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OBITUARY PHOTO ALBUM > Rosemary Haru Braxton
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Rosemary Haru Braxton

OBITUARY for ROSEMARY HARU BRAXTONOctober 15, 1943 - August 18, 2023Rosemary Haru Braxton was the younger of two daughters born to Anne (Thomas) and John T. Braxton on October 15, 1943. The year 1943 was a difficult year for race relations in America. Several race riots took place in the country. Among the hardest hit cities were Beaumont, Texas, Detroit, Michigan, Harlem, New York, Mobile, Alabama and Los Angeles, California. Anne Braxton (five months pregnant with Rosemary at the time of the Beaumont disturbance), fled the city with her husband, John and their toddler, Nell. They were taken in by a friend in Houston, Texas until it was safe to return to Beaumont. In October Rosemary was born in a section of Beaumont which had not been touched by the riot.When Rosemary was a toddler, the family moved from Beaumont to San Antonio, Texas and then to Austin where her parents accepted better paying jobs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). During the summer of 1947, the Braxton family went to Atlanta, Georgia to visit Rosemary’s maternal grandparents. It was a summer when infantile paralysis spread throughout the country and Rosemary was one of the many children who fell victim to the disease. As a result, her right leg was paralyzed from her knee to her foot and would always be smaller and shorter than her left leg, but that never kept her from participating in tap dancing andballet classes, sports, swimming or any other childhood activities.As job opportunities became better at other HBCUs, the Braxtons moved to Daytona Beach, Florida and then to Jackson, Mississippi. Rosemary finished Brinkley High School in Jackson before enrolling as a freshman at her mother’s alma mater, Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. During her time at Spelman she and fellow schoolmates joined Dr. Howard Zinn (who was a professor at the college), on a trip to Washington, DC for the national youth march for peace. The following summer of 1962 she traveled to Finland for the Helsinki Youth Festival. In August when Rosemary returned from Finland, the Braxton family joined the second great migration of African Americans leaving the South for northern, midwestern and western US cities. Their migration led them to Sacramento, California where, as long-time Episcopalians, they found a warm welcome at Trinity Cathedral Church. Rosemary and her sister joined the choir at Trinity Cathedral and entered Sacramento City College, their first integrated school experience. Both girls moved on to California State University, Sacramento where Rosemary received two bachelor’s degrees: one in Sociology and one in Speech Pathology. She received her master’s degree from Toledo (Ohio) University in Library and Information Technology. Rosemary spent several years living in Arequipa, Peru where she taught English as a second language before returning to California and accepting a position as Assistant Director of the Learning Resource Center at the University of California, Davis. She followed that position as anInformation Technology Analyst for the state of California at the Department of Motor Vehicles,where she continued until her retirement.At Trinity (Episcopal) Cathedral church Rosemary was active in many activities. She was a member of the Stephen Ministry team, served as a member of the vestry, as a lector, and was a delegate to the diocesan convention of Northern California. She also served on the search 1 committee for a bishop which resulted in the 2019 election of Bishop Megan Traquair. As a licensed lay preacher, Rosemary delivered powerful sermons at the cathedral and at the Eskaton Retirement Home where she preached on a monthly basis. On March 3, 2019, Rosemary Braxtonreceived the Dean’s Award for her caring heart, faithful presence, faithful service, and devotion to Christ’s mission. She was a member of the Episcopal Urban Caucus and designed several of its brochures. In 2015 Rosemary published a second edition of her grandfather’s 1967 autobiography, My Story in Black and White, by Jesse O. Thomas. She wrote a new foreword for that edition.In the fall of 2021 Rosemary Braxton was diagnosed with bladder cancer for which she underwent extensive surgery followed by chemotherapy and immunotherapy. For the last two years she waged a valiant fight against the disease, finally succumbing to it on August 18, 2023.In February of 2023, during Women’s History Month, the Zonta Club of Sacramento honored Rosemary Braxton for her lifetime of significant accomplishments. The Zonta Club is a member of Zonta International, a women’s organization dedicated to women’s rights and education, which celebrates International Women’s Day each year by recognizing women around the world for their achievements. Rosemary Haru Braxton is remembered today as a dynamic preacher, a thoughtful and dedicated worker, a loving caregiver to her mother for nearly ten years, and as one who often visited the sick and elderly members of her church and local community. She was a faithful, generous and compassionate church member, an outstanding university professional and civil servant, and an avid bridge player. She enjoyed art museums, tennis, track and field, basketball and football. Shewas a loving daughter, sister, aunt, sister-in-law, godmother and a loyal friend. She is survived by her sister Nell Braxton Gibson, a niece, Dr. Erika Anne Gibson, a brother-in-law, Bertram Gibson, a goddaughter Amber Lynwood and a host of relatives and friends.Viewing will take place on Thursday, August 24th between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm at Morgan Jones Funeral Home, 4200 Broadway, Sacramento, California.Memorial Service to be held at Trinity Cathedral, 2620 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, California, at (date and time)2