Rose Marie, "Rosie", Burger 85, of Eliza Township, died peacefully at home 2-15-2011. The daughter of Craig and Elfa Essley, she was born June 14, 1925 in New Boston, IL. Having begun her education at the one-room Eliza Creek school she went to high school in Aledo, attended MacMurray College, and graduated from the University of Iowa. After moving to Oregon in 1947 as a youth director for the YWCA, she married Robert Burger of Portland, OR, on June 19, 1948. They returned to Illinois the next year to take up the family farm. Raising their family in a 109 year-old home built by her great-great-uncle, Rosie and Bob loved farm life and always thought the decision to move "back home" was a good one. A beloved teacher to many, "Mrs. Burger" taught in the Aledo and Westmer school districts, mainly first grade in New Boston. She retired in 2001 after 40 years of teaching and three generations of students. In good weather, it was a common sight to see her enjoying the 7-mile bike ride to school. Teaching was her passion and she touched hundreds of lives in her career. One of her colleagues recently wrote: "I have always defined education as "to nourish and cause to grow". Your mother was the living example of that. She made learning fun and it was her who made the first impact on young children at school. Learning was "hands on" and that is why so many in Mercer County were blessed to have Rosie Burger as a teacher." She enjoyed her students immensely, and kept in touch with many throughout the years. Having an adventurous spirit, she loved to travel and enjoyed many family camping trips to Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, and Oregon. Maine was a favorite place, and touring Ireland in 2010 was a particular high point. The Burger family built a sailboat named Windsong in Port Townsend, WA and sailed it through the Panama Canal to the Virgin Islands in 1980. They enjoyed the boat in the Caribbean and New England for many years. As a woman with an inquiring mind, Rosie had many interests, talents, and hobbies. She wove baskets of all kinds, a specialty being her "antler baskets." An avid reader and gardener, she also enjoyed knitting her own hand-spun yarn, following baseball and football, and hand-making cherished greeting cards for friends and family. A dedicated Cubs fan for 72 years, there was always hope for "next year." She is survived by daughter Lark, son Jeff, granddaughters Addison and Kendall, and sister Joan Lawson; preceded by husband Robert, son Timothy, and sister Barbara Baker. Whether she touched your life as Rose, Rose-Marie, Mrs. Burger, or Rosie, please remember her in your heart; a family memorial will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Eliza Community Center, 555 155th AVE, New Boston, IL 61272. Thank you to the Eliza community and to her friends for your unfailing help, support, and friendship.