Funeral Details - Chicago Jewish Funerals

Funeral Details


Funeral Details

Rosemary Doolas


Interment - Private

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Rosemary Doolas, nee Horwitz.

Loving mother of Jena (Sam Borries) Doolas. Devoted grandmother of Athena Doolas Borries. Sister of Janice (Robert) Kahn. Dear aunt of Michael Kahn, Robert Kahn, and Jon Kahn. Friend and loved one to many. Longtime member and contributor of the Chicago dance community. She was the Founder and Artistic Director of The Chicago Dance Medium. To keep everyone safe and healthy, the internment service will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Chicago Dancers United 200 West Monroe Street, Suite 1150 Chicago, Illinois 60606, or Parkinson’s Foundation Greater Illinois Chapter Attn: Donor Services 200 SE 1st Street Suite 800 Miami, FL 33131, To attend the funeral live stream, please visit our website. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals - Skokie Chapel, 847.229.8822,


We encourage you to share your personal
condolences and stories of Rosemary Doolas below and
we will share them with the family.

Ann Dronen

Dear Jen,
I love the photo of Rosemary! I have such wonderful memories. Many festive holiday gatherings at your Dauphine home and our Toledo home! Several fun trips to Steamboat and a particularly memorable one to Austria. She should rest in peace knowing her daughter has become a wonderful person and a great wife and mother.

Doolas Jena

Lighting a candle for the brightness you created for others

Liz Sarthy

I had the pleasure of knowing Rosemary over the last year, as I was the property manager at her home in the West Loop. She was a friend to all staff and residents, always checking in on how everyone was doing (often bringing down snacks and even meals), even until the very end. Her absence is leaving a big hole in everyone's hearts, as we grieve alongside family. Rest in peace, Ms. Doolas, you were truly one of a kind and a beautiful person.

Jen Smith

Words can not express how much I love Rosemary. She has always been my second mother since I moved to Chicago in 1994. It is a blessing that she has been a part of my life for all of these years. I will miss her voice, her energy, her spirit, and her love. She changed me as a dancer and as a person and I will always be grateful for her generously sharing her love with me.

Michael Kahn

Auntie Rosie. I remember you laugh. I loved you laugh. We had a real feel and genuine affection for one another, a special relationship. Kind of the same relationship I had with your Mom, my beloved Nanny. We would look at each other and there was love. And a smile. And a laugh. You always made me feel appreciated. But it was your laugh I will remember the most. I loved to hear your laugh. Rest easy Auntie Rosie. xo Michael


I endured a beautiful , loving , caring friend, that always makes sure I'm safe and ok! 6 yrs of knowning you at your home (my place of work) I've enjoyed the talks, the laughter and just enjoyed you being you, my heart yearns for you such a beautiful soul, and you will truly be missed.. REST PEACFULY ROSEMARY.

Elissa Pociask

Rosemary was one of those singular and brilliant teachers whose lessons and philosophies will always stay with those who were lucky enough to work with her. Even when I was a girl, she never shied away from teaching me lofty lessons (like that most greatness is born out of struggle), but also always managed to squeeze in a lot of laughs (like when we taught park district kids a helter-skelter dance routine based around tossing exploding Coke cans!) In a world of colorful characters, there was none more vivid than my favorite creative mentor Rosemary!! Her distinctive voice will live on and advise me in my mind for years to come. <3

Ellen Werksman-Smith

In my life there have been several women that have had a profound impact on the course of my life, helped shape my future and contributed to who I am as a person and artist. Rosemary was one of these. Her words of wisdom, her knowledge, her laughter, her sense of humor, her defiance and insistence, her empathy and understanding – are all a part of me. What began as a story of a young dancer seeking employment changed into Rosemary becoming a true part of my dance family and also our personal family - she was in attendance at parties, family dinners, holidays, even a campfire - always invited, always included and loved.
She was a good friend and confidant, eager to lend advice and have an opinion. Sometimes those opinions made me reel with laughter, and other times brought me to tears...but isn't that what real life and real friendship is? Not always perfect, but always a piece of your heart. Rosemary molded and crafted large pieces of who I have become as a dancer / teacher. She will continue to live and breathe through every moment in the classroom, every piece of choreography, every story retold. Her teachings have and will continue to inspire the next generation of dancers.
To know and love Rosemary was to know and love a unique person, a genius with her artistry but sometimes struggling to convey her vision. Many times she kept us late at rehearsals practicing over and over again…only to show up the next day and have her say: “I don’t like it, I didn’t teach you that…let’s start over and try again.” (Now we laugh at those times as they are such “Rosemary” moments!) It seemed at times she struggled both as an artist and in relationships. I think that was because of her determination to follow her inspirations. Perhaps sometimes passion clouds our path – all I know is that at the end of the day – I loved Rosemary!!!
I will cherish all the times spent with her: visiting her various apartments for long chats, dinners, cocktails, parties. I loved our phone convers

Ellen Werksman-Smith

(CON'T): I loved our phone conversations, loved introducing her to our friends and then they became her friends! I so enjoyed getting her to laugh with my sarcastic sense of humor – oh my…so many time she would just be filled with this joyful laugh that I will remember forever! I loved dreaming about vacationing together, creating our next dance project, loved her support and caring words during some of my most challenging times. She wove her way into my life through dance and the rest was a story of a loving friendship and professional collaboration and respect.
I know we are all sad…those that understood her and really embraced her – will be left with a gaping hole in their lives. I know she influenced much of my life, and even now that she is gone – she will continue to do so. I am certain to be asking myself: “What would Rosemary do?” and then maybe concur or do the opposite. (LOL)
I still feel like I could call her tomorrow – or ask her advice, or share a story about my family, or share my excitement over an artistic accomplishment! But I can’t and I will have to be comforted knowing that the last thing we said to each other was “I love you!”
I leave with you now these words from the soundtrack of one of my favorite dances we did with Chicago Dance Medium -
"We're on a Carousel - a crazy carousel - now we go around again we go around, now we spin around we're high above the ground, and down again around and up again around, so high above the ground we feel we have to yell, we're on a Carousel… a crazy Carousel!"
Rest in eternal dancing peace my friend!

Robert Sloane

Shortly after arriving in Chicago in 1989, I met Rosemary as part of my outreach to the dance community. I am the subject specialist for dance at the Chicago Public Library. When we moved to the Harold Washington Library Center. Rosemary and Chicago Dance Medium played a significant roll in presenting dance to our audiences of all ages. I could always count on her to present an interesting program. She will be greatly missed!

Martha B

dearest “rm”…

hope where you are the lighting is just right, classes are packed, and, there, awaits you a lovely Manhattan, hamburger, and plenty of grand conversations to keep your creative curiosity full…

…this morning, I was missing you so…and, then I remembered your binocular friend… I had a very hefty laugh.

…yesterday, the thought of you moving on to your next adventure, was so heavy…I played a little phillip glass,… I thought of movement and circles of energy and breath…. when I looked up, I saw 403. I smiled…and immediately heard you say “oh, brother!”

…it’s the little things. and, yet, I feel there are so many more big stories to swap…’ll be in my thoughts when I look at the sky… the stage… or a printer. I don’t know why it’s not working, but yes, we can take another look at it.

…I promise to remember “rabbit, rabbit”, to wave when I go past your building…and, to have a little ice cream in my coffee every now and again.

…most of all, I promise to call you and tell you about it. For all the times, “rm”… I love you so.

Yes, I’ll come over for dinner and tell you about Japan one more time. Pizza and Greek salad ..sounds good.

by, the way, these ellipses and lower cases are for you… should we place them here or there? let’s get it right…I think we did. xxoo

Alex Doolas

Hey Jen your mom was a very daring and fun loving person. She skied, traveled through Europe in snow storm, met new people in strange land with charisma and confidence. After you were born we took the “package” and traveled to Greece to met the relatives. You the “package”and RM were the center of that universe. On the way there, a trip that took twice as long, we went to a hotel outside of Belgrade and you slept in an open drawer while we went down to eat. I guess you were brave at few months old. She was very confident and tackled everything. She gave a party for the Chicago Bears while I was coming two hours late for the party from Greece seeing my sick mom. No problem. She started the Chicago Dance Medium Company and the Dance Space where the ABT would use on their visits. She was a perfectionist and demanded perfection from those around her as you well know! I think her passing suddenly was as she would have wanted. A perfect ending to a full,life. Dad

Michelle Legeza

Rosemary was ethereal. She was the type of woman you learned how to be elegant and beautiful from just by watching her. I met Rosemary through Martha Buttitto and the bond they shared over dance and life was sublime to witness. May all that knew her be blessed and honored to have been in the presence of a true lady!

Nicole Donohoe

I met her when I was 9 years old. I was given the option of taking her adult class or her advanced children’s class. I took the challenge. Pretty sure the adults thought I was annoying but she’d just scream, “copy!”. She attended my elementary school graduation & watched me cry my eyes out during a farewell speech to a retiring teacher. At the age of 15 she gave me the opportunity to perform “Freefall” with the Chicago Dance Medium. She lent me her movement so I could audition to get into the dance department at the University of Illinois. Life would take me to NYC but eventually back home to Chicago where I started taking her class again & I was able to perform “Brain Dead”. She was my dance mom, the reason I fell in love with dance, the reason I still dance. She was feisty, passionate, smart & engaging. I love her so much & she will be immensely missed. My dancing days will be done in her honor. “Circles of energy”

Tess Mullen

I echo the others who've stated that RM changed their lives. She changed mine 25 years ago, when I walked into her class at Lincoln Park. She made me a dancer, and part of a community. She taught me discipline, how to accept constructive criticism, and grace. Everything she taught me transferred to my work and my relationships. And she gave me the feline love of my life, Charlie. I feel incredibly lucky to have been her friend and student.

Auntie Doris Gittelson Pryor

Dearest Jen and family, Jan and family...I was introduced to you all in 1968 when I met and was courted by your Uncle Herman. Your Mama and Papa Horwitz took me into your family and I loved and enjoyed every new experience being loved by all. There are many attributes I can give throughout these many years, but I think maybe the most memorable thing that Rosemary (and Alex) did was to host the luncheon following your Uncle Herman's (my dear husband) funeral. Our (Gittelson) family will never forget such a kindness at such a stressful sad time in our lives. May God give you His Peace that Passeth all Understanding at this time of your loss. I love you, forever. Auntie Doris

Natassa Mavraki

I met her when I was very small. I couldn’t converse with her as I didn’t speak English but I could feel her warmth when she hugged me. I will always remember her smile, posture and grace of her movements. Our loved ones live forever in our hearts.

Rita LeDuc

Remembering Rosemary - my family, my cousin, my friend. A lifetime of memories is difficult to put down in a brief memoriam. We were children on Chicago's south side. Her family moved from an apartment, my family moved into it. What a "grand" day we had several years ago when we visited our childhood apartment, our Chicago neighborhood, our grade school and her high school!

I remember my cousin - how she enjoyed coming to my house with my Aunt Faye for our Christmas celebrations. How she treasured forming relationships with my children and grandchildren and reuniting with my two sisters.

I remember my friend - the book fairs we loved and reminiscing with her as the two of us packed up her Printers Row condo together. I remember the long lunches we had at her favorite Iguana Restaurant and at my favorite, Atwood Café. And I remember the many pizzas we shared at Lu Malnati's on Wabash, sitting under the EL tracks trying to hear each other as the trains went by!

I remember her concern when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and how close she stayed. I remember the "grand" times, and, yes, I remember the hard times when I would not meet her expectations. But we had a bond as family, as cousins and as friends. I will miss that in my life...I will miss her.

Joe LeDuc

As a cousin-in-law, I knew Rosemary for nearly 60 years. My earliest memory is seeing her dance as a "young" lady at a Barat College performance in Lake Forest. From the time Rosemary and Alex had Rita and I over for dinner in Northbrook so many years ago, we have shared both rocky times and good times with Rosemary. Out of state moves and journeys of life would absent us for long periods. When we moved back to the Chicago area in 1986, Rosemary and her mother, Aunt Faye, came to our home for dinner. We had a wonderful time and a long friendship developed.

We held season opera tickets together for several years. One evening after an opera, Rosemary asked me to drive her to Aunt Faye's rather than to her own home. It was late, but Rosemary felt an urgent need to see her. The urgency was warranted. Aunt Faye passed away hours later.

We shared many delightful dinners together both at our favorite Italian restaurants and at each other's homes. Our dinners always included great food, a drink or two, lots of laughter and conversation. She and I are both opinionated and our opinions were often at odds, but we could tease each other and laugh about it afterwards.

We had a tradition for a few years, getting together on the 4th of July to celebrate by watching fireworks and having hot dogs with all the trimmings. The most memorable 4th was a beautiful summer evening when we were all young enough to walk from our condo to south Michigan Avenue to view the fireworks up close. The last 4th that we got together, a few years ago, we viewed fireworks from afar on Rosemary's Van Buren Street balcony.

To the good times!

Frank Fishella

"RMD" was one of my mentors during my dance and dance after-life. She installed in me an appreciation for books, art, beauty and of course dance - for which I am eternrally grateful and which I hope I have been able to share. Rosemary provided endless support when I was recovering from knee surgery and helped me get back on stage when I thought by dance days were over. Always searching fro authentic movement, RMD never let me get away with anything. And in her own words... "oh brother!" I consider RMD the very definition of tough love. I'm sending Jena and family love and energy to see you through these sad days. I'm hoping memory of the good times will live in your hearts.

Bobby Kahn

I have spoken to my Auntie Rosie multiple times over the last several months. It always made me smile when I looked at my phone and saw "Rosie" displayed on the screen, and I knew a warm, friendly and loving conversation was about to ensue. Sadly, it has only been recently that we reconnected so often. I truly wish we had kept in touch more so throughout the years. Still, I am happy to have heard her warm, tender and kind voice recently and I will take that with my going forward. And, I am happy to have reconnected with my cousin Jen. Dance in Peace, Auntie Rosie. I love you.

Tessie Boucouras

Dear Jen,

I have so many fond memories of Rosemary thru the years at your tastefully decorated home on Dauphine , in Crossfields, a fun trip to Michigan with the Katz’s…
We celebrated birthdays, holidays,
Graduations, recitals and so much more together; Your mom did it all in great taste and fun and I am blessed to have been there with her.

I know she will rest in peace knowing that you have become a loving person, daughter, wife and an EXEMPLARY mother.

With much love, Tessie

Tania coleman-munuera

Rosemary was my dear "bossy boss"
She hired me as a hip hop instructor when I moved to Chicago from France. She was the most loving, generous, motherly "boss" I ever had.
We discussed Holy Scriptures and hope for the future. My last conversation with her I told her to pray God and said I would pray too for a specific want she had...she called me back a bit later that day to tell me all excited "it worked! Tania, God answered my prayer!" She went on to relate how God had done so regarding her specific request...I congratulated her and said "so you prayed right? And you saw how God answered correct?" She went on to answer :" yes, I prayed God and told Him to listen carefully to your prayer since I knew you were about to pray for me." I laughed so hard that day...her unique way of thinking, her humor, her laugh, her kindness...we parted with our usual "I love you!" I grab hold of the resurrection hope, will miss her greatly til condolences to her family and friends. All my love to all who are hurting from losing her.

Jan Bartoszek

Dear Jen and Family,
I am very sad to learn about Rosemary’s passing. Rosemary was kind and always generous. As a dancer in her company, she became an important mentor early in my career. Her contagious love for dance and encouragement helped shape me as a dance artist. She had high standards and demonstrated the importance of sharing the joys of dance with audiences, especially young audiences. I send you my love and prayers, Jan

Christine Rojek

How can I begin to write a eulogy for a friend that I’ve loved for over thirty years? I know that just writing these words will make Rosemary’s passing a reality and that it will mark the beginning of my grieving process. Rosemary was a wonderful friend. The best. Loyal, supportive, unique, delightfully quirky, and inspiring. We understood one another.

I first met Rosemary in 1990 at the Donohue Building in Printers Row, Chicago. She owned a lovely, magical loft on the 4th floor that radiated energy and a sense of peace the moment one stepped inside. My husband, Tom, and I lived on the 5th floor with our two daughters in a unit that overlapped a portion of hers. Elissa was 5-years-old at the time, and Erica was only 3. Needless to say, we were an active tribe, but Rosemary never said a word about our exuberant tumbling and stomping. As the Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago Dance Medium, Rosemary’s reputation as an accomplished dancer/choreographer was well known in our community, but I didn’t know that she also taught children to dance. One day I asked her how I might introduce my girls to dance. She was adamant when she said, “at my school, of course!”

Soon Erica and Elissa began ballet lessons at the Chicago Dance Medium studio in the Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue. Entering this historic building, then riding the elevator (with an actual elevator operator) to a professional ballet studio became a memorable Saturday morning event. Rosemary mentored Erica and Elissa through 8th grade, then lovingly followed their lives through adulthood. Rosemary’s method of dance instruction not only taught my daughters the meaning of grace, but it instilled incredible confidence that they hold to this day. Rosemary believed in her students, no matter what age. She encouraged and included every one of them while simultaneously creating her own challenging performance pieces. Her works of art often incorporated dancers of all ages and levels, encouraging them t

Joclyn Oats

It was lovely seeing the beautiful photograph of Rosemary, her smile, lovely eyes, quaffed hair, slight turn of the head—her poised pose, what an impeccable image. Thank you, Jena for sharing the photo.

When I started taking ballet class with Rosemary at the Dance Space, she was around middle age, and there was a group of women all in our twenties who began taking ballet at the same time. Being at the Dance Space was ‘a coming of age’ and this environment enabled us to become our own community. Many of us are still friends today. It was a most memorable time.

Rosemary had such richness of character—her opinions, humor, quick wit, love for dance, and for
the arts helped define her essence. It was marvelous to watch her demonstrate in class, her movement and enthusiasm was spellbinding. I would not know how to ballet if not for Rosemary. She taught me how to move and to want to move.

Rosemary became my friend, confidant and mentor. For a petit person she seemed larger than life. It appeared to me that she was brilliantly informed about so many things in which held my interested— dance, music, film, art, esthetics, travel and of course human nature. She not only taught me to ballet, but she taught me about life. As years passed, I did not spend as much time as I would have liked with her, but when we reunited it was as if time had not passed. It was familiar and comforting. I will
miss my friend, confidant and mentor. My life is richer for having known Rosemary. Rest in peace my

Angela Moody

One of my fondest memories of Rosemary is what a generous, empathetic, and creative teacher she was with me as I attempted to learn ballet as an adult. She spoke to me in a language I understood using visual imagery to convey the concepts of dance. I was a fish out of water but because of her patience I slowly but eventually learned how to express myself through movement. I also gained a greater appreciation and passion for the art of dance. I will be forever grateful for those gifts. Thank you, Rosemary, and may you rest in peace.
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