From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (African American Women Veterans in and from Kentucky)
Rose Gazaway.pdf

Spears, Rose Ann Gazaway Moore Simpson

(born: February 2, 1911  -  died: October 7, 1987) 

Military Branch

Women's Army Auxiliary Corps
Women's Army Corps

Active Duty Entered

August 8, 1942
September 1, 1943

Active Duty Exit

October 24, 1945

Exit Rank



Rose Ann Gazaway was born in Williamsburg, KY, the daughter of Carrie Short and Nelson Gazaway. The family was enumerated in the 1920-1940 U.S. Census when they were living in Cincinnati, OH. On December 24, 1931, Rose Gazaway married Carey Moore in Cleveland, Ohio. The marriage had ended by November of 1934 when Carey S. Moore married Nancy Covington. Rose Gazaway resumed using her last name and returned home to live with her family.

In 1942, Rose had remarried and was separated from her husband when she enlisted in the Army in Cincinnati, OH, according to her record in the National Archives, Access to Archival Databases. Rose Simpson was included in the picture of women who had enlisted in the army, the photograph was published in The Cincinnati Enquirer. The women were said to be the first from the area to enlist in the Army, and Rose Simpson appears to be the only African American in the picture.

Either during or after her military service, Rose Simpson divorced her husband. In 1949, she married Virgil Spears in Dayton, OH. Rose Ann Gazaway Moore Simpson Spears died in Cincinnati, OH, and she is buried in the Spring Grove Cemetery.

Sources: 1931 Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records and Indexes (Ancestry); 1934 Ohio, County Marriage Records in Ancestry; "Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana women join WAAC's," The Enquirer, 08/08/1942, p.20; "City and County Statistics: "Vital Statistics: Marriage Licenses," The Journal Herald, 03/28/1949, p.19; Cincinnati, OH, Spring Grove Cemetery Index in Ancestry; see Rose Ann Spears at Find A Grave.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Whitley County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Williamsburg, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: National Archives, Access to Archival Databases (online)
NKAA Source: Ancestry (online)
NKAA Source: The Cincinnati enquirer (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Journal herald (newspaper)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Spears, Rose Ann Gazaway Moore Simpson,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed March 28, 2023,

Last modified: 2021-11-25 15:28:17