Rosemary Suzanne Balister, 89, of Florence, South Carolina, formerly of Charlottesville, Virginia, passed away Friday, December 29, 2023.
Rosemary was born July 18, 1934, and was a daughter of the late Robert William Mines and Lily Victoria Mines.
A native of Crofton Park in London, England, Rosemary graduated from the Mary Datchelor School for Girls in Camberwell, London. Evacuated from her childhood home during the “The Blitz” of World War II, she began writing poetry as a child and published her first poem in 1945. Rosemary continued her studies at the University of Bristol, earning a Bachelor of Arts in German in 1956 and a Certificate of Education in 1957. Along with her family, she emigrated to Canada in 1963 and then to Green Bank in 1966 before moving to Charlottesville, Virginia. She also lived in Australia for two years before settling back in Charlottesville. In 2018, she moved to Florence, South Carolina, where her daughter and son-in-law currently reside.
Rosemary was active in the arts community in Charlottesville. She enjoyed writing, painting and knitting. She had numerous life-long pen pals from her many travels and her poetry has been published in several books and magazines. Her painting, “West Virginia Fall,” was exhibited in the US Art Embassy Program in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her poem “The Barn,” will be published posthumously in the 2023-24 winter edition of “Goldenseal, the magazine of West Virginia traditional life.”
Rosemary was passionate about her knitting and particularly enjoyed knitting baby blankets and caps, which she cheerfully shared with friends and strangers alike. She treasured her time at the Charlottesville Senior Center, especially working with the “Crafty Ladies.” A member of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society (UBSS), Rosemary had fond memories of her adventures exploring caves throughout the world. For decades, Rosemary also bravely struggled with the eye disease keratoconus and ultimately had her sight restored with corneal transplants.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister, June Elise Mines.
She is survived by her son, Philip Balister, and wife, Sandy Knapp, of Blacksburg, Virginia; daughters, Nicolette Naso, and husband, William, of Florence, South Carolina, and Michelle Doran, and husband, Shane Doran, of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina; and her loving grandchildren, Caroline Naso, Will Naso, Virginia Doran, Benjamin Naso and Eleanor Doran.
The family would like to offer their sincere thanks for the kindness and care given by the staff of The Manor of Florence, Dr. Vipul Shah, and the McLeod Hospice House. They are also deeply thankful for the love and prayers of their friends.
A funeral service was held Wednesday, January 3, 2024, at St. John’s Church in Florence, South Carolina.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Rosemary’s honor to St. John’s Church in Florence, South Carolina; St. Paul’s Memorial Church in Charlottesville, Virginia; or the National Keratoconus Foundation.