Rosa Crown Cheshire went to heaven May 6, 2021. She was born April 24, 1938 in Gainesville to John Oliver Crown and Nellie Fowler Crown. The Crown Family moved to Gainesville from Maryland in the 1870s.
Rosa accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord at age 12 and lived her entire life as a loving, patient, and caring follower of Christ who was slow to judge others and quick to forgive. She grew up on a small family farm and worked in the fields as a youngster. She graduated with honors from Gainesville High School in June 1956 and married R. Wayne Cheshire June 30, 1956.
Growing up, Rosa knew Wayne well. They both attended North Central Baptist Church and rode the same school bus. Wayne was a mischievous teenager, prompting Rosa to say after one incident on the bus, “Wayne Cheshire, I feel sorry for the woman who marries you!”
Rosa was hand-picked by her mother-in-law. Shortly after Wayne returned from the Navy, his mother suggested he ask Rosa for a date. Wayne’s younger brother, Leonard, asked Rosa if she would consider going out with Wayne. She replied, “Well…I might.” They went on a few double-dates with Leonard and Rosa’s best friend before they went on a date alone.
Wayne and Rosa enjoyed nearly 65 years of loving marriage that was centered on their faith in God. Rosa was a faithful, hard worker alongside Wayne with all their business efforts. She was involved in Wayne’s building business and they owned and managed a motel and rental property together. They were volunteer missionaries in Liberia, West Africa, in 1982 and 1984. They made multiple short-term mission trips to the Dominican Republic (twice), Brazil (twice) and Peru (once). She managed their son’s New York Life office 1986-2014, and he credits most of his success to her efforts. Rosa was an active member of North Central Baptist Church for many years. She volunteered in the church nursery more than 20 years, lovingly caring for very young babies. The last years of her life, Wayne became her caregiver, tending to her every need.
Rosa had severe rheumatoid arthritis more than 30 years, enduring unending pain without complaint. In her later years, she was physically frail, but tough as nails mentally due to her strong faith.
Rosa is survived by husband R. Wayne Cheshire, Sr.; son Rick (Katherine), all of Gainesville; daughter Cheryl Cheshire Purcell (Allen) of Abilene, TX; grandchildren Wayne Cheshire III, Matthew Cheshire (Polly), Rachel (Jonathan) Levy and four great grandchildren; sister Sarah Dean, brothers Oliver “Bud” Crown and Robert “Bob” Crown (Carolyn). She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Margaret “Maggie” Langford.
Her beloved pastor, Dr. Calvin Carr, will preside at the Celebration of Life Monday May 10th at 11:00am, with a visitation at 10:00am, at North Central Baptist Church, 8001 NW 23 Ave., Gainesville 32606-4299. Rosa wanted people to wear bright colors to the service to celebrate her homegoing to heaven.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the North Central Baptist Church Building Fund.
The family thanks the caring and compassionate physicians, nurses, and staff of the fourth floor intensive care unit at North Florida Regional Medical Center who made the last week of Rosa’s life a very special time for her and her family.