Saturday, June 4, 2022
11:00 AM EDT
St. John Cantius Cemetery
2845 E Michigan St
Freesoil, MI 49411
Please join us for a Lunch provided after the burial at Ludington Bay Brewing beginning at 12:15pm, 515 South James Street, Ludington Mi
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Van Andel Institute
Life Story / Obituary
It was a blessing to have known and loved Teenie Rogus. To all she encountered, Teenie’s positive nature, happy spirit and welcoming smile shown bright. Teenie was just as nurturing and loving as she was strong-willed and independent and filled the lives of those around her with unending joy. Teenie held fast to her faith and the family she loved. Although deeply missed, she will be lovingly remembered as a treasure in the hearts of all.
By 1939, Americans were beginning to hope again as the U.S. began to slowly emerge from the Great Depression. “God Bless America” was introduced, and moviegoers enjoyed the premieres of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and “Gone with the Wind.” Yet in the bustling city of Chicago, Illinois, Joseph and Helen (Janis) DeRosa found much to be thankful for when on September 13, 1939, they welcomed the birth of their little girl, Clementine Marie into their hearts and home.
The oldest of eventually four children in the DeRosa household, Teenie as she was affectionately known, grew up in the nearby suburb of Calumet City, Illinois. To support their thriving family, her father worked at a local steel mill manufacturing box cars while her mother remained at home as a homemaker and seamstress.
A young girl of her generation, Teenie attended Lincoln Elementary School. It was during her high school years when she met the young man who would forever hold her heart, John Rogus. John and his family had just moved to the area after purchasing the grocery store on the corner down from Teenie’s house. After her mother had been to the store one day, she told Teenie to ride down to meet the new, cute boy there. As fate would have it, John and Teenie ended up being in the same class at school and after asking her to be his prom date, the two began dating.
After graduating from Thornton Fractional North High School with the Class of 1957, John joined the U.S. Marine Corp. Stationed stateside in Hawaii, the couple wrote one another extensively back and forth while Teenie attended Hoosier State Beauty College for a year. When Teenie received a letter from her sweetheart asking her to marry him along with money for a ring, Teenie was overjoyed. When John returned home on leave, they were happily married on September 12, 1959, at St. Victor Catholic Church in their hometown of Calumet City.
The newlyweds returned to Hawaii where John was still stationed and lived in the married barracks there. It wasn’t long before they were expecting their first child and when Teenie was seven months along, she flew home to Calumet City to be cared for by family. Missing the birth of their daughter, Eve in 1960 by one day, they eventually were able the share the births of two more children when sons John came along in 1961, and Joe who completed their family in 1963.
Upon his honorable discharge from the service, John supported Teenie and their family working for the consumer finance company, American General Finance. He was frequently promoted and hence, their family moved often. Having moved at least 20 times, they made the states of Illinois, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina, and Kansas their home. Prior to each move, John would go and find them a home and Teenie would follow with the kids in tow. They would often remodel or redecorate each home, and Teenie managed it all. Their numerous moves challenged Teenie to hold the family together by selling their homes, enrolling their children into schools, church, and other activities. Eve even remembers going on runs with her father when he had to repossess a TV or appliance when customers failed to pay. Fond memories were especially shared and enjoyed in New Hampshire because they lived there for seven years, the longest by far.
Through it all, Teenie was a super mom in every sense. Wherever life took them, Teenie made a wonderful and loving home for John and the kids. Extremely organized, she was also a cleanaholic and whenever she cleaned, it was often referred to as being “Teenieized”! A fantastic homemaker and seamstress, it all provided a wonderful backdrop for her children full of sweet memories. She excelled in creative projects including crochet, an art she learned from her Ukrainian mother. She was a great cook, made her children’s clothes and even made homemade donuts for her children to enjoy after their school day. Teenie’s favorite meal included a good hamburger with fries, and it didn’t matter if it was homemade or at a restaurant. She also had quite the sweet tooth. She loved chocolate, especially Chunkies, and later in life, Rolos and Pecan Sandie cookies! Teenie absolutely loved to cook and was very good at it, too. Her natural culinary skills were passed onto her son Joseph, who is an award-winning Chef and business owner.
Devoted to their Catholic faith, Teenie always found a church to be part of where she was very active as well as involved with the kid’s schools. With her loving and nurturing spirit, Teenie took an active role in the lives of her children. In the months of summer they camped often so John usually drove into work. She and the kids frequently rode their bikes through town together, and in her younger years she loved to figure skate. It didn’t matter where they lived, Teenie always found a way to be plugged into their community. While residing in New Hampshire, Teenie was president of the Mother’s Club. One night she wanted to meet up with the ladies, but John was absolutely against it. Needless to say, Teenie wouldn’t back down and eventually went, and their kids remembered this as maybe the biggest disagreement they ever had!
Teenie possessed many qualities and talents. Independent by nature, she was also quite athletic, and exceptional at golf. Empty nesters by their early forties, they played a lot of golf together, especially after John retired at age 60. At this point in time they moved to Fountain, Michigan northeast of Ludington where Teenie enjoyed golf at Manistee National Golf Club. They also began wintering in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with many friends and her only surviving sibling, Lindy.
When it came to golf, Teenie cheered for the likes of Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, and loved watching golf on TV along with the news and entertainment news. She remained a loyal Chicago Cubs fan, and as an avid reader, she preferred historical fiction. At home, Teenie liked having the radio on enjoying the sounds of Andrea Bocelli, Bobby Darren, and pop music. With her love of travel, she was always at the ready for a family vacation or a trip with John.
Teenie and John were the best of companions. She just loved being with John and spending time together doing the many things they enjoyed such as playing golf and cards. She liked to crochet and collect butter churns as well as ceramic foot warmers. John liked to collect duck decoys, so whenever they went out to sales and markets, they each had something to look for. Growing up they were staunch Democrats, but after they got jobs and “figured it out”, they became lifelong Republicans which made for great conversations.
The year 2000 found Teenie and John at a crossroads. After John was diagnosed with cancer and Teenie began experiencing memory issues, the realization that they both required more care was evident. Before long they moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan to be near their daughter, Eve. The loss of their son, John in 2012 also took a heavy toll on them. When Teenie’s beloved John passed away in 2016, it was truly a loss as he had always been by her side. As Teenie’s need for care grew, her family brought in companions. Students in the GVSU Nursing program were a tremendous help and comfort to her, and they lovingly referred to it as, “driving Miss Teenie”. Parveen “Grace” Kaur became quite close to Teenie giving her immeasurable joy and care, having spent four days a week together. For the last six years, Teenie lived at American House in Wyoming where she found the comforts of home. Teenie overcame many obstacles in her life including most recently, dementia, yet the staff at The American House Wyoming often commented on her wonderful ability to love, laugh, and show kindness to others.
A strong willed yet loving, independent and beautiful soul, Teenie Rogus was a delight to know and love. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, it brought Teenie great joy to be surrounded by those she loved and cared about. With ways all her own and with strength of spirit, Teenie lived life to the fullest at every opportunity. Deeply missed, Teenie will be fondly remembered by those who knew her best.
Clementine “Teenie” Marie (DeRosa) Rogus, formerly of Fountain, Michigan, age 82, passed away quietly after battling dementia for nearly six years. Teenie is preceded in death by her husband, John and son, John whom she dearly loved. Surviving is her daughter, Eve Rogus and husband, Paul Becker, and son, Joseph and wife, Jennifer Rogus; sister, Linda “Lindy” and Leo Bonin; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Visitation will be held Friday, June 3, 2022, 4-6 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW Grand Rapids, MI with a private family dinner following, and a graveside service and burial at 11 AM on Saturday, June 4, 2022, in Freesoil, MI at St. John Cantius Catholic Church Cemetery. The family wishes to thank Parveen “Grace” Kaur for her long-term support and friendship which lifted Teenie out of her darkest times; her faithfulness is recognized here as heroic and appreciated. Gifts in lieu of flowers may be given to the Van Andel Institute where they are pursuing research for cures and treatment for many dementia related diseases. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read Teenie’s life story and to share a favorite memory or photo and to sign her online guest book.