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Rosemary Althouse, International Authority on Childhood Education, Passed Away

Quick Facts

 Hired in 1957, Althouse remained at Winthrop until her retirement in the 1990s.
 Among her many honors was an award of Life Membership in the South Carolina Early Childhood Association and Winthrop's Distinguished Service Award in 1986 and Distinguished Professor Award in 1988.

Rosemary Althouse
ROCK HILL, S.C. - Dr. Rosemary Elizabeth Althouse, a long-time Winthrop faculty member who was internationally recognized as an authority on childhood education, passed away Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, at Westminster Health Care.

The celebration of Althouse’s life will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5, at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Rock Hill, with a reception following the service. Dr. Debora Quilling Smith and the Rev. Rhett Haselden will be officiating. Committal will be at Corinth Reformed United Church of Christ in Hickory, N.C., on Epiphany, Jan. 6, following the 11 a.m. Sunday service with the Rev. Robert Thompson officiating. Althouse’s father was minister at Corinth for 40 years.

Hired in 1957, Althouse remained at Winthrop until her retirement in the 1990s. Throughout her tenure at Winthrop, she was widely sought as a speaker and representative at national forums. Among her more distinguished presentations were in the roles of keynote speaker at the Texas Weekday Church School Conference in Houston, Texas, and the Early Childhood Conference in Beijing, China. She authored numerous publications for educational groups.

Winthrop President Anthony DiGiorgio remembered Althouse as a pioneer in the education field. “Rosemary was one of Winthrop’s long-time stalwarts, recognized even in international circles for her leadership in preparing teachers and in emphasizing the importance of early childhood education. Her greatest legacy, however, will be the accomplishments of the countless Winthrop students she guided over the years, and the accomplishments of all those taught by the teachers she mentored,” DiGiorgio said.

Among her many honors was an award of Life Membership in the South Carolina Early Childhood Association and Winthrop's Distinguished Service Award in 1986 and Distinguished Professor Award in 1988.

Althouse left Winthrop for a few years to earn a doctorate in early childhood education at Florida State University in 1968. She soon returned to Winthrop and was named professor of early childhood education and director of MacFeat Early Childhood Laboratory School. Her two Rosemary E. Althouse Endowed Scholarships and their winners at Winthrop University were great sources of joy for her.

Born Sept. 18, 1932, in Hickory, N.C., Althouse was the daughter of Dr. Harry and Orpha Schaeffer Althouse, who were both from prominent Pennsylvania Deutsche families. After graduating from high school in Hickory, Rosemary received her B.S. in kindergarten-elementary education in 1955 from the University of Pennsylvania and earned her M.A. in elementary education in 1957 from the University of Iowa.

Althouse served on many national and regional boards and committees. In 1967, she served on the first state committee to establish certification requirements for South Carolina kindergarten teachers.

The author of five children’s books published by Teacher’s College Press of Columbia University, Althouse noted in a Winthrop Magazine article in spring 1999 that she always wanted to be a teacher. “I was never a person who vacillated between doing this and doing that. Children’s minds fascinate me,” she said.

Althouse enjoyed teaching Sunday school and Vacation Bible School for 3- and 4-year-olds at St. John’s United Methodist Church. She loved her membership in the Woman’s Club of Rock Hill, whose members will be accorded special seating at her service. She was a charter member of the Junta Literary Society.

She is survived by her first cousin, Mary Jo “Jo Jo” Kenney of West Chester, Pa., and many friends Rosemary regarded as family. Special recognition is accorded Ellen Mayes and daughter, E. Ellen; Mary Moffatt; Eddie Veale and sons, James and Jonathan; Ann Evans; Ruth Greer; Dr. Alice Love; Laura Lewis; Candy Ruziecki; Liza Van Horn; Linda Conway; Kathy Crabb; Roxie; and Dr. Edward Creagh. Deepest appreciation is expressed to her last caregivers, Mary Marshall, Evelyn Blue, Martha Jones, Mark Brown and their company owner, Seth Zamich of Senior Helpers; Robert H. Brakefield; and all her wonderful Winthrop colleagues.

Memorials may sent to Woman’s Club of Rock Hill, Daisy Miller, Treasurer, P.O. Box 3302, Rock Hill, S.C. 29732 to establish the Rosemary Althouse Preschool Scholarship to aid children to attend church preschools like the one at St. John’s.

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