Rose Ellen Patton McCourt was born on October 21, 1925, in rural, central North Dakota, fifth of six children born to Pat & Alice Patton.
Educated in a rural school, then a small town high school, she loved sports, including playing on the state championship basketball team in 1942. She graduated from high school at 17 and began her teaching career in a rural school. She continued to teach and attend college, graduating from Colorado State College with a Master Degree. Her summers were spent working in Yellowstone Park. Her 25 year teaching career led her to North Dakota, Montana, California, Massachusetts and Michigan, serving her last 15 years in Benton Harbor area schools.
She married Tom McCourt on December 29, 1956. They were blessed with six children: Kathleen McCourt, Tim McCourt, Mary (Dave) Waaso, Patrick (Dorinda) McCourt, Colleen (Will) Hren, and Maureen (Scott) McRae. She leaves grandchildren: Andrew (Becca), Skyler (Jodie), Kale, Brodie (Cindy) and Peyton Waaso, Margaret, Thomas, Henry and James McCourt, Jacob (Kari) and Sarah (Jason Rose) Durham, Jameson (Nicole), Haley, and Kelly McRae. Along with Amber Testini, Kymberli, Mackenzie, and Michaela Nichols and many great-grandchildren.
She was a volunteer at the Readiness Center, Habitat for Humanity, Hospice and a Extraordinary Minister for the homebound.
Wintering in Arizona was a big part of her retired years, as was running. She competed in races including Senior Olympics though the age of 90.
Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, 555 Delaware, Benton Harbor, her parish for over 50 years, on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, at 11AM. Daily mass was an important part of her life as was keeping up her backyard grotto.
Memorial contributions may be made to Lake Michigan Catholic Schools, 915 Pleasant St., St. Joseph, the Readiness Center, 347 Catalpa Ave, Benton Harbor, or Birthright, 2700 Niles Ave., St. Joseph. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services.