Cover photo for Rosemary Kirk Morledge Peters's Obituary
1930 Rosemary Kirk Morledge Peters 2023

Rosemary Kirk Morledge Peters

November 20, 1930 — December 20, 2023

Rosemary Kirk Morledge Peters

November 20, 1930 - December 20, 2023


Our Mom, Lover of People, Caregiver Extraordinaire – departed this life for her heavenly home on Wednesday, December 20th at Oak Cottage Memory Care in Santa Barbara, California.


She was 93.


Rosemary was born into the Scottish-American Kirk clan in Findlay, Ohio. The youngest of five children, she cherished her siblings together with her extensive band of cousins and friends. She maintained those relationships all her life. Her children enjoyed her stories about her hometown and understood her pride in being a Findlay girl.


From Findlay High School to DePauw University and then to Western Reserve Nursing School (now Case Western Reserve), she focused on public health and was especially gifted in, and adored, her work with infants and toddlers. At Western Reserve, she met and married a young cardiologist, Dr. John Morledge. His practice led them to Florida and Washington before settling in Madison, Wisconsin for a memorable twenty-year adventure there together, nurturing their six children on a one-block long street with seventy-two other kids! She loved that the neighbor kids felt right at home at their house and that her kids were happy and free to roam. It wouldn’t have been possible without the mutual love and support of that amazing group of neighbors and friends. 


Rosemary moved to Santa Barbara, California in 1978. There, she married George Peters. Her circle of love expanded with stepsons and their families.


Rosemary spent more than twenty years soothing and healing as an RN at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, working nights so she could be present for daily activities of her family; first as a medical/surgical nurse, then on the psychiatric unit. The smile on her face and the twinkle in her eyes gave hope to the hopeless. She heard back from patients over the years; she had changed the trajectory of lives. 


Rosemary thrived on connections with people, making everyone she encountered feel special. Even when the cloud of Alzheimer’s took away her kind and caring voice, her clear eyes would still maintain that connection. 


Rosemary enjoyed volunteering at Direct Relief and valued her membership at First Presbyterian Church Santa Barbara where she enthusiastically served as a deacon and a greeter.


She had FOMO (fear of missing out). She almost never missed her kids’ sporting events, recitals, etc. or one of her grandchildren’s special events. She had a sense of adventure and would always be up for anything! Lots of laughter ensued because of some of the things she did to be in on the fun. 


Rosemary was an amazing Mom, Aunt, and Nana. She held high expectations while also instilling in us the value of simple things: mealtimes, sunsets, laughter, playfulness, independence, togetherness, and kindness. The grandchildren gravitated towards her and delighted in her songs and games. She knew each of their favorite snacks, never forgot a birthday or holiday, and sent the best cards. She loved planning trips so we could be together, providing lifelong memories in places such as Green Lake, Wisconsin and Coronado, California.


She taught us all to say grace every night at dinner: “God, we thank you for our food. For rest and home and all things good. For wind and rain and sun above. But most of all, for those we love.” And then she would say, “Doesn’t that say it all?”


Due to Alzheimer’s, we have had to say a thousand little goodbyes over the years to the Rosemary that we knew. The final goodbye was the hardest. But, she is free now, back to the funny, spunky, sparkling person she was created to be and is reunited with some of her favorite people: parents: Charles and Ruth Kirk; brothers: Charlie, James, and Dick Kirk; sister: Ruthanne Stauffer; first husband: John Morledge; second husband: George Peters; son: Paul Morledge; nieces and nephews: Rick Stauffer, Susan Kirk, Julie Ehrensperger, Chuck Kirk, and Jim Kirk; and many of her dear friends.


She is survived by:  


Her newest family: The staff and caregivers at Oak Cottage Memory Care and from Assisted Hospice. We are forever indebted to them for the loving care they provided to our Mom and to our family the last few years. They do some of the most important work of all.


Her children: Kirk Morledge (Faith Zabit) of Madison; Scott Morledge (Kris Comstock) of Austin, Texas; Ann Dodge (Jeff) of Middleton; Jim Morledge of San Diego, California; Beth Webb (David) of Louisville, Colorado. 


Nieces and Nephews: Mary Beth Lamb, Mary Anne Collins-Stauffer (John), David Stauffer (Teruyo), Ann Rickenbach, Jane Fisher, Stephen Kirk, Bonnie Magers (Chip), David Morledge (Alison), Susan Watters (Ben), Clarke Morledge (Lisa), and dearly loved great (and great-great!) nieces and nephews. 


Grandchildren: Steven Miller (Julie), Walker Morledge, Kelly Morledge, Bailey Wohleber (Charlie), John Morledge, Kendall Morledge, Andy Dodge (Brygida), Jimmy Dodge, Daniel Webb (Matalin), Kirk Webb (Karina), Ryan Webb, and Kevin Webb. 


Stepsons: Steve Peters (Ellen) and their daughters Rachel Belavic (Patrick) and Erica Peters Blaauw (Nick); Thomas Peters, his children Damon Tavano, Nico Peters, and Ari Tavano and their mother Suzanne Tavano); and Doug Peters (Gretchen) and their children Walker (Susan) and Asia Hagel (Jeff).


And precious great-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren!


A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 10th at 11:00 am at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E Constance Ave, Santa Barbara. 


Donations in grateful memory of Rosemary may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Direct Relief, or First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara. 


                                                    Winn-Cress Funeral Home

                                                              5785 Hwy Q

                                                           Waunakee, WI

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


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