Rosey's Funeral Held Today

Mark of - Posted October 30, 2003
           Accompanied by a legion of Adamses, Nixes, Carters and Cashes, Rozanna Lea Nix Adams was taken to her grave today, buried at her mother's feet in a heartfelt funeral service in Hendersonville. June Carter's younger daughter was remembered in ways which reflected her life: often irreverent and coarse, but full of the spirit and no- holds-barred style which characterized her 45 years on this Earth.
           Don "Poolball" Mealer opened the ceremony with a song he and Rosey wrote after June died called "Press On.." Carlene Carter led a family musical tribute on the song she wrote about her sister, "Me and the Wildwood Rose" (with new lyrics to reflect recent events), accompanied by John Carter Cash, Laura Cash, Lorrie Bennett and Tiffany Lowe, and then offered a moving remembrance in which she said "Rosey was ready to be where she is now, with Mama."
           Rosey's widower, Philip Adams, gave an emotional, tear-filled speech which alternately had the assembled overflow crowd at the Hendersonville Funeral Home Chapel wailing and laughing through the many tears. He acknowledged that "everybody knew that Rosey was an addict for a long time," but said that she "loved life more than anyone [he had] ever known."
           Family friend Michael Foster performed a halting rendition of a song he wrote which he said was one of Rosey's favorites called "My Eternal Home."
           Rosanne Cash, who has given more than any one person's share of eulogies in the past few months, gave a spontaneous and frank reminiscence about her difficult relationship with her step-sister which ended with expressions of love both from and to the podium. She said Rosey had a "wild spirit that always flew too close to the fire" and that her life was a cautionary tale that "people need structure in their lives."
           Brandi Rose ended the proceedings with a powerful, a capella version of "Amazing Grace," the signature song which Rosey often performed when she toured with the Johnny Cash Show.
           As the mourners followed the white and rose casket to the grave, Lorrie Bennett led a mournful "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."
           Rosey's father, an overcome, distraught and ailing Rip Nix, was led into the chapel in the arms of his wife and son and namesake, Edwin, and sat crying in the front row. There were many other family members and friends who made another in what has become an all-too-frequent trip to Hendersonville Memory Garden. They included Janette Carter's children from Poor Valley, Rita Forrester and Dale Jett, as well as June Carter's cousin and best friend, Fern Salyers; three of the four Cash daughters: Rosanne, Kathy and Cindy; Helen Carter's three living sons: Danny, David and Kevin Jones; Carlene's son, John Jackson Routh, who has served as a pallbearer at all three Cash/Carter funerals this year; the three remaining siblings of Johnny Cash: Reba Hancock, Tommy Cash and Joanne Yates; former Cash band members W.S. Holland, Dave Roe and Marty Stuart; old family friend Merle Kilgore, who collaborated on writing songs with both Rosey and, long ago, her mother; and even one of Rosey's ex-husbands, Mike Daniel, who was an honorary pallbearer.
           It was a ceremony that provided Rosey's friends and family an opportunity to say goodbye to a life ended before its time, for a woman who searched all her life, and may have found it only on the other side.

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