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Rosemary Karen Brahana

Rosemary Karen Tourney Brahana, age 79, of Fayetteville passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 1, 2022 at her home in Fayetteville. Her husband and sons were by her side, having served as caregivers throughout the three months of her illness. Her final weeks were also supported by Circle of Life Hospice, a loving group who facilitated a pain-free quality to her final days.

 Rosemary was born on November 29, 1942, in Quincy, IL, the daughter of the late Dr. Guy Tourney and Mary Buffum Tourney. Theirs was a loving and supportive home, and it provided her with a caring and compassionate nature that she retained throughout her life.  After attending Mills College in Oakland, CA, she transferred and graduated from the University of Illinois with a BA in Biology, teaching for 5 years in Belleville, IL and Columbia, MO high schools. In 1966 she married the love of her life, Van Brahana, and they shared almost 56 years together. Two sons, Todd and Matthew, were the joys of their life. During the boy’s preschool years, Rosemary shifted her focus to becoming a stay-at-home mom, nurturing, loving, and teaching them lessons essential to becoming genuinely good people.  After both boys were in school, she returned to train as a Medical Technologist, refocusing her biology background to microbiology.  This provided a career with labs at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, TN and Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, AR. She retired in 2008.

In retirement, her love of family, nature, reading, walking, classical music, and travel allowed more time for realization of these.  Her empathy and caring for all living things led to sharing her resources in numerous philanthropic endeavors.

Rosemary is survived by her husband, Van; her sons and their wives,  Todd and Kara Brahana and Matthew and Sara Brahana; 5 grandchildren, Collin, Isabelle, Elise, Ethan and William; a sister, Elinor Merideth; a sister-in-law, Mary Ann Graham; and 2 grand-dogs, all who loved her dearly and held her in the highest esteem.   Rosemary was preceded in death by her parents. Per her wishes, cremation rites were chosen and entrusted to Backstrom-Pyeatte Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life will be held in early April 2023, a time dear to her heart when the cycle of life on earth begins anew. Details of Rosemary’s Celebration of Life will be available on the  Backstrom-Pyeatte website (www.backstrom-pyeatte.com) when they are finalized. An online guestbook now is available for your personal messages at the same location.  In lieu of flowers, donations in her name may be made to your favorite charity.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rosemary Brahana, please visit our flower store.


Van and Family, We are so sorry for your loss and know no words can comfort you now. Rosemary was a confirming presence in my life. She and I had many discussions about children and our life choices - she was smart, strong, committed, caring and kind, I looked up to her as someone who was wise, witty, understanding and most important a friend. While she will be sorely missed, she will reside forever in a place of honor in all of our hearts.

Jo Ann (and Ken) Kvamme Oct 20 2022 12:31 PM

Dear Van and family, Jane and I were saddened to hear of Rosemary's passing. We remember very well the many time we visited with you at the neighborhood pool. We really enjoyed Rosemary's bright outlook and easy, engaging conversation skills. Rosemary was a great asset to the world and the community, and we will definitely miss her.

Chuck and Jane West Oct 12 2022 8:33 PM

Van, I know there are no words that can ease your sadness. Losing someone so close is so hard. May your happy memories give you peace and comfort during this challenging time. Deepest condolences to you and your family for your loss.

Mohamed Aly Oct 10 2022 5:44 PM

Van, Mark & I were so sad to hear of Rosemary’s illness and death. You two were great neighbors and we are so sad to hear of this loss to you and your family. Please accept our deepest sympathy.

Janie & Mark Baber Oct 7 2022 4:54 PM

Van, Matthew, and Todd
It is with great sadness to learn of the passing of your Rosemary, wife, mother and my friend. We spent many enjoyable hours together there at the lab at WRMC, where we became friends. No matter how bad the situation she could make it better. She was a problem solver and everyone's best friend. Rosemary leaves an empty space that none can fill. I will miss hearing her laugh, seeing her smile and spending time talking to her.
Susan Harter

Susan Harter Oct 7 2022 2:38 PM

I was never had the privilege to meet her but her photograph shows a 'radiance' that tells me she had a kind heart. God bless the family at this time of loss.

Rand jooe Oct 7 2022 9:42 AM