“She Had A Lot Of Gas Left In Her Tank”: COVID-19 Takes Life Of 89-Year-Old Mother, Grandmother

Rosemary Rushka was active in her church, active in her children's school ... active, it seems, in every aspect of her life.

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There is a video, Rosemary Rushka's family says, that tells us all we need to know about the Daly City woman who died May 3, 2020, of complications from COVID-19 pneumonia.

The video, of Rosemary, in her 80s, dancing enthusiastically with a teenage granddaughter during a family visit, says a lot about the mother of three and grandmother of 9.

"It says she had a lot of gas left in the tank," son, John Rushka said. "That's what it said."

John said his mother was a woman who tackled each different stage of her life with the exact same tenacity.

"I don't think she was one to sit on the sidelines," John said. "She definitely knew what she wanted to do and she pursued it."

Rosemary was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and moved to California after marrying her husband, David, in 1953.

It was in Daly City that Rosemary focused on raising her three children but when they grew up and moved on, Rosemary wasn't one to stay put.

She enrolled at San Francisco State University at the age of 47 and graduated Mange Cum Laude in 1980. Shen then went on to work for the American Academy of Ophthalmology in San Francisco for the next 20 years.

"I've got to hand it to her for pursuing her goals even that late in life," John said. "I'm very proud of her and very happy for her also."

Grandson Michael Rushka says "Grandma Rosie" was, "like most grandmothers, she was caring thoughtful considerate."

Michael says that, even in retirement, his grandmother was up for anything. She was an avid outdoorswoman most of her life, enjoying camping and sailing. Michael says, even in her 80's, she was always up an adventure: be it a hike in the woods or a pilgrimage on another continent.

"Not a lot of 80-year-olds get on transatlantic flights and go tour Italy and Ireland."

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