Camille Duane Rosengren died peacefully in her River Road neighborhood home on Saturday, September 11th, 2021 - approximately two weeks shy of her 95th birthday. At her side was her daughter, Emily Katherine Ferry.
Camille was born Emily Camille Sweeney in San Antonio, Texas, on September 28, 1926, daughter of Emmett Thomas Sweeney and Camille Georgette Lodovic. Growing up, Cam as she was known by virtually all, resided for most of her childhood in both The Menger and the St. Anthony hotels in downtown San Antonio. Her stories of meeting celebrities in the lobby and rummaging around the attic of the Menger were fascinating (although she vowed to having never seen a ghost there.) She attended the Bonn-Avon School in King William and received her master's degree from Our Lady of the Lake and her PHD from the University of the Incarnate Word. In 1951 she married Frank Duane Rosengren, son of Florence and Frank Rosengren, proprietors of the celebrated San Antonio bookstore, Rosengren's. With Frank, an author, poet and playwright, the couple moved to New York City and Cam became a researcher at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Their daughter Emily was born, and the family stayed in New York for well over a decade until returning to San Antonio. Cam became a librarian at San Antonio College before the opening of Hemisfair '68 and then went to work as a Researcher for the newly established Institute of Texan Cultures. Eventually Cam took over the Managing of Rosengren's Bookstore from her mother-in-law and, through her guidance, the store flourished as the preeminent independent book seller in South Texas. Famous authors, celebrities, politicians, artists and local citizenry all flocked to Rosengren's, behind the Alamo and then on the Riverwalk, for highest quality and intellectual inspiration. A true cultural landmark in the history of San Antonio.
Cam was a former Vice-President of the San Antonio Conservation Society and a member of Women for Peace in the Southwest.
She was also one of the original founders of the River Road Neighborhood Association, as well as a longtime member of the Zonta Club of San Antonio.
Cam was an extremely bright, worldly, and well-versed individual. She was direct, curious, and not unfamiliar with an occasional use of colorful language. She suffered fools with all the patience of a guillotine operator. And yet, if you were up to speed with her quick, razor-sharp mind the world instantly became a much livelier, engaging place. She was nearly always the best-read person at any gathering. The latest movies, books, classical music, political events in Myanmar, favorite restaurants in New York - she either knew or could rustle up an answer even without an iPhone nearby. Conversations around her kitchen table were legendary. If San Antonio ever had a nascent literary salon it burgeoned in the historic 1780 "Zambrano Homestead" residence of the Rosengren family. A distinctive woman of taste, wit, intellect and culture, the city of San Antonio, and indeed all that knew and loved her, were honored by her very presence and strength of character.
She is preceded in death by her husband Frank in 2010 and survived by her daughter Emily Ferry of Los Angeles and her godchildren, Ben Hernandez, and Dolores Hernandez Kuttruff. Heartfelt gratitude to the many amazing caregivers, Dr. Jay Hoelscher, and the hospice care program at CompleteCare.
In lieu of flowers a donation to The Wildlife Conservancy would be greatly appreciated (wcs.org)