Rosa Jean Gillespie was 83 when transitioned to Heaven on Friday, September 25, 2020, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She was born on January 23, 1937, in Woodlawn, Tennessee. She is survived by her brothers Vernon Poindexter, Charles Poindexter and Lewis and his wife Gwen Poindexter, one sister Georgia and her husband Jay Howe of Tennessee, four (4) sons (J. Lu Marc Outlaw, Anthony Outlaw, Ricky Outlaw and Dedrick Gillespie), (1) daughter (Kathy Outlaw-Young) all of Fort Wayne, Indiana, numerous nieces, nephews, an array of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Mom was preceded in death by her father (Hugh Poindexter), mother (Rosie B. Batson), sons Charles Jerome Outlaw, Jerry L. Outlaw and Dorie Delano Gillespie, brother Cosby Poindexter.
It is hard to say goodbye. We wish that we had more time and perhaps that during the time we had we had spent more of it together. We wish that so much of her life had not been lost to her illness, that things could have been different for her, and for us. While we know that she is at peace and that her struggles are at an end, there is pain and sadness. But even though she is gone, she has left the legacy of her love and perseverance. The ways she touched our lives will remain, and I ask you to keep those memories alive by sharing them with me and with one another.
One of the most important things in Mom’s life was gardening, and she took great pride in her flowers. Gardeners are special people. It takes patience, perseverance, and a love for living things to grow a garden or a beautiful flower. Gardening is tedious and hard work, but there is something that gardeners know and experience that others sometimes do not. There is a beauty and a satisfaction in seeing the result of our labor grow and come to fruition. A peacefulness can come over us as we care for and nurture the flowers and plants in a garden. In nurturing living things and helping to bring beauty and peace to the world, gardeners make a difference in the world and make their lives and the lives of those who see their gardens richer and fuller. I think that for Mom, maybe working in the garden was a way to be that patient, loving, and creative nurturing person that she grew to be.
Rosa Jean’s family and her role as mother, grandmother and great grandmother was the most important thing to her. Here is where she drew her strength and left her legacy. Being with her family was what mom has enjoyed most of all. Her life had many obstacles, and she struggled for several years with a debilitating illness. Yet through it all, her love and caring for her family remained her focus, and in so many, many ways, she was able to show that love to us. This perseverance through adversity is a powerful lesson for us, and I believe it is her legacy. What a wonderful lesson she gave us. Keep your priorities straight. Keep that which is most important in focus. Love and care for your family. Let them know in all the ways you can show them that you love them. She believed do not let adversities, setbacks, or any of the distractions of the world keep you from this most important aspect of life. This is a wonderful legacy. This is a wonderful example to follow. Keep focused on what is truly important, not only when your life is easy, but when it is difficult too.
Knowing how much her family meant to her, and also how she loved to cook, I think it was such a special blessing that throughout the years, Mom was able to spend wonderful times with us at Marc’s house for Sunday’s dinner and celebrating holidays, especially Christmas with her family and extended family. The nurturing and the love she showed to all of us, in her own way, will live on and be with us even now that she has gone to be with God.
Burial in Greenlawn Memorial Park
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