By Barb Van Atta
You may not have known her name, but, for many people, Rosemarie A. Henkle was the face of a host of Broome County arts organizations. Henkle, who died Tuesday (June 9), was a dedicated volunteer who ultimately became, as her family put it, “an art and music icon for the area for over 30 years.”
She managed the box office of Tri-Cities Opera, the Binghamton Symphony and the Binghamton Theater Organ Society (BTOS) and also served the Fine Arts Society of the Southern Tier, First Night and the Roberson Museum and Science Center, among other groups. An artist herself, she was, for two decades, the driving force behind the July Fest art festival in downtown Binghamton.
“Her too-early passing brings a huge loss and wonderfully forthright memories. At a visit last week, she let me know that she was very unhappy that she could not be at our box office for our last three programs as she fought pneumonia,” said BTOS founder and volunteer executive director Paul Stapel.
Born in Boston on Dec. 9, 1937, Rosie, as she was known, married the late William M. Henkle in 1957, and they moved to Binghamton in the early 1960s. She is survived by their children and seven grandchildren, as well as nephews and cousins.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10 a.m. Friday (June 12) at Saints John and Andrew RC Church, 1163 Vestal Ave., Binghamton. Calling hours are 4 to 7 p.m. today (June 11) at the DeMunn Funeral Home, 36 Conklin Ave., Binghamton. Memorial contributions in her name may be made to The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage, 46-48 Willow St., Johnson City, NY 13790.
The theater organ society has created the Rosemarie Henkle Silent Film Memorial Fund, c/o BTOS, P.O. Box 1353, Binghamton, NY 13902-1353. A $30 or more donation will also serve as a 2015-16 membership, Stapel said, adding that people might also consider contributing to the Rosemarie Henkle Music Library Fund c/o the Binghamton Philharmonic, 168 Water St., Binghamton, NY 13901.