Elizabeth Kornexol was born on March 17, 1937 in Kansas City Mo. Immediately after her birth she was placed in the care of The Cradle, a local adoption agency. At about one week of age, she was given to Mary and Gerhart Claassen of Newton Kansas. They renamed her Rose Marie. For most of her adult life she was known as Rosie. Rose Marie grew up in Newton, attending public schools there and graduating from the Newton High School in 1955. Her senior year of high school was spent taking classes at Bethel College where she lived on campus.
After graduation in 1955 she began one year of service with Mennonite Central Committee’s voluntary service program. Rosie was assigned to serve at the Baptist Children’s Home in Bethesda MD. During this time, she met her future husband, Dale Horst. Dale and Rosie were married in Newton, KS on August 12, 1956. Thus began a series of moves, the young couple lived in Lancaster County, PA where their son Roger was born, then followed a move back to Newton while Dale attended Bethel College. Following graduation they moved to Silver Spring, MD, where Dale worked at the National Institutes of Health and attended graduate school. After Dale completed his schooling Rosie found herself adapting to a new environment in Northern New Jersey where they lived for 20 years. Rosie returned to her roots in Kansas in 1986 where she lived with her husband in rural Marion County, close to their expanding family.
Rosie was devoted to her family as wife, mother, grandmother and finally great grandmother. Where ever she found herself, she was a constant fountain of joy and inspiration to those around her as well as to many pen pals around the country. In her moves from place to place she left a trail of enduring friendships.
Rosie was an avid reader, concentrating on American colonial history and Mennonite history. Somehow, she was always able to consume volumes of literature without letting that interfere with her daily chores and routines.
Rosie passed away peacefully June 16, at home surrounded by her family after a short illness. She is survived by her husband Dale, her son Roger and daughter in law Denise of McPherson, grandchildren Sara Jantz (Troy) of Hesston, Nathaniel (Breanna) of Wichita, and Christopher of McPherson, and four great grandchildren, Hudson and Harrison Jantz and Addilyn and Carlee Horst.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Mennonite Central Committee or the Kauffman Museum in North Newton.