BESS ROSE NEIFERT
Bess (Nelson) Rose Neifert passed away on June 17, 2014, surrounded by her friends and family at Hillman’s Haven. Bess was born in 1921 in what was then a very rural South Lyon, Mich., the youngest of four children of John and Stella Nelson. A child of the Depression era, Bess developed the foundation of her excellent cooking skills at the side of her mother and according to her first husband, Jim, “she could can anything!” She learned the finer points of entertaining from her older sister, Della, who for many years gathered the whole family together every Sunday for great food, laughter, and raucous fun.
As a young woman, Bess took a job at the Ann Arbor Press in Ann Arbor where she met James Edgar Rose. They married and had two sons, James David and Paul Alan. As a young mother, Bess worked to support the war effort in the Argus Plant in Ann Arbor. Years later, she began her many years of employment by Ball Office Supply where her window displays were often the talk of Main Street.
Bess was a very creative woman and loved “doing crafts” with friends and family. Many of her liquid lead glass pieces can be found in homes all over the country. She loved to collect things and always managed to dress up any home she lived in.
After her sons were grown, Bess remarried Carl Neifert and left the city for the country again, this time to the Neifert family farm in Flat Rock. After Carl retired from Ford, they moved to the Lake County area of Florida where they made some wonderful friendships which endure to this day. Carl suffered a serious stroke within a few years of their move to Florida and Bess lovingly tended him during his 11 years of nursing home care. In 2008, Bess returned to Michigan after Carl’s passing to live closer to her family in Hillman. As a resident of Hillman’s Haven, Bess stole many hearts with her wit, banter and fun-loving ways and will be greatly missed by all who cared for her there with such kindness and love. Her final months were also made more comfortable by the care and devotion of many individuals from Hospice of Michigan.
Bess was preceded in death by her parents, siblings Tom, Walter and Della, both husbands and several nieces and nephews. She is survived by sons James (Jill) Rose of Ft. Collins, Colo., and Paul (Carol) Rose of Hillman, Mich., two grandchildren, Julie (John) Kinnaird and Jedd (Wendy) Rose, both of Ft. Collins, Colo., three great-grandchildren Jensen and Linnea Kinnaird and Finn Rose, step-daughters Judy Ellzey (Dennis) of Windsor, Colo., Sue Fowler (Harry) of Loveland, Colo., step-son David Neifert of Detroit, Mich., step-grandchildren, Kristen Cobaugh, Tim Bailey, Brad Bailey (Stephanie), Brooke Fowler and Jessica Fowler all of Colorado, step-great-grandchildren, Alexandria Cobaugh, Logan Cobaugh, Caden Cobaugh, Zachary Carlson and Samantha Bailey all of Colorado, sisters-in-law Rebecca (Melvin) Donally of Ann Arbor and Donna (Tom) Rose of Brighton, Mich,, many nieces and nephews, and her very special friend, Julia Burger, who was like a daughter to her. As were her wishes, cremation has occurred and a private family service and interment will take place in Ann Arbor within the coming months. The Family chose McWilliams Funeral Home – Alpena to assist them.