Rose Mary Hendrix, 78, passed away at home in South Bethany, Del., on Friday, May 15, 2020. She was born May 3, 1942, in Rochester, Pa., the oldest of three children of John and Dorothy Maruskin.

Hendrix loved teaching and retired from Sparks Elementary School in Baltimore County in 1989, then moved to South Bethany. There, she dedicated her life to working for peace. She made everyone feel welcome and important; defended the most vulnerable; accepted others with opposing viewpoints; and chose to speak on behalf of those who had quiet voices not heard by those in power. She encouraged dialogue through her Friday Morning Women’s Coffee and Socrates Café gatherings.

She actively lived to change the world in small ways, one person at a time, and in large ways with active volunteering. She gave her time to the annual Crop Walk for Hunger, Thresholds, The Way Home, the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Delaware Human Rights Commission, Habitat for Humanity, Southern Delaware Alliance for Social Justice, Shore Democrats, Southeast Sussex Ministerium and Bethany Beach Christian Church.

Hendrix was a truly peace-loving person with a gift for hospitality. She and her husband, Gene Hendrix, began each year by opening their home for a Serbian Christmas celebration to celebrate her Serbian heritage. In September, they hosted an annual Peace Party to share peace with the community as a step to fulfilling her prayer, “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”

Hendrix leaves behind her husband, Gene Hendrix; sister, Joan M. Maruskin; brother, John Maruskin; and her cousins, nephews, nieces, and an extended family of many best friends.

It is hoped that community gatherings will be possible by Sept. 12, and if so, their 2020 annual Peace Party will also be a memorial celebration of Rose’s life. Bethany Beach Christian Church will remember her as part of their May 24 service on YouTube.

“She was a true friend, who loved us, left footprints on all our hearts and brought light into our lives and the world.”

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are suggested for Thresholds in Georgetown, Del., The Way Home in Georgetown or Community Lutheran Food Bank in Frankford, Del. Condolences may be sent online at www.melsonfuneralservices.com.