December 29, 1935 ‒ July 31, 2021
Rosemary (Rosie Uhl) Boblenz, age 85, of Marion, passed away on Saturday, July 31, 2021, at Kingston Residence of Marion.
Rosemary was born in Waldo, Ohio, on December 19, 1935, tothe late Cletus and Marguerite (Orthmeyer) Uhl. Two months after her birth, the family moved to a farm in Big Island, where Rosemary grew up and learned the importance of family, the value of work, and the power of love.
She made many memories on the farm, later writing about a time in 1937 when her dad sold his horses: “I was about 2 ½ years old then. [Brother] Eugene and I were in the barnyard with Dad. We were standing near a wagon watching the men who were taking the horses. Well, about the time one of the horses was being led to the truck to be taken away. Dad put his hands under my arms and swooped me up into the wagon, as he did with Eugene. I remember the horses coming by the wagon bobbling their head like horses do when they walk. I was about eye-to-eye level with the horses. I think this is the earliest memory of my life.”
Rosemary graduated from St. Mary High School in 1953 and, shortly after, worked at the Marion County Court House in the Clerk of Courts Automobile Title office. Around this time, Rosemary met her lifelong partner and soulmate, James Boblenz. A day trip to the lake with mutual friends, James later wrote, “was my introduction to Rosie Uhl, my future bride.”
He continued, “I found that this Uhl girl was interesting and fun to talk to, and that she had an engaging smile. She had been really hard to convince to go out with me, but when she finally went, we went again several times during the remainder of my 30-day leave. In fact, when my leave was over and I had to head to Fort Bliss, Texas to complete my three-year enlistment, she took me to the train station, kissed me goodbye, and sent me away. I was so tickled.”
The two wed on November 9, 1957, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Marion. They moved into a home in Morral and bought a 118-acre farm near Cardington, where they raised hogs, chickens, and sheep. They welcomed their two beloved daughters, “Teresa Ann and Vicki Lynn,” soon after.
In addition to being a devoted wife and mother, Rosemary had an ascendent civil service career in Department of Army. She rose to become a Senior Logistics Specialist and was in charge of four of the Army’s primary systems during the Gulf War: the M2 Bradley Mechanized Infantry Fighting Vehicle, the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, the Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Outfit, and the Portable Laundry Machine. In 1986 she was awarded the Department of the Army Civilian Achievement Medal for her work on the team studying reverse osmosis.
During their careers as civil servants, Rosemary and James lived in St. Louis, Detroit twice, Lexington twice, and Huntsville, Alabama. They retired on September 30, 1994, and returned to Marion in 1996. At the time, the Huber Machinery Museum was just getting started. The building was still incomplete. James and Rosemary worked many long hours helping to complete the building, collect exhibits, and restore many of the old pieces.Rosemary helped James conduct research on items in the museum, curated exhibitions and educational displays for the community, and planned events and gatherings including the Marion County Steam & Gas Engine Society Show and the Gathering of the Hubers.
Since the Museum was new and unknown at the time, they also started taking an exhibit to antique tractor shows in Ohio and Indiana to introduce exhibitors and owners to the Marion-based museum. Rosemary and James both believed in the important work of documenting rural American farm history, and they found great joy in adding to their own collection while on the road together attending tractor events and fairs across the country, collecting various miniature farming toys, tractors, hay carriers, jacks, typewriters, canes, and more. They continued with the on-road exhibit until the end of 2014, and both remained tour guides for visitors to the museum until Rosemary was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
An adventurous pair that was always together, Rosemary and James traveled across the country in their motor home visiting all lower 48 States. Family was always most important to them, and they were immensely proud of their two daughters, Terri and Vicki, and their many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They often took the families on camping trips, museum visits, and vacations to Florida and Disney World, and they regularly hosted big family dinners at their house. Their loving legacy is defined by how much they cherished curiosity, play, and togetherness.
Rosemary will be deeply missed by her daughters, Teresa Ann (Joseph) Mantey of Caledonia and Vicki Lynn (John Jr.) Burnham of Davenport, Florida; grandchildren, Jennifer (Dean) McMahan, Jackie (Justin Golak) Mantey, Jacob (Brittany) Mantey, Joel (Chelsea) Mantey, Daniel Burnham, and Jamie (Justin) Bourland; great-grandchildren, Peyton, Morgan, Riley, Foster, Rosalyn, Loren, Jaycen, Chloe, John, Lily, and Jack; sister Alice (Uhl) Poorman, brothers Eugene (Marlene) Uhl and Larry (Joann) Uhl, and many nieces and nephews and their families.
In addition to her parents, Rosemary was preceded in death by her siblings Elizabeth (Betty) Bishop, Peggy Richie, Richard Allen Uhl, and Tom (Diana) Uhl; as well as her husband and best friend. James and Rosie, his “farm girl from Big Island,” are united once more.
Visitation will be held at Snyder Funeral Homes, Gunder/Hall Chapel (347 W. Center St., Marion) on Friday, August 20, with a prayer service at 3:45 and calling hours from 4 to 7 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 am St. Mary Catholic Church on Saturday, August 21, with Father Tennant presiding. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Donations may be made in Rosemary’s honor to The Alzheimer’s Association.
Snyder Funeral Homes, Gunder/Hall Chapel is honored to serve Rosemary’s family. Online condolences may be expressed by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.