All are welcome to attend her memorial service at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 8, at Bethany Lutheran Church, 94190 Fifth St., in Gold Beach.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Bethany Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 1197, Gold Beach, OR 97444.
Rose and Pete chose to have their ashes spread at one of their favorite places “back on the ranch,” in Montana.
Submitted by the family.