SARANAC LAKE - Rosemary Sigwalt Lake-Liotta, 58, of 703 county Route 60, Rainbow Lake, died Monday, July 23, 2012.
Born in Elgin, Ill., on July 3, 1954, she was the daughter of James and Mary (Hogarth) Sigwalt.
Rosemary grew up in Barrington, Ill., graduating from Barrington High School in 1972. She studied to become an Emergency Medical Technician at the Chicago City Wide Colleges in 1986 and worked in Chicago as an EMT and training emergency personnel. Rosemary married Richard Liotta on Aug. 11, 1988, in Milwaukee, Wis., and they moved to Saranac Lake in 1990. Rosemary finished her associate degree in humanities at North Country Community College in Saranac Lake in 1993 and her bachelor's in psychology at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh in 1995. She went on to receive her master's in social work from the State University of New York at Albany in 1998. Rosemary loved learning and expanding her skills. She became a certified trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Hypnosis in 2008 and was continuing to expand her knowledge through the study of alternative and energetic healing practices. Rosemary was a gentle, giving soul gifted in her ability to connect with, understand and help people grow and change their lives. Her formal education only supplemented her fundamental intuitive wisdom.
Rosemary had a creative spirit, putting her heart into everything she did, whether enjoying friends, designing a garden, creating floral arrangements, writing poetry or making pottery. With deep spiritual connection to nature, she loved hiking through the woods and getting her hands dirty in the garden, where she was a master gardener. In 2011, one of her stories was published in the book "Sweet Fruit from the Bitter Tree: 61 Stories of Creative & Compassionate Ways out of Conflict."
Rosemary, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, practiced individual, couples and family psychotherapy (1999 to 2012) with offices in Saranac Lake, Malone and most recently in Ballston Spa. She facilitated Heart Strings groups, wellness-oriented groups for women. Teaching others was another passion, and Rosemary conducted workshops and presented at conferences on personal enrichment topics. Rosemary also was on staff at North Star Mental Health Services. Other professional positions included serving as Senior Social Worker at Hospice of the North County, Malone and Plattsburgh (1999-2001); and School Social Worker at Petrova Elementary School in Saranac Lake (1998-1999). Through her work, she touched many peoples' lives with her rare combination of analytical skills and deep compassion.
Rosemary was an inspirational friend and loved by many. Her legacy is all the lives impacted with her bright presence, heart, wisdom and deeply empathetic nature. With humility she always thought of others and would always offer a helping hand.
Rosemary is survived by her husband Richard Liotta of Rainbow Lake; two brothers: James (Bud) Sigwalt and his wife Judy of Carpentersville, Ill., and Mark Sigwalt and his wife Judy of Barrington, Ill.; her sister, Patricia West of Fox Lake, Ill.; and several nieces and nephews whom Rosemary loved dearly.
She was preceded in death by her father and mother.
A celebration of life will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake, with a memorial service starting at 4 p.m. Immediately following the service, a friendship gathering will continue in the John Black Memorial Room of the Historic Saranac Laboratory, 89 Church St., Saranac Lake, where refreshments will be served.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to a cause that has meaning for you, knowing that Rosemary's heart has always been connected to the nature, healing and the arts. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at www.fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.