Rosemary Champion passed away on June 21, 2022, at her home in Mission Viejo, California, with her son by her side.
Rosemary grew up in the small town of Rhinelander, Wisconsin. She graduated from Lincoln High School in Manitowoc in 1959, where she played in the symphony and was a member of the National Honor Society. After high school, she attended Ripon College and received her bachelor's degree in 1963. In addition to her musical pursuits, she ran collegiate track and was president of the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority. It was there she met and later married Ballard Champion from Park Ridge, Illinois. Shortly after, she attended the University of Montana and received her master's degree in 1965. She played in the Missoula Civic Symphony and taught on several Indian reservations in the area.
After graduate school, she and Ballard moved to Guntersville, Alabama, in 1970, where she began a career as band director at Carlisle Park Middle School. It was there she grew the band program to as high as 176 students, dedicating herself to them and her community. She was a highly visible teacher, preparing her students for football season, Christmas concerts, gumbo fundraisers and parades down Gunter Avenue. Sharing the joy of music with younger kids at Cherokee Elementary School was also a passion of hers.
After her time in Guntersville, she went on to teach jazz at Redstone Arsenal and private flute lessons until her retirement in 2008. Throughout her life, she directed band, orchestra, choir, musicals, jazz band, marching band, weddings and funerals, touching thousands of lives through her passion for music. Dear friends, and countless students, who hold learning to play music from Rosemary, as the highlight of their grade school years. She was also an aspiring pilot, skydiver and water skier.
Rosemary is survived by her son Michael and grandchildren Katelyn and Brody of Orange County, California. She is further survived by her brother Dr. C. Charles Daellenbach of Toronto Canada. She was preceded in death by her sister Roberta Mallmann and parents, Rebecca and Conrad Daellenbach.
Those wishing to make a practical contribution to celebrate Rosemary's life are asked to make a donation in her name to the Whole Backstage Theatre in Guntersville, Alabama. https://www.wholebackstage.com/giving