Rose Wunderbaum Traines – who was taught by her brother to use a welder and cutting torch at the age of 12 and developed her talent to become a noted sculptor of metal – died on Sunday.
Traines died at the Isabella County Medical Care Facility.
She was 91.
Traines, who was born in Indiana where her family owned a salvage yard, came to Mt. Pleasant when the family bought a similar business in the late 1940s.
“Rose worked alongside her father, cutting down old trucks, cars, farm machinery and other salvageable objects, sometimes ‘inventing’ things,” her family remembered in her obituary.
“With a continued interest in metal sculpting, Rose created hundreds of works of art which were either sold or donated,” family members recalled. “Many of her fascinating and clever works are still on display in the Mt. Pleasant community.”
Traines, the subject of an in-depth feature story published on the website Epicenter Mt. Pleasant last November, recalled many of her creative influences and milestones.
“I then was able to go with dad after school hours, vacation times, Saturdays, and go with him to different areas, different garages, different farm areas, and places where they had old trucks, old cars, and old farm machinery; and, I cut those things down with my torch when I was about 12 years old,” she said in that interview.
“I could see people standing kind of far back going, ‘Look at that little girl cutting down that truck,’ and comments like that that were just kind of interesting.”
For a short time she attended Michigan State, during which time she dated Robert Traines. They were married June 25, 1949. Rose graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor of science degree in speech in 1951.
Traines earned accolades and awards far beyond Mt. Pleasant, but was always involved in and supportive of the local arts community, including Art Reach of Central Michigan.
“I think that we are so fortunate to have someone who is as accomplished as she is and at the age of 91 still working and creating new art and creating commissioned pieces,” said Amy C. Powell, executive director of Art Reach of Mid Michigan, for the Epicenter story last fall.
“I feel like having her as a resource and one of our advocates as well is phenomenal. It gives us such joy to have her in the community.”
A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Charles R. Lux Family Funeral Home with Rabbi Amy Bigman officiating.
The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.
Survivors include two daughters, Claudia (Yaron) Lang of Mt. Pleasant and Monica (Peter) Martin of Parker, Colo.; four grandchildren, Elon (Jessica) Lang, Dov (Mallory) Lang, Kendall (Carey) Ryerson, and Nolan (Chrissy) Martin; seven great grandchildren, Isadora, Penelope, Ari, Tessa, Cale, Alyssa and Connor; sister, Fannie Traines of Mt. Pleasant; and several nieces and nephews.
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