Rosemary R. Laughlin
Rosemary R. Laughlin passed away on Wednesday, April 24th 2019 in Carson City Nevada, surrounded by her devoted family, after a full life of almost 97 years. She was preceded in death by her husband, Herbert L. Laughlin – married 54 years, her brothers Edward, Howard and John Reichmuth, and daughters Sarah Ann Laughlin and Katherine Laughlin Isaacson. She is survived by her children, son Herbert L. Laughlin Jr., daughters Margaret C. Laughlin and Nancy Laughlin, grandchildren John, Thomas and Holly Isaacson, and great grandchildren Anton, Ibbie, Katherine and Candice Isaacson.
Born on May 19, 1922 in Long Beach, California to Admiral Ferdinand Louis Reichmuth and Clara Stevenson Reichmuth, she spent her childhood years until 1938 in Palo Alto California where she attended Castilleja girl’s school. During her teenage years she lived in Washington DC where her father was stationed and promoted to Commandant of the Potomac Naval Command. She graduated high school from Sidwell Friends School, returned to California to study at Mills College, then back to Washington DC where she met her husband, Lt. Commander Herbert L. Laughlin, of Albany NY. After eloping to Florida, they were married in DC with full military regalia in 1943. As newlyweds, they lived for a period in Westmoreland, New Hampshire, where their first three children were born. In 1948 they moved to Palo Alto and lived in the same house where she grew up to raise their young family, and where Herbert opened his music stores, “House of Sound” in Redwood City, and “Sea of Records” in San Francisco, and Santa Barbara.
In 1958 the family moved to Montecito where they spent the next 20 years. While raising children, Rosemary was actively involved in the Girl Scouts and Sierra Club, studied ballet and baroque music on recorder, and later became a kindergarten aide at Montecito Union School. She helped to raise a menagerie of animals, including rabbits, peacocks, dogs, a horse, and an occasional lost teenager friend of her children.
As she had spent every summer since 1933 at a remote family cabin on Fallen Leaf Lake, Rosemary brought her own family to the same cabin every year. Over decades, the traditions, stories and way of life became a treasured legacy, where her skills as handywoman, boat handler, swimming and rowing enthusiast, wilderness hiker and wood stove cooking expert were passed on to the next generations.
Rosemary, nicknamed “Posie” by relatives, was a proud fourth generation Californian, whose great grandmother crossed the plains in a covered wagon in 1850. She also bragged about her strong German stock from her father’s side, as she lavished on beer and Limburger cheese on special occasion. Her pioneering heritage and interests contrasted distinctly with those of husband Herb to form a unique and colorful marriage. Herb delved into classical music, antique and art collections, practiced flamenco guitar, and dressed daily in a suit, hat and bowtie. Posie, however, preferred hanging out in her jeans, playing her recorder, building wooden puzzles, or playing badminton outside with the kids. She was a lover of nature, music and dance, an avid model railroad builder, a Star Trek enthusiast, and proficient seamstress, making outfits, suits, and even sleeping bags for her family.
In 1978 Herb and Rosemary sold the house in Montecito to move to Carson City Nevada, where she spent her last 40 years. After Herb died in 1997, she rediscovered herself through poetry writing, earning an Editor’s Choice Award from the International Library of Poetry. She volunteered in a first grade classroom at the local elementary school, and became an active member of St. Peters Episcopal Church. As a widow she found loving companionship through her two adopted cats, and missed them dearly when they could not outlive her. Rosemary never stopped learning; offering her skills and services freely to the community, whether it be crocheted hats, playing recorder at church services, or sharing her famous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. She will be greatly missed; she left her “heart print” on all who were open enough to receive her gifts.
Rosemary’s memorial service was held on May 18th at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Carson City Nevada. Correspondence to the Laughlin family can be sent via email to Peggy Laughlin, firstname.lastname@example.org.