Our beautiful Aunt, daughter, sister and friend, Erma Helen Rosenhan, passed peacefully into the waiting arms of her family on October 28, 2020. Erma was born on February 28, 1915 to Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Rosenhan and Ida Rosa Anna Klara Gering Rosenhan, who immigrated to Salt Lake City from Germany in 1906. They precede her in death, as well as her siblings, Armin, Kurt (Cort), Elizabeth, Ethel, Alfred, Gertrude, Rose and Isabelle. From birth, Erma lived in the Sugarhouse area, beginning with her family's home at 2426 Green Street in Salt Lake City. She was number seven of a family of nine children. She attended Columbus School for eight years, starting with Kindergarten.
Erma was only ten years old when her father, who had recently returned from serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, passed away. Later that same year her youngest sister Isabelle, died on Christmas Eve in the family's home of Diphtheria. The memories of these events, and the test they were to the family, remained vivid in Erma's mind the rest of her life. Erma attended Granite Jr. High from 1928-1930, and then Granite High School, graduating in 1933. Erma also attended Seminary and was one of four girls asked to write a history of the first Seminary program in the Church. After high school, Erma was able to join the Tabernacle Choir, and performed with them at the 1934 World's Fair, The Pacific International Exposition in SanDiego (1935) and at Zions National Park in 1937.
Erma fulfilled her great desire to serve a mission to Germany in the fall of 1938. Her interest in family genealogy had already begun, and she was thrilled to be able to research some of her family names while there. This planted a seed that would grow and last the rest of her lifetime. Also while in Germany, World War 2 broke out and Erma, along with the other missionaries serving there, had to quickly evacuate across the border. Her story, along with the other missionaries stories, was published in an account written and researched by Terry Montague. It is entitled, “Mine Angels Round About”. The stories within those pages are filled with amazing testimonials and miracles of this evacuation, and Erma was right there in the middle of it all. When returning to the United States safely, Erma was able to finish her mission in Georgia. It was a time of her life that she would treasure forever.
After her mission, Erma again joined the Tabernacle Choir, and was able to join them in a trip to Great Britain in1955. She continued her genealogy research while she worked for the Church as a financial clerk, writing out checks and paying the bills. She was the first “Code Clerk”, and worked in the department with a young Gordon B. Hinckley. She worked for the Church for forty one years, retiring in June of 1982.
After retiring from the Financial Department, Erma dedicated her life to genealogy and spent several days a week at the Genealogical Library of the Church, where over the years, she researched over four hundred thousand names. Even though Erma never married, she stayed connected to her relatives and remained a part of their lives. She helped them out in every way she could and gave generously of her time, money and love. She always donated to the missions of her nieces and nephews. Family meant everything to her. In 1969, Ida, Erma's mother passed away suddenly at home with Erma by her side. Erma would say many times after that, that she never felt alone. She knew her parents were near and she always felt their warmth in her home. People would ask if she ever felt she needed someone to move in with her. She would say, “It's just me and the Lord, and we both need lots of room.” That is one example of the faith Erma displayed her whole life long. She was a valiant servant of the Lord.
Erma was a part of the Forest Dale Ward her whole life and loved having that beautiful edifice right across the street from her home, where she could look out of her window and see the church where she and her family attended, and feel the memories that came with that. It was her “home”.
When Erma was 101 years old, she visited the Genealogy Library for the last time as a researcher. She had made many friends there and they treated her so special over the years. It was a bitter sweet day. Since that day, however, she continued to do what she could from home, never quitting, if she thought there was just one more thing she could do for the Lord. Erma, well done “thou good and faithful servant”.
Funeral services will be held Sat, Nov 7, 2020, 11:00 a.m. at the Brighton 1st Ward, 2925 E. Bengal Blvd. (7800 S.) A visitation will be held Friday, Nov 6, 2020 at Cannon Mortuary, 2460 E. Bengal Blvd. (7600 S.) from 6-8 p.m. and the day of the service at the church from 10-10:45 a.m. Interment Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park.
Please check service times on Cannon Mortuary's website closer to the service for any changes due to Covid restrictions.
Those wishing to watch services, the live stream can be accessed by clicking on the button at the bottom of the page at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, November 7, 2020. (this will take you to Cannon Mortuary Facebook page, where services will be live streamed.)
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