"Saying goodbye to Rosemary"

By Peggy Kreimer, Kentucky Post, July 4, 2002

As Rosemary Clooney's family prepares for her funeral on Friday, they are walking a delicate line between honoring a world figure and saying a family farewell to a sister, a mother, a wife, an aunt and a friend.

The funeral is open to the public, but as mourners enter the church, ushers will ask them to leave their cameras outside.

Besides figuring out where the family will park, planners had to designate where the news photographers will stand. Maysville police usually station an officer with the funeral procession. The police security for her funeral will match that at her celebrity-packed wedding in 1997, said Maysville Chief Van Ingram.

The celebrity count, however, likely will be less than at the wedding. Many of her Hollywood friends attended a Rosary service and memorial in Beverly Hills on Wednesday and will not come to the family service Friday.

Longtime friends Kathryn Crosby and her son, Harry, are expected. Bob and Delores Hope, who attended the wedding, will not be at the funeral on Friday.

The family, said her brother, Nick Clooney, is extended and includes longtime friends, classmates, cousins and fans who have always counted Rosie as one of their own, even as her fame became international.

Everyone who loved Rosemary is welcome, Nick Clooney said.

"It will be the last chance for the public to pay their respects to Rosemary,'' he said. "They are the ones who supported her all through the years.''

Here is a guide for those attending the funeral.

The funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick's Church, 110 E. Third St., Maysville. The church seats 800 and the doors will open at 9:15 a.m.

The public is welcome, but cameras are not welcome inside the church. Ushers will confiscate cameras at the door.

Miss Clooney will be buried at St. Patrick's Cemetery in the old Washington area of Maysville, on U.S. 68.

Pallbearers will include Rosemary's sons and her nephew, actor George Clooney.

Police will close Limestone Street in front of the church to provide parking for the family. Public parking is available in a lot behind the church and school, in free municipal lots north of the church and in free lots along the floodwall, which is three blocks from the church.

A reception for her friends and family will be 1 to 4 p.m. at the Clooney party house on Riverside Drive in Augusta. Family members will gather inside the house to welcome guests.

A large white tent on the lawn will include food, and music by singer Mary Ellen Tanner.

"We couldn't have something for Rosemary without having music,'' said Nick Clooney, a Post columnist, former TV anchor and former host of American Movie Classics.

Those who want to make contributions in Rosemary Clooney's name or send personal condolences to her family have several options.


• St. Patrick School, 318 Limestone St., Maysville, Ky. 41056.

• The Betty Clooney Foundation for persons with brain injuries, 4426 Village Rd., Long Beach, Calif. 90808.

• The Rosemary Clooney Fund, c/o The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. 55905.

The first two were specifically designated by Rosemary, said her brother.

Contact the family:

• e-mail messages may be sent through the Web site www.rosemaryclooney.com

• Letters and cards may be sent to her family c/o Production Central, 19951 Oxnard St., Woodland Hills, Calif. 91367.

• To Nick and Nina Clooney, c/o General Delivery, Augusta, Ky. 41002.