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Rose Ellen (Johnson) Koontz

June 1, 1936 ~ February 14, 2022 (age 85)


Rose Ellen Koontz passed away at her home in Laurel Springs, NC on February 14, 2022.
She was born on this same property June 1, 1936. Her father was Ivery Johnson and her
mother was Mabel Taylor Johnson. She was 85 years old.

Rose’s first marriage was to Allen Worth of Jefferson, NC. They had one son, Frazier Worth
who lives in Asheville, NC with his wife, Jenny Mathews. Rose is survived by two grandchildren,
Allen Worth of New York City, and Anne Worth, who lives in Durham, NC.

Rose’s second marriage was to Lt. Col G.C. Koontz, retired from the USMC. They lived
together in Laurel Springs for about 25 years until G.C’s death in 2005.

Rose attended Alleghany County High School and then went to Appalachian State Teachers
College where she received a degree in English. She taught high school English at Riverview
High School and Ashe Central High School in Ashe County. She is remembered warmly by her
former students.

In 1971 she went back to Appalachian State University completing a Masters Degree in Early
Childhood Development. Following that she was Director of the Alleghany County Child
Development Center. Following that she attended Radford University, receiving a Masters
Degree in Library Science. After that she worked for Oak Hill Academy.

Rose lived a very active life and enjoyed hiking, studying plants, and even off-road
motorcycling. In 1978 she completed the Brown Mountain Lights 100 mile off-road Enduro race.
She was an expert in local botany and could identify almost any plant she encountered. She
loved spring wildflowers.

Rose was an excellent grandmother, taking Allen and Anne camping each year to the Roan
Mountain Naturalists Rally and sharing her love of nature. Rose read widely, sharing Greek
myths, Bible Stories, and poetry with her grandchildren as they grew, helping them to a love of

Rose enjoyed teaching Sunday School for adults at the Laurel Fork Presbyterian Church.
She loved history, biblical history especially, and words. She and G.C. had lively debates about
the meaning and origins of certain words. G.C. finally bought a dictionary one foot thick to help
settle the issues.

Rose was an excellent and innovative cook, mastering many vegetarian and international
dishes long before their current popularity, and she was also a master of southern Appalachian
traditional cooking.

Special thanks to her caregivers who have shown such dedication and love to Rose over the
past months and years as her health declined: Cindy Wilson, Brenda Manfredi, Christa Causby,
Canda Vogel, and Jeannette Little.

Rose had many wonderful friends and family who loved her and enjoyed her love in return.
Services for Rose will be held at a later date. In recognition of her love of nature, the family
asks that in lieu of flowers, you may donate to the Friends of Roan Mountain.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rose Ellen (Johnson) Koontz, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service to be held at a later date.

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