December 16, 1946 — January 31, 2023


   Rosemary (Sanders) Warthan, passed away on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at her home, surrounded by her loved ones. She was born on December 16, 1946 to Charles and Olga (Bakko) Sanders. Rosemary was one of 13 children, and grew up on a farm in the Cataract area. She graduated from Sparta High School in 1965.

   Rosemary met Dennis Warthan, and they married July 31, 1965. In their early years, Dennis was in a band, Rose was there and could be found on the dance floor. Together, Dennis and Rose had 2 children, Kimberly (Tom) Bitterman, and Todd Warthan. Todd was previously married to Gina Gebhart, they had a son Blake, and a step-son Jared, and later divorced. He then married Sandy Fink, and had a son, Brody, they later divorced. Kim married Roger Burrows, and together they had a daughter, Jamie Rose,they later divorced. Kim then married Tom Bitterman, who has a daughter Nicole Bitterman. Kim and Todd were the apples of her eye. Then she met her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and fell madly in love with each of them.

   Rose worked at Spike’s Fairway Foods (Ted’s and Fred’s), and Hanson’s IGA, with a total of 48 years working with the public in the Grocery business.  She is well known in the Sparta area, and if you met her, you would remember her. She was fiesty and full of fun, and generally said what was on her mind. She had a laugh you wouldn’t forget.

   She enjoyed cooking, canning, and was one of the best cooks around.  She also enjoyed spending time on the deck, and taking care of her plants. She loved spending days doing girl things with Kim; going to La Crosse, getting their nails done; and of course, Lunch! She and Denny enjoyed going out for Friday night Fish. In the last couple years of her life, she started walking. And boy did she walk! You could find her anywhere around town. She would would walk 8-10 miles per day, at times, and loved it.

   Rose is survived by her husband, Dennis; daughter, Kim (Tom) Bitterman; and son, Todd Warthan; granddaughter, Jamie Rose (Jerimy Wagner); grandsons, Blake Warthan and Brody Warthan; step-grandson, Jared McConnell; step-granddaughter, Nicole Bitterman; great grandchildren, Devin Lee, Landon Lee, Scarlett Wagner, Isabelle Wagner, Addisyn Wagner, and Greyson McConnell; sisters, Shirley Renolds of MI, Charlotte Bradford of WI, Mary (Stan Rhodenhizer) of WI, Linda Bayner of AZ; one brother, Charles “Sid” of WI; sisters-in-law, Fran (Norm) Warthan, Bev (Jim) Clark, Pat (Jeff) Warthan, and Priscilla (Jeff) Hemmersbach; brother-in-law, Clint Garves; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

   She is preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Delores (Bert) Young and Darlene Sanders; brothers, Floyd, Harold, Clarence, Ronald “Jack”, and Thomas Sanders; mother and father-in-law, Tim and Isabelle Warthan; and several brothers and sisters-in-law.

   The family would like to thank Gundersen Hospice for the wonderful care she received. A special thanks to neighbor, Sheila Abbott for helping Dennis and family with whatever they needed; and sister-in-law, Priscilla for being there with her and family.

   To our dear, sweet, Rose, we will miss you all the days of our lives; and will carry you in our hearts. “We love you more!”

   Per Rose’s wish, a Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, February 6, 2023 at United Methodist Church, Sparta, the service will begin at 11:00 am, in the Fellowship hall, with Priscilla Hemmersbach officiating; with a luncheon to follow.

   Online condolences may be offered at

   Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation