Rose Marie Van Curen was born in Etna Green, Indiana in January 1950. She passed away surrounded by her family early in the morning on Wednesday, January 10th, 2024.
Despite spending most of her life in Arizona, Rose was a proud Hoosier. She often looked back with fondness on her early childhood in Indiana and was quick to share a story about life in her small hometown. After moving to Arizona with her parents Junius and Helen, sister Bonnie, and brother David, she enrolled at Arizona State University and majored in Education. It was while at ASU that Rose met her first husband Ervin (Chip) Jackson when he held a door open for her. The two began dating, graduating and marrying in 1972. Following graduation, Ervin, a navigator in the Air Force, was assigned to KI Sawyer Air Force Base, so the pair moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
The new Jackson Family went from two members to three when in 1975 their first son Eric was born. The trio made the most of their new home, traveling around Michigan and the Great Lakes while making memories that Rose would often recall with a smile (tip: watch out for toddlers when shoveling snow). If there’s one thing certain about Air Force life it’s that it isn’t certain, and in 1978, Rose, Ervin, and Eric moved back to Arizona this time (mostly) for good. Settling down in Phoenix, they soon welcomed a fourth member to the family when in 1986, their son Ethan was born. It was also during this time that Rose began her career outside the home when she accepted a role as a substitute teacher in the schools that Eric and Ethan attended. Rose’s natural talent for storytelling, desire to educate, and gift of compassion made her a favorite among the students and gave her the idea to begin writing books for both children and adults.
Following the graduation of both her sons, Rose turned her attention to a lifelong passion: writing for and educating adults in the Spirit and wonder of God. Partnering with the pastor of their church, she penned several books for him and later published a series of women’s Bible studies based on the yearly conferences that she led for the church. It was during these years that Rose’s faith was tested when she and Ervin separated after 38 years, and her second marriage to Ken Vierra was tragically cut short following a bicycling accident that took his life after less than a year of marriage. But through her solid faith in Christ, Rose was led to her current husband, Daniel Hunter, and the two were soon wed. They spent eight years together living in Oro Valley, Arizona, close to family and neighbors who would soon become good friends. Rose had a gift for putting people at ease and would often quickly learn their life story, passions, and future goals. In one such fateful meeting, Rose and Daniel met their new family in Christ that would become Aspire Church, where the two volunteered their time and resources willingly and joyously to anyone in need.
Behind her smile, Rose faced a series of health issues that contributed to her passing. Never one to speak negatively, she braved these issues privately with the support of her family and close friends. Even in her final hours, Rose spoke of the good she hoped her family could continue in her name. As such, it is her request that in lieu of flowers or gifts anyone seeking to honor her memory make a donation to the Belize outreach work of Aspire Church.