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Don Rose: Remembering a Champion – and More – for Youth Sports

February 6, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader filed under Sports No Comments
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Donald Neff Rose, Sr. passed away on January 24. He was born on October 16, 1938, to Thomas and Esther Rose in Paris, VA. He was a generous man who dedicated his time to youth sports not only in Loudoun County but to the whole state of Virginia. He entered the Army after graduating from Marshall High School where he served as a paratrooper for the 82nd Airborne. He was vice president of LEO Construction, a Rose family business, and the Babe Ruth State Commissioner of Virginia. He embodied sportsmanship and wanted all youth to be able to play sports in Loudoun County. And, his influence was large. His coaching and mentoring to youth spanned well over 40 years. “Don had a way of getting you involved,” said Gloria (Craun) Elgin, former president of Greater Loudoun Babe Ruth.  “It was always for the kids,” Elgin continued.  “I picture him building a giant press box in heaven so Mickie Gordon, John Haske and Don could have a perfect view of every baseball game.” (Mickie and John were well known local sports advocates.) “He wanted every kid to play, and every kid to be treated equal,” said his son, Donny Rose.

Mr. Rose also helped build playing fields and other athletic facilities, including the stadium and field at Fireman’s Field in Purcellville. In addition, he donated lights and scoreboards to various schools in Loudoun County. His generosity will be felt and experienced by youth for decades and decades to come.

Rose successfully brought the Babe Ruth World Series to Loudoun County. It was Rose and the late Mickie Gordon who made good on the dream of many to host this prestigious youth sports event in Purcellville.

Mr. Rose is survived by his four children, Donald N. Rose Jr. (Donny), Mark A. Rose (Dawna), Robin Rose Bland (Mason), and Boomer Rose, three brothers Tom Rose, Mike Rose, Penny Rose, five sisters, Helen Stevens, Dora Hardy, Sherry Garrison, Debbie Fogle, and Pam Gaal, 8 grandchildren, 9 step children, 8 step grandchildren, and 3 step great grandchildren. Also surviving him was his companion Ruby Rose. He was predeceased by his wife, Brenda Rose and 2 grandchildren.

Services for Mr. Rose were held at the Purcellville Baptist church, with interment at Ivy Hill Cemetery in Upperville. The family requests memorial contributions to the Greater Loudoun Babe Ruth, P.O. Box 836, Purcellville, VA 20134 or the Lower Loudoun Boys Football League, P.O. Box 163, Sterling, VA 20167.

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