Rosetta Smith Gochnour

1935 ~ 2022


Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 E 1300 S, Salt Lake City
Jul 5, 2022 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Wednesday Morning Visitation

Monument Park Stake Center 1320 S Wasatch Blvd SLC, UT
Jul 6, 2022 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

Funeral Services

Monument Park Stake Center 1320 S Wasatch Blvd SLC, UT
Jul 6, 2022 11:00 AM

On June 25, 2022, Rosetta Elizabeth Smith Gochnour passed away peacefully at home in the care of her dedicated and loving companion, Ralph. Her passing marked the end of a life well-lived. Rosie, as she was known, warmed the heart of her husband, blessed and united her family, and led all her endeavors with determination, kindness and love.

Rosie was born on June 6, 1935 the third child of Mary Bennett and Kenneth Edward Smith. She grew up in the family home on Douglas Street in the shadows of the University of Utah. Together with her four siblings they made lifelong memories playing piano, riding bicycles, working in the family businesses, and recreating between Brighton and Midway.

Rosie possessed an uncommon ability to touch the hearts and minds of children, a skill that was recognized early in life, extended to her schooling, and was magnified in her enduring accomplishment as an extraordinary mother. At 12 years of age, and with her hair in pigtails, she would make a weekly uphill trek to fulfill her Primary calling for the 33rd Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For decades to come she tended to God’s little ones and drew strength from her favorite primary song, “A Child’s Prayer.”

She learned to be a seamstress while attending East High School, a skill she applied as a young mother by making matching sports jackets for her five sons and 10 beautiful hand-knitted Christmas stockings for the whole family. In typical fashion, she knitted hers last. After high school, Rosie attended the University of Utah where she pledged Alpha Chi Omega and finished a degree in child development.

In April 1956, Rosie met Ralph Gochnour, a musician from Idaho who was studying at the university and renting a room next door to her family’s home. Her courtship with “the boy next door” included a first date at the local Dairy Queen, movies in Salt Lake City, and a long-distance relationship while Ralph attended the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA and Rosie worked at a nursery school in Los Angeles. Rosie’s mother intuitively recognized the magic of this pairing and took every opportunity to encourage the two. In November 1957, after a dinner at Lamb’s Grill, Ralph and Rosie purchased a ring and decided to marry. Rosie passed into the next life with this ring on her finger.

Rosie and Ralph were immensely blessed with five sons, followed by three daughters. The number didn’t deter them from taking family bike rides, with Ralph and Rosie riding on a tandem Schwinn. Rosie cared for each child with individual attention and devotion, instilling in them a love of family, friends and faith. Rosie’s heart swelled as her children served religious missions, graduated from college, and began families with committed partners. Many a holiday has been spent in the family home, at Jackson Lake or at the Midway Cabin cultivating traditions across generations. Neighbors often marvel at the family’s unwavering togetherness as they gather every Sunday evening at the family home to alternate favorite recipes, including Union Pacific chili, fruit slushies, ebelskivers, cinnamon rolls and homemade peach ice cream.

Rosie and Ralph are known to their grandchildren and great-grandchildren as Grandma and Grandpa Choo Choo because of their love for trains and train travel. This shared identity is representative of their shared commitment to pursuing all adventures and passions together. Even during their early years of raising young children, when Ralph toured the world with the Utah Symphony, Rosie always joined him. They even shared a twin bed when the accommodations necessitated it. They road-tripped together to Train Mountain in Oregon every summer. In their later years, they traveled to China, the Mediterranean, and the Danube with their grown children. Wherever they went, they held their suitcase together — forever holding hands and sharing the load was the Ralph and Rosie way.

Her parents and two siblings preceded her in death. She is survived by 32 grandchildren, 12 great-grand children and by her own children: Jeffrey (Jeni), Chris (Natalie), Scott (Robin), Greg (Caitlin), Brian (Jennie), Rosanne Hewitson (Curtis), Suzanne Thomas (Mike), and Marie Gardner (Christian). Her posterity will miss her kindness, devotion, selflessness, and glorious love.

Friends and family are invited to celebrate Rosie’s life at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 6, at the Monument Park Stake Center 1320 S Wasatch Blvd SLC, UT. Friends may call Tuesday, July 5, at Larkin Sunset Lawn Mortuary, 2350 East 1300 South from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m and on Wednesday at the church one hour prior to service. Interment Larkin Sunset Lawn. For those unable to attend, services will be steamed via Zoom at:

In lieu of flowers, please honor Rosie with a quiet act of kindness.


Julie and I send our love to the Gochnour family. Rose was our neighbor for many years and was very kind to my aging mother. Rose and Ralph have a wonderful family and for years we enjoyed watching Sunday gatherings of the Gochnour clan at their home. Rose's kindness will be missed.

- Larry Richards

Sending lots of love and prayers to you all!! What a lovely, sweet and beautiful woman, wife, mother and friend! What a wonderful family for her to be so proud of. She was a very gracious woman!!! Sweet Rosie!!

- Kim Brightwell