Christian 04

Rose Marie Wrung

October 19, 1942 ~ March 26, 2024 (age 81) 81 Years Old
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Rose Marie Wrung Obituary

Rose Marie Wrung
(October 19, 1942 – March 26, 2024)

On Tuesday, March 26, 2024, Rose Marie Wrung, age 81, of Sunnyside, WA unexpectedly, and without permission from family and friends, went home to be with Jesus. She was born at Butterworth hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Oct. 19, 1942, the daughter of James Paul and Leola Marjorie (Hammer) Johnson. Rose Marie married Douglas Edward Wrung in the chapel of Calvin College, Grand Rapids during a Michigan blizzard on January 25, 1969.  Rose Marie received a B.A in Biblical Studies from Baptist College, a teaching certificate from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in counseling from Liberty University.

Growing up on a dairy farm in rural Michigan, she could not have imagined the adventures she would go on or the thousands of lives she impacted. She met many missionaries and read their stories through the influence of her parents, and her desire to follow her savior, Jesus Christ, shaped the choices she made and how she lived her life.

Rose Marie, known as Rosi to her family, attended a one-room schoolhouse until high school. Her 15-year-old future husband, Doug, first got a glimpse of her as she walked up to the podium to give a candidate speech her Senior year at Belding High School for “Student Body Mayor”. And yes, she was elected. Rosi graduated Salutatorian from Belding high school and furthered her education at Grand Rapids Baptist College.   A friendly and kind extrovert, Rose Marie was able to sway the student body to elect her, a woman, as their president/queen in 1965. Her professor, Dr. Victor Matthews, became a mentor and friend; his wisdom prepared her for the challenges of missions work and prayer ministry.

After receiving her teaching certificate from MSU, Rose Marie began teaching Junior High English in Grandville, MI.  Her brother Joel’s best friend, Doug, never forgot the “older woman” whom he had seen often during visits to the Johnson home.  On a weekend break the first year of med school, Doug decided he needed to get away and visited his friend Joel and Joel’s new wife, Ethel. Doug’s intention was to find out Rosi’s availability, and Joel encouraged him to call her for a date. For their first official date, Rosi fixed Doug a meal of rib-eye steak, at the insistence of her roommate, Pat O’Connor, “because he was a poor starving med student”, and then they saw the movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” In May 1968, Rose Marie agreed to marry a future doctor and be a full-time homemaker, an occupation in which she excelled.

Vena Marie arrived in 1969 and Heather in 1971.  Their youngest daughter, Daphne, was born at the same hospital as Rose Marie, on the first day of her husband’s internship in 1972. (Hence, why she is their favorite daughter!)  A year and a half later, the family moved to Germany, where Doug was serving as General Medical Officer.  This was the beginning of Rose Marie’s world travels with her family, husband, church, and friends.  With her love of learning, hospitality, and mission work, she introduced her daughters to many cultures through cooking, dining with friends and acquaintances, and of course, reading.  

After three years in Germany and a year back in Michigan, Rose Marie followed her husband and moved the family to Sierra Leone, West Africa, where Doug had the opportunity to run a mission hospital. Along with supporting her husband in an often frightening and unfamiliar world, Rose Marie homeschooled her girls, traveled to small villages to teach Jesus stories at “Maternal and Under 5” public health visits, and prayed unceasingly for the natives and missionaries. She stepped out of her comfort zone by allowing a menagerie of pets to inhabit her home, from flying squirrels, to toads, to Grace, a well-loved spot nosed monkey. The Wrung family accepted into their home, Salu, a young Sierra Leonean boy, who became a foster son and brother until he passed away from cancer.  Rose Marie was committed to encouraging everyone who stepped into her home to know peace and love, especially when they were struggling with pain, whether emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually.

When their term on the mission field was completed in Sierra Leone, the family returned to Michigan, where Rose Marie became active in church ministry at Calvary Baptist Church for several years.  In 1982, Doug got the itch to move west after a big-game hunt in Montana. Though it was not Rose Marie’s dream to move to Wyoming, she reluctantly relocated and helped Doug establish his family practice in the small town of Lovell. She once again became active in her church and community, learning to love the mountains and how to cook the elk, antelope, and venison Doug would hunt. After seven years in Lovell, the family moved to Sunnyside, Washington. With one daughter in college and two soon to be, it made sense to move to a location that was more financially and environmentally stable.

Rose Marie’s service will be held on the 35th anniversary of Doug opening his practice in Sunnyside; something she would appreciate and celebrate. In the past few years, she and Doug often discussed that even though moving away from family was difficult, the decisions were truly guided by Providence. Grandview Nazarene Church became her place to minister in many capacities; She served on the Board, was Director of Prayer Ministries, and volunteered in her community through many different ministries – most recently serving on the Mission Council. Rose Marie encouraged many through her Christian ministries, but she desired to help others even more; at the age of 50, she became a licensed mental health counselor. She hungered for insight into the human psyche and how through compassion, understanding, and Jesus’ love, lives could be miraculously transformed. 

One of Rose Marie’s greatest joys was spending time with her grandchildren. Vena Marie is, of course, the favorite daughter as she gave Rose Marie and Doug these gifts. In December 2001, Vena Marie, Konrad, Elisa, and Meribeth moved in with Rose Marie and Doug. Though this was an adjustment for everyone, Rose Marie gladly welcomed three young children, their pets (dog, bird, tortoise, and gecko) and their homeschooling projects to disrupt her tidy home. On Wednesdays, she closed her counseling practice to spend deliberate time with her grandchildren, helping with schoolwork, studying God’s word, and pouring her love and wisdom into them. These years were precious to her and her family.

In September 2011, a dream of hers became a reality — traveling to Europe with her girls to visit the places the family experienced while in Germany during the early 1970’s. Vena Marie, Heather, Daphne, and their mom spent three weeks together, remembering their outings from 36 years before, gazing in awe at Michelangelo’s David in Florence, Italy, recreating photos holding up the tower Pisa, and walking the walled city of Rothenberg. They also made new memories at Dachau Concentration Camp, Corrie Ten Boom’s home, and visiting the Luxembourg American Cemetery, where a family friend was buried.

The farm girl from Michigan did not live a small life or have a limited view of who people were.  She was a world traveler, visiting 45 states and the countries of West Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, England, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Canada, South Africa, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland, the Philippines, Aruba, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. In Dario, Nicaragua she helped to establish an elementary school, which has expanded to include a high school. This ministry, Compassion in Action, held a special place in her heart.

Rose Marie will always be remembered for her love of beauty and music, her welcoming home, her warm hospitality to hundreds of guests, her giving heart, her intelligent and inquisitive mind, and her ability to make a great cup of coffee even though she couldn’t stand the stuff!

She intentionally showed kindness and love to every single person she met, desiring they knew how precious and special they were in her eyes and the eyes of her God. Rose Marie’s absolute devotion and love for her husband was seen by everyone who knew her and is a testament to what unconditional love represents. She lived the words of one of her favorite authors, C.S. Lewis “The great thing to remember is that though our feelings come and go, God's love for us does not.”

Rose Marie is survived by her husband of 55 years, Dr. Douglas Wrung; daughters, Vena Marie, Heather (the favorite daughter because she is the techy geek helping navigate the unfamiliar world of modern technology),  and Daphne (partner Greg); grandchildren Konrad, Elisa (partner Travis), and Meribeth; great-granddaughter, Elle Faith; Japanese daughter, Satoko Murakami; Brazilian son, Davi Pedrosa de Aguiar; brother Joel (wife Ethel) Johnson; two foster brothers, Bob (wife Gail) McNinch and Jack McNinch; mother-in-law, Marian Wrung; sisters-in-law, Sue Sessions and Christine Ulmer; Aunt Ruth; many cousins, nieces, nephews, and countless special friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister-in-law Cheryl Wade, and father-in-law Charles Wrung.

Rose Marie’s viewing will be Friday, April 5th at Smith’s Funeral Home, Sunnyside, WA  from 4 to 7pm. Her Celebration of Life will be Saturday, April 6th at Grandview Nazarene Church at 10am. It will be livestreamed and recorded: it will be available at https://www.youtube.com/@gvnaz1 or www.gvnaz.org.  Because of her passion for giving to others, Rose Marie would like to be remembered by donations to Missions Grandview Nazarene Church - Give (gvnaz.org) or mail a check to Grandview Church of the Nazarene, 500 N. Elm Street, Grandview, WA 98930.

Those wishing to sign Rose Marie's online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com  Smith Funeral Home, is in care of arrangements. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rose Marie Wrung, please visit our floral store.

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Services

Viewing and Visitation
Friday
April 5, 2024

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Smith Funeral Home
528 S. 8th St.
Sunnyside, WA 98944

Funeral Service
Saturday
April 6, 2024

10:00 AM
Grandview Church of the Nazarene
500 North Elm
Grandview, WA 98930

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