Dorothy Rosa Houghtaling Bostic, 96, widow of Henry Hawes Bostic, died Dec. 21, 2016 at the Elizabethtown Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center. The daughter of the late Herbert Blake and the late Dinah Baskett Houghtaling of Henderson, she had made her home in Elizabethtown since the end of World War II.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Henry; one son, Joe Houghtaling Bostic; daughter, Rosemary Blake Bostic Allen; and two brothers, Herbert Blake Houghtaling Jr., and Joe Baskett Houghtaling.
Visitation and a service to celebrate Rosa’s life will be held in early 2017 at a date to be announced.
She is survived by one son, Henry H. Bostic Jr., and wife, Ann, of Charlotte; five grandchildren, Kyle Houghtaling Bostic and wife, Pam, of Elizabethtown, David Brett Bostic and wife, Alexis, of Wilmington, H. Hawes Bostic III and wife, Ambriel, of Brooklyn, N.Y., C. Davis Allen III and his wife, Britt, of Asheville and Julia Blake Allen Shaw and her husband, Richard, of Elizabethtown; and seven great-grandchildren, Jackson Houghtaling Bostic and Easton Halls Bostic, both of Elizabethtown, Joseph Trask Bostic and Henry Porter Bostic, both of Wilmington and Haddie Maude Bostic and Bo Henry Bostic, both of Brooklyn, N.Y. and Charles Shane Allen of Asheville.
She is also survived by Charles Davis “Dave” Allen Jr., Rosemary’s husband; Joe’s widow, Martha Cross Bostic Lotz (whom Rosa considered a second daughter) and husband, Bud, of Elizabethtown; one sister, Mary Florence Houghtaling Matthews of Marco Island, Fla.; and sister-in-law Dorothy B. Houghtaling of Cape Carteret, N.C.
Rosa was born Nov. 29, 1920, in the Spring Valley section of Vance County. She graduated from Henderson High School and from the Baker Sanitarium School of Nursing in Lumberton. She grew up during the Great Depression. She recalled that her family got a telephone before electricity while she was attending nursing school because a neighbor wanted a phone and the line had to run across the family’s land.
She met Henry in Lumberton when she was attending nursing school. They were married Dec. 6, 1942 in Wilmington, on the eve of the first anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Before, during and for a short time after the war Rosa worked as a nurse in Lumberton and Elizabethtown and in Granada, Mississippi, where Henry was stationed during the war. After her first child was born in 1946 she became a fulltime wife, mother and homemaker.
Rosa grew up a Methodist, but when she married, she joined Elizabethtown Baptist Church where she was an active member until recent health problems, serving more than 30 years as teacher and assistant teacher of three-year-olds. After Sunday services, she could be found welcoming visitors and newcomers. When her children were young, Rosa was an active grade mother and for several years was a Cub Scout Den Mother.
Rosa was always supportive of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She and Henry were especially proud that all their children and grandchildren graduated from college. A wonderful cook and immaculate housekeeper, she actively visited friends and church members and loved to visit with friends while “shopping” in town.
Since January 2015 after emergency surgery Rosa had made her home at the Elizabethtown Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center. She surprised her children with the ease at which she adjusted to living there. The joke among family members was that “Momma has become social director.” She enjoyed roaming the halls and rooms, visiting other residents, their families and visitors. She rarely met a stranger and made a point of learning about all her caregivers.
The family requests that memorials may be made to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, N.C. 28401, whose caregivers, along with the dedicated staff at the Elizabethtown Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, provided loving care for “Miss Rosa.”