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Rossie Iris Sargeant
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Obituary for Rossie Iris Sargeant

Rossie Iris Sargeant, 70, passed away peacefully in the morning hours of Christmas Eve after a brief illness.  She was surrounded by her family.  She was born on November 9,1946, in Mount Vernon, Illinois.  She grew up with her parents, Betty and Walter "Stuffy" Gowler, and twin brothers, Jessie and Jack, in Galesburg.  She met Michael Ray Sargeant while attending Galesburg High School and they were married in October 1965 at Galesburg Church of God.  In 1974 they adopted a baby boy, Michael Shad, and in 1978, they adopted a second baby boy, Matthew.  Both boys now live in Madison Wisconsin but were with their mom on Christmas Eve, along with Shad's wife, Anthea.   Rossie worked as clerical staff at Maytag for 25 years.  After retiring from there, she worked at Dick Blick art supply.   Rossie committed enormous energy to caring for others.  She was a dedicated homemaker, a devoted wife and a loving mom. When the boys were young, she enjoyed going on family vacations and weekend trips. Later, she enjoyed bowling, playing card games, lunching with friends from Maytag, get-togethers with family, taking walks with her Yorkies, needlework, reading, listening to music, and collecting Boyd's Bears and Hummel figurines.   After surviving breast cancer a decade ago, Rossie's natural empathy developed into a passion for helping fellow cancer patients.  In recent years, she began to volunteer at the Illinois Cancer Center in Galesburg several times a week, helping to make the chemotherapy patients more comfortable.  She found it deeply gratifying to be able help so many others and she was well loved by patients and staff alike. During her final illness, Rossie was treated by the Cancer Center, St Mary's Hospital, and OSF home care and hospice.  Her family wishes to express great appreciation for the kindness that was shown by the nurses, doctors, and staff.  Her sisters-in-law also provided a great deal of support in recent months.  Rossie met her diagnosis with courage, fortitude, and a fierce determination to survive.  She was indomitable in her optimism.  However, when she finally approached the end of her life, she met her last few days with joy, love, and serenity.  Rossie asked to be remembered with joy rather than mourning.  Per Rossie's wishes, cremation rites have been accorded and her life will be celebrated during a wake on Sunday, January 8, 2017 from 2 – 5 PM, at The Thomas Legacy Center located at Watson-Thomas Funeral Home, Galesburg. A private family inurnment will be held at the Oaklawn Memorial Garden's Mausoleum at a later date. Arrangements have been entrusted with Watson-Thomas Funeral Home and Crematory, Galesburg. Due to Rossie's connection with the Illinois Cancer Center, her family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Center in her name.  Expressions of sympathy may be left for the family at

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2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Thomas Legacy Center

1849 N. Seminary St.
Galesburg, Illinois 61401

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Illinois Cancer Center

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