"Friends, family, fans remember Rosemary"

Cincinnati Post, July 5, 2002

Rosemary Clooney touched all our lives. That's evident by the response The Post received after asking readers to share their memories of Ms. Clooney.

Fans and friends from across the nation offered their thoughts on Ms. Clooney's passing through our rememberingrosie@aol.com e-mail address, the living@cincypost.com e-mail and by writing to Rosemary's brother, Nick, a regular columnist in The Post.

All messages will be given to the Clooney family.

As a tribute to Ms. Clooney, we share some of those e-mails and letters:

I remember back in 1954 at age 9, how important it was for my mother to see ''White Christmas .'' We had gone to downtown Covington, about 30 miles from our home in Pendleton County, to shop and see the mov ie. I don't think I really understood why that event was so important to her until this past weekend. She must have been extremely proud of Rosemary's success. She didn't know her personally, but just was proud that a ''hometown'' g irl had made it big even if she was from a few counties over from us. My Mom was a big WLW radio listener, so she probably h eard Rosemary and Betty from the first times they were on the radio. - Donna G. Brann, Williamstown, Ky.

We were saddened to hear of the death of Rosemary Clooney. She had a marvelous voice, and her singing will be missed. The same age as Nick Cloo ney, I ''grew up'' with the Clooneys. I remember hearing the Clooney sisters sings on WLW Radio in 1945 when I was 10 years old, have seen many of Rosemary's movies, and count them among my favorites. In addit ion, I enjoy reading Nick's column in the Cincinnati and Kentucky Post, and consider him one of the best journalist s in this area. - Jacqueline J. Warner, Florence, Ky.

Dear Nick: You don't know me, of course, but I certainly have known you for years - and you r wonderful sister, Rosemary! I am 72 years old, living in Cincinnati, and have loved your sister's singing since I was a young girl of 11 when World War II broke out. She lived an extraordinary life, one rich in the joy of her gift fr om God which she shared with the world, and one, marked often by great pain and suffering. During all those years, I nev er lost track of her; she was only a few years older than I. I, too, suffered from drug addiction and alcoholism, and found sobriety and recovery in 1983. During those years, I was aware of Rosemary's struggle, and could not help b ut think of her battle as I began to fight mine. She was an inspiration to me! God bless your family; God bless Rosemary C looney for her valiant and triumphant victory over the darkness that life brings to all of us, and thank you so much fo r your lovely tribute to her - and Dante! - Name withheld by request.

Dear Nick and family: My sympathy to you on the loss of your sister. Although I've only rea d your column for about a year, Rosemary has ''sung to me'' all my life. Devotion to her earlier music, notably '' Sisters'' from ''White Christmas'' and ''Straighten Up and Fly Right,'' has passed to my 11-year-old daughter (luckily for me since I spend a lot of time with her in my car with a CD playing.) And as a jazz lover, I've been delighted by her in recent years. She was under appreciated as a jazz singer, no matter how much she WAS appreciated. And she surely was - I was lucky enough to be present la st year at Sarasota's annual Jazz Festival, and it was a highlight of my life here. She was not only the most talented and professional entertainer I have ever seen, but had an incredible warmth and rapport with her audience. Like all of us, I'll miss her but I am glad she was here. Sincerely - Kathleen Beyer-Paulsen, Punta Gorda, Fla.

Dear Nick: I want to express my sincere condolences on the death of your sister Rosemary. You r other sister, Betty, was my godmother. The families lost touch in the late '60s, and both my parents passed away in 1982. I remember my mother telling me a story about sharing maternity clothes with Rosemary, and her fondness for her. Her music and voice were legendary. May peace be with you and your family at this time. - Michael Mercado, Arl ington Heights, Ill.

Dear Mr. Clooney: What a beautiful column you wrote today about your sister, Rosemary. I send you my condolences. Her music touched my life and will continue to do so for all of my days. I feel ble ssed that many moons ago I first heard that voice that spoke to me instantly. And in recent days all the wonderful tribut es have put into words why Ms. Clooney's voice, the music and all those words will continue to touch me. With regards - Marion van Ede, Grand Rapids , Mich.

To Nick Clooney: Your column in memory of your sister was very touching. I loved her music and some years ago truly enjoyed seeing her in person with ''Four Girls Four.'' My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Sincerely - Debbie Irish Fabbro, Ojai, Calif.

As a long-time fan of Rosemary, I was fortunate enough to meet her and thank her in person for the thousands of hours of enjoyment she had given me through her music. She touched my heart in a very special wa y. I loved her and will miss her greatly but I am grateful that she was part of my life and always will be. Her spirit, humor, honesty and joy for what she did will be her legacy to us all. She did it better than anyone and she will live o n in our hearts. I am a better person and we are a better world because of Rosemary. Rest well lovely lady. - Melinda C. Larson, Marco Island, Fla.

My deepest condolences to all the family of Rosemary Clooney. She was by far my favorite femal e singer. I am so glad I got the opportunity to see her (in person) a few years ago. What an endearing lady in per son! She made you feel the show was just for you. And, what a wonderful storyteller. I am heartbroken she is gone. Best Reg ards - Kim Sand- holdt, San Rafael, Calif.

The April 1983 Homecoming Cruise on the Delta Queen was extra special.... Rosemary Clooney and Dante DiPaolo joined the cruise at Madison and rode overnight to Cincinnati. We all arrived safely in the Quee n City and later that night Rosie thrilled her Fountain Square audience with a free concert. Rosie was delivered to th e awaiting Delta Queen in a large 1950's vintage white tail-finned Cadillac limo. It was all so elegant! The truly me morable part was that she and Dante strolled the gently trembling decks of that wonderful boat and introduced themselves t o all of the passengers and chatted a bit with each of us. Wow, I thought, here was this famous singer/actress and her e scort who made the point to visit with each of us, and not the other way around! She never forgot Kentucky hospitality an d how to be a genuinely sincere person, and I will long admire her for that single quality, let alone her voice. Later t hat evening at the Captain's Dinner Rosie wowed the whole room with a couple of songs as a warm-up for her two sh ows that night for passengers and crew. Another instance of her class. A show for the hard working crew, many of wh ich work some pretty thankless jobs, was a wonderful gift to them all! I'll never forget those kind acts of hospita lity, and every time I hear one of Rosie's songs I will continue to think about those warm sunny spring days aboard t he Delta Queen with her. With deepest sympathy - Frank X. Prudent, Covington, Ky.

While biking past New Zealand's Cape Foulwind in January 1997 with a small ''go-active'' gro up in the pouring rain, we made a short stop in the town of Hokitika for some hot chocolate. There, in that dated New Zealand cafe, my ears could not believe, without a doubt, the sound of Rosemary's singing voice blaring from primitive speakers. The Kiwis loved her too!! She will be missed! - Leslie Bailey Hardy, Ci ncinnati.

My first meeting with Rosemary and Betty was in St. Patrick school. I think I must have been in second grade because Betty was a year younger and Rosemary a year older than me. Those girls were born entert ainers and the Franciscan nuns were so proud of their tap dancing and singing abilities that they took them fro m grade to grade to entertain and perform. Rosemary was a true blond with pigtails to her waist and big blue eyes, a nd Betty had lovely dark hair and dark brown eyes. I do remember Rosemary taking me home to lunch to her grandmother's on Market Street one time. I particularly remember in the sixth grade and Rosemary was in the seventh grade, Sister Mary Ge raldine decided to put on a play of ''Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.'' Rosie played the witch and she was great.... I was on the way to Mass Sunday when I heard Rosemary had died. I told my neighbor and we recollected that our favorite m ovie was ''White Christmas.'' My neighbor said that she was a great gal and God must have needed another angel. M y name was Mary Edwina Guilfoyle at St. Patrick's. My brother, Mike Guilfoyle, was friends with Nick Clooney. All my thoughts and prayers are with you all as you celebrate the life of a wonderful gal. - Mary Edwina McNeal, Mount Carmel, O hio.

Dear Nick and family: We were saddened today to hear of Rosemary's death. She was a truly w onderful person. Her voice was unbelievable - it had gotten richer and more mellow with age. She managed to pull through after some very bad times in her life; she didn't seem to let anything get her down. We never had the opportun ity to see her perform live, which we regret. But her albums will keep her alive for us. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Sincerely - Lynne and Dominic Pistilli, Atlanta, Ga.