97, a former Opera Singer, passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 17, 2019.
Born in New York City, she was a daughter of the late Frederick F. and Elizabeth J. (Junge) Kuhlmann.
A US Navy Veteran, she joined the WAVES during WWII where she was taught Morse code. She returned to New York and worked sending Morse code to the ships at sea. She also performed on radio programs promoting the WAVES and had a weekly show Navy Serenade on WNEW.
After the war, she was accepted at Julliard on a full scholarship through the GI Bill and graduated in 1950. She went onto sing with Robert Shaw’s professional chorale until auditioning for a role in The Consul which turned her onto Opera. On Christmas Eve in 1951, Rosemary guaranteed her place in the record books when she created the role of the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, having been handpicked by the composer Gian-Carlo Menotti. She performed in many Broadway revivals, for the New York City Opera and was a frequent guest artist with symphony orchestras.
In 1978, Rosemary took a temporary job at PepsiCo for four months and ended up staying sixteen years as the executive assistant to the international vice president. She then worked for five years as the executive assistant to the director of the Westchester Conservatory of Music before retiring for good.
In 2001, Rosemary was reunited with Menotti for the fiftieth-anniversary salute to Amahl by the New York Museum of Television & Radio.
She is survived by her two children, Susan E. Burke and her spouse Steven of Bristol, RI and Peter K. Evans and his spouse Elizabeth of Scarsdale, NY; and five grandchildren, Richard K. Evans, Thomas K. Evans, Myles E. Nelson, Elizabeth (Liza) H. Nelson and Jenna L. Evans and nephews, a niece and cousins. She made friends everywhere and knew everyone’s name so she is also survived by many loving friends and neighbors. She was the sister of the late Dorothy Kuhlmann.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, September 9, 2019 at 10am in St. Thomas More Church, 53 Rockland Street, Narragansett. Burial with Military Honors will follow in the RI Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Exeter.
As a tribute to her vocal arts studies at Juilliard and her lifelong artistry, the family of Rosemary Kuhlmann requests in lieu of flowers that contributions in her memory to the scholarship fund at The Juilliard School.
You may send a check payable to The Juilliard School, at 60 Lincoln Center, NY 10023; or give online at https://giving.juilliard.edu/or call (212) 799-5000 x 692. Please mention that your gift is in Rosemary’s memory.
To send flowers to Rosemary's family, please visit our floral section.