Rosemary W. Losonsky
February 20, 1929 - February 12, 2007
From the Fairbanks News-Miner
Rosemary W. Losonsky passed away quietly at her home Feb. 12, 2007, in the
presence of her husband, Steve, and daughter, Mary Ann.
Rosie was born in Tucson, Ariz., on Feb. 20, 1929. She came to Alaska in 1948 and fell in
love with the winters. She met Jeff Studdert and Mike Agbaba who introduced her to dog
mushing, and soon had a kennel of her own and was mushing all over the streets of
Fairbanks. She won four Womens North American Championship races (1957, 1959, 1966,
1968), the Fur Rendezvous (1957), and did not retire from racing until the early
Rosie met her future husband Steve through dogs also. He brought a dog out to be boarded
at her house while he returned to Michigan to attend school. They joined kennels and were
married in 1954. They would train their dogs together by mushing the 30-mile trip to Old
Minto where they had many friends. Together they raised two daughters, Connie and Mary
Ann, who did not go into mushing.
Rosies first job was with Charlie Shrewsbury, working in his greenhouse. Later, she
worked for the Co-op Photo Shop, owned by Bob and Libby Wescott, where she processed film
and sold bouquets of sweet peas that she grew in the summer. She continued to raise,
train, and race huskies. Occasionally, she wrote articles for the Daily New-Miner and the
All-Alaska Weekly on dog mushing.
Rosie was also the bookkeeper for Steves masonry business and one winter worked for
Carl Edgerton at the College Inn Grocery.
After retiring from dog mushing, Rosie worked with Maxine Stanley from 1985 until 1995 in
Rep. Don Youngs Fairbanks office where she truly enjoyed helping people. Meanwhile,
Steve purchased a gold mine at Hunter Creek outside Rampart and Rosie joined him there.
She ran the cookhouse, operated the backhoe, planted the garden, did the laundry in a
gas-powered washing machine, and generally kept everyone in line. Both at home and at the
gold mine, Rosie was a wonderful gardener and surrounded her homes with flowers. Using
Charlie Shrewsburys recipe for horse-manure tea, Rosie grew the best tomatoes in
While Rosie didnt get much chance to travel, she enjoyed it when she did. She
traveled to Mexico, England, France, Spain, and Morocco. She was fearless in foreign
countries and was game for anything, which made her a great traveling companion.
Rosie was a life member of the Pioneers of Alaska Auxiliary No. 8, where she met many old
friends and made many new ones.
Rosie is survived by her husband, Steve; her daughters, Connie Grippin of Queen Creek,
Ariz., and Mary Ann Pennington of Maple Valley, Wash.; grandchildren, Steven and Stephanie
Doggett of Austin, Texas, and Nicholas and Joshua Pennington of Maple Valley; and her
brother, Kenneth Worcester, of Tempe, Ariz.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 17, at Pioneers Hall in Pioneer
Park. Please bring your memories of Rosie and share them with her family and friends.
Arrangements were by Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home.
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