Rosalie Sanara Petrouske, age 70, died Tuesday, August 22, 2023 with her daughter and son-in-law at her side following a short but ferocious battle with gastric adenocarcinoma.
Born December 3, 1952, in the rural Upper Peninsula, Rosalie was raised in the U.P. and lived in many cities including Escanaba, and Marquette, which held a special place in her heart along with Lake Superior.
Rosalie had many difficult times in her life, but she always pushed forward. Writing and education were incredibly important to her. While she did not complete her high school education Rosalie went on to earn an associate's degree from Bay de Noc Community College in 1988, followed by her bachelor's degree in English in 1991 from Northern Michigan University. She continued her education at Northern Michigan University receiving a Masters of Fine Arts in English in 1994.
Rosalie was a true artist, an excellent writer, poet, photographer, and teacher. A professor of English and writing at Lansing Community College, she was very active in the local poetry and art scene, including founding Writing at the Ledges, a writers group that has thrived for eighteen years and produced four anthologies of the members’ poetry and prose. Rosalie authored many works of art including Tracking the Fox (First place winner of The Poetry Box Chapbook Prize, 2022), What We Keep (Finishing Line Press, 2016), A Postcard from my Mother (Finishing Line Press, 2004), and The Geisha Box (March Street Press, 1996). Her publications are too numerous to list but have left an undeniable mark on this world. She was also the recipient of many awards, including serving twice as the Artist-in-Residence in 2008 and 2014 in the Porcupine Mountains. In 2021, she was a finalist in the U.P. Poet Laureate contest. She was awarded the Artist-in-Residency at the Glen Arbor Center for the Arts in 2022. Most recently she won a trip to Tuscany as the 2023 winner of the Quinn Alexandra Scholarship from Wide Open Writing, a trip that she unfortunately did not get to take.
To read Rosalie’s poetry, centered on the natural world and steeped in the culture of her Ojibwe father, is to know true beauty.
Rosalie was a loving and encouraging mother to Senara Dollar (Mason Pearce). She will be remembered for her vivacious personality, beautiful work, kindness, and appreciation for nature.
Rosalie was preceded in death by her parents, and sister Duane Charmaine “Dee” Brunette.
A memorial service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church (201 E Jefferson St) in Grand Ledge, MI on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. It was Rosalie’s wish that her friends and loved ones read her poetry, or poetry written about or in remembrance of her life. In lieu of flowers Rosalie requested donations for the purchase of a Memorial Bench to be placed in the Lincoln Brick Memorial Park in Grand Ledge, along with a living memorial tree. Checks can be made payable to her daughter, Senara Dollar. An announcement will be made prior to the bench and tree dedication for those who would like to attend. Rosalie very much wanted these. Any excess funds will be donated to one of Rosalie’s favorite organizations.