Cover photo for Rosemary Grout's Obituary
1919 Rosemary 2022

Rosemary Grout

June 5, 1919 — April 17, 2022


Our beloved mother, nana, and family matriarch, Rosemary (Rollo) Grout, 102, died April 17, 2022, at the home of her daughter Donna in Verona, Wisconsin. Rosemary was born June 5, 1919, in Fort Scott, Kansas, to Bessie and John Rollo. Her father called her “Bright Eyes,” and for over a century her eyes shone bright with music, dancing, family, flowers, and love.

Rosemary grew up in Denver, Colorado, where she met and married Joseph Grout in 1938. Together, they made their homes in Denver and later Brookfield, Appleton, and Madison, Wisconsin, raising a family of ten children and innumerable flower gardens. Music loved and moved her. She played accordion, piano, and hand-bells; she sang in multiple church choirs, including as a founding member of the Madison Diocesan Choir in 1972, and traveled to Europe and Ireland on several choir tours; and she tap-danced into her eighties with the “Tap Dance Kids.” When the music came on, toe-tapping always followed.

Rosemary was a woman of great faith and love and grace, who volunteered for over twenty years serving meals at Luke House and St. Paul’s Catholic Center, as well as delivering Meals on Wheels. She also loved creating beautiful flower gardens, continuing into her time at All Saints Apartments in Madison. Vibrant blossoms graced her rooms, as she graced the lives of her friends and family with love and optimism. She always looked on the bright side of life, and often referred to her children as her special garden.

Rosemary was preceded in death by Joe, her loving husband of 73 years, in 2012. She is survived by her ten children: Paul (Jan), James, Jerry (Ann), Teresa, Steve (Donna), Carol (Kent), Mary (Alan), Donna (Jerry), Dan (Melissa), and Bill (Mary); by 17 grandchildren; and by 10 great-grandchildren. We have all been blessed beyond measure by “Bright Eyes.”

A visitation will be at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The family will hold a private prayer service and interment. The private prayer service will be live-streamed via the following link:

The family wishes to give special thanks to her daughter Donna and husband Jerry for taking her into their loving home for the past two years, to her wonderful caregivers, Deb and Karen, and to her Agrace Hospice teams. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Macular Degeneration research or to Catholic Relief Services.

Cress Funeral & Cremation Services

3610 Speedway Road

(608) 238-3434

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rosemary Grout, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

4:00 - 6:00pm (Central time)

Cress Funeral Home Madison - Speedway

3610 Speedway Rd, Madison, WI 53705

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