MOUNT GILEAD — Rosina Thurston Gillen, 78, of Mount Gilead, went to be with the Lord early Saturday morning, April 19, 2014, at Riverside Methodist Hospital following a brief illness.
On Feb. 7, 1936, Rosina was born at home in Ashley, Ohio, one of seven children of the late Claude and Hazel (Osborn) Thurston. She graduated from Ashley High School in the Class of 1954.
For over 30 years, Rosina was a dedicated employee of Peco in Galion, which later became North Electric and Alcatel. She worked in the engineering department, and moved with the company to Tennessee in 1979, and to North Carolina in 1985, where she remained until returning home to be near her family in 2004. A woman of deep faith, Rosina was most recently a member of the Iberia Presbyterian Church. Formerly she was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Mount Gilead, and the First Presbyterian Church in Galion, where she was active in the choir. Music was a very important part of her life, as she also played the piano and was proud to have sang in the Messiah in Galion for many years. She also was a 4-H Adviser, and a Den Mother with the Cub Scouts. While life was difficult as a single parent, she did an outstanding job and made sure her kids were able to participate in a variety of activities.
Having gifted and hardworking hands, Rosina was an "exceptional seamstress" making coats, wedding ensembles and even drapes, which she sold to make ends meet when times were difficult. Gardening and canning kept her busy during the summer. She also made many crafts including macramé, and greeting cards of all types. She was very tech savvy, even learning to use Facebook recently. A "prolific letter writer," Rosina would write well thought out and extensive letters to her many family and friends to let them know she cared. She even had a Russian pen pal, Irina Tarasova-Roksvaag, for many, many years. Truly one of the sweetest people you could ever meet, Rosina showered everyone with kindness, never missing an occasion to thank anyone for their efforts. She also had the "brightest eyes and a big beautiful smile" that would make your day.
She will be dearly missed by her three children: Barbara Matteson of Harpster, Marlene (Mike) Lancaster of Mount Gilead, and Steve (Dianna) Tipton of Bellville; a step-daughter, Debbie Hough of Williamsport; five grandchildren: Blake Lancaster, Bryan (Jackie) Lancaster, Nicholas Tipton, Justin Tipton, and Billy Hough; a great-grandson, Abram Lancaster; two brothers: William (Shirley) Thurston of Leonardsburg, and Richard (Janet) Thurston of Azle, TX; a sister, Trudy Oliver of Mount Gilead; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Including her parents, Rosina was preceded in death by her son-in-law, Jim Matteson; two brothers: Daniel and David Thurston; and a sister, Elizabeth "Betty" Royer.
Her family will greet friends from 4 to 7 p.m. today at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead. Services celebrating her life will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, at the Trinity United Methodist Church, 75 E. High St., Mount Gilead, with the Rev. Lori Burdette-Steele officiating. Her family will again greet friends for an hour prior to her services at the Church. Burial will follow in Rivercliff Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to
, 471 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215 and Heifer Project, 1 World Ave., Little Rock, AR 72202.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to have been chosen to serve Rosina's family and your private condolences may be expressed to them by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.