Rosemary B. Warnock

Sunrise: January 4, 1934

Sunset: November 3, 2020

Rosemary Boyle Warnock died at home, surrounded by her family, on November 3, 2020. She is survived by her children, Kathleen Warnock (Donna Bungo), Gabrielle Gould (Aaron Gould), Barbara Warnock-Morgan (Chris Morgan), Patricia Warnock Safford (Stuart Safford), and Dorrance H. Warnock III; her grandchildren Benjamin W. Safford, Margaret Rose Safford and Lucy A. Morgan, and pets Gidget and Mary Avon.

Her husband, Dorrance H. Warnock, Jr. died in 1999. Born in Philadelphia, PA on January 4, 1934, Rosemary was one of eight children of Francis X. Boyle and Helen Zyzniewski Boyle. She was preceded in death by her sisters Eileen Karluk, Patricia Eley and Kathleen Cooke, and brother, Francis X. Boyle, Jr. She is survived by her sister, Rita Shortill, and brothers Thomas Boyle and James Boyle.

Rosemary grew up in the Olney neighborhood of Philadelphia, attended Little Flower High School, and earned her RN degree from St. Joseph’s Nursing School.

She married Dorrance Warnock on August 15, 1959 at Mother of Consolation Church In a nursing career that extended some 60 years, she served as Director of Nurses at the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, and later worked at Albert Einstein Hospital and Germantown Hospital in Philadelphia.

She continued her nursing career as the family moved, working in hospitals in Montgomery, AL and Columbia, SC. In Baltimore, she worked for many years as a nurse at Mercy Hospital, in the ICU and Cardiac Care units. After her retirement, she continued her nursing career at a center for disabled adults.

Rosemary, or “Reverend Mother,” as she was often called by her children and friends, loved animals, and enjoyed taking care of many dogs, cats, gerbils, birds and fish over the years.

“I’ll never forget how she took a sick gerbil to the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital for surgery, or how she carried our dog Snuffy up and down the steps many times a day when he had a broken leg,” Patricia said. She was also known for her sense of humor and her love of flea marketing, restoring antiques and smoking.

An accomplished seamstress and upholsterer, she used her skills for clothing, costumes, wedding dresses, bridesmaids’ dresses, tailoring, and furniture, sharing her creations with family, friends, and sometimes people she barely knew. She made a beautiful wedding dress for her dear friend Denise Rocks and made or tailored the bridesmaids dresses for 4 out of 6 of her children’s weddings.

“She was renowned for her unique gifts, which usually arrived in boxes reeking of Pall Mall smoke and containing flea market finds,” her daughter Barbara wrote.

“Every year growing up we waited with anticipation for the special Christmas box Aunt Rosemary would send to us…weird funny gifts and always TastyKakes as padding,” her niece Ellen Shortill recalled. She moved in with her daughter Gabrielle and son-in-law Dr. Aaron Gould in Norfolk, VA in 2015. “We had many fun adventures!” Gabrielle wrote. Rosemary loved eating at local restaurants in Ocean View, and participating in parades, including the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “She had some wonderful caretakers who she adored. She called them her personal assistants,” Gabrielle said.


The family will announce a Celebration of Life for Rosemary at a later date, when Covid restrictions are relaxed. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Rosemary’s memory to Hope for Paws Animal Rescue. https://www.hopeforpaws.org/donationrecurring

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  1. reply
    Barbara says

    I’m very sorry for our loss.

  2. reply
    Lisa Caplan says

    My deepest condolences to all of you. Rosemary’s life was so full of adventures and love. She was lucky to be the matriarch of this amazing family. May her memory be a blessing.

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