Gene C. Rose, 88, passed away at his home on September 6, 2017, in Baker City, Oregon.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, October 13, 2017, 1:30 PM located at the Church of the Nazarene, 1250 Hughes Lane, Baker City with Pastor Sally Wiens officiating the service. A reception will follow at the Quail Ridge Golf Course, 2801 Indiana Avenue, Baker City.
Gene was born on December 21, 1928, in Payette Idaho, to Cecil Corbett Rose and Mayme Kathryn (Ahrens) Rose. He had one sister; Paula Lou Rose Lutz.
Gene, the son of a law enforcement officer, grew up with the love and support of family members that included his parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, as well as many wonderful friends. These relationships remained strong throughout his entire lifetime. He fondly remembered the people of Payette, and he was always grateful that he had been raised in this small, rural community.
It was during his youth that Gene developed a passion for sports, and especially for the game of baseball. Throughout his high school years, Gene played on numerous state championship and All-American baseball teams. His love and advocacy for the sport continued his entire lifetime.
Upon graduating from the Payette High School in 1946, Gene attended the University of Idaho for one year. There he pledged the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, played baseball for the Vandals, was a sports writer for the “Argonaut”, and he completed his academic freshman year.
In 1947, he transferred to the University of Oregon where we completed his undergraduate work with a degree in Journalism, and he earned the position as starting catcher for the U of O Duck baseball team.
While at the University of Oregon, Gene met the love of his life; Coral Jane Kneeland. They were united on December 27, 1950, in Eugene, Oregon. They were married 62 years.
Upon graduating from the University of Oregon’s School of Law in 1953, the couple settled in Baker City, where Gene became a member of the Grant, Fuchs, Rose and Daron law firm.
In 1956, the couple relocated to Tacoma, Washington where Gene continued his service as a Judge Advocate Officer (JAG) for the United State Air Force Reserve. He was ultimately promoted to the rank of Captain.
Gene and Coral were pleased to return to Baker in 1958, where Gene continued to practice law. The couple stayed busy raising their family of five children and their numerous pets. They also remained very active in community work.
Gene is widely-attributed as a key figure in the development of Baker’s Little League Baseball program and baseball facilities like the Wade Williams and Leo Adler fields. Gene served as the first president of the Baker Little League.
Among his many activities, Gene served as the President of the Baker County Chamber of Commerce, he was a member of the State Welfare Commission, and he was credited for winning an indefinite extension of West Coast Airlines service to Baker. Many might be surprised that he initiated and served as the director of the first St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Youth Choir. Gene was named one of Oregon’s Three Outstanding Young Men in 1961, and he received the Distinguished Service Award for Baker County.
Gene’s law practice was diverse, but it was his work with the Idaho Power Company to handle condemnation proceedings in the Hells Canyon that shifted the direction of his legal career.
In 1969, the family relocated to Ontario where Gene became a partner in the law firm now known as Yturri, Rose.
Gene’s legal work centered on utility law, becoming legal counsel for Idaho Power and for Cascade Natural Gas Company, located in Seattle, Washington. In 1983, Gene was named to the Board of Directors for Idaho Power on which he served until 1998.
Over the years, Gene and Coral enjoyed their many friends in Ontario and they remained active in community until Gene’s retirement from the law firm in the mid-1990’s. It was then they decided to return to Baker County and retire.
Over the past 20 plus years, Gene continued to be active is numerous aspects of the community. This is especially true with his dedication as a member of the Leo Adler Foundation Board.
As Leo Adler’s attorney, Gene worked closely with Adler to establish a foundation that has undoubtedly changed the face of Baker County. Gene proudly served on the board overseeing the distribution of foundation funds for more than 20 years.
He especially enjoyed the opportunity to award scholarships to graduating high school seniors, and those seeking advanced education. It was not uncommon for him to approach a young person whom had received a scholarship years prior and ask how things were going for them.
Gene and Coral were dedicated, loving parents. They put a high premium on education for their children. They encouraged all of them to follow their dreams and speak their minds. The latter being witnessed by guests at any Rose dinner table. No subject was off limits.
Gene’s generous heart, his sense of decency and his humility were greatly appreciated by all who came to know him. His sense of humor was legendary and always delivered with a kindness that often left people chuckling before he said anything. He could tell a great story and he enjoyed visiting with everyone. Without a doubt, he made any room he entered a lot brighter.
His presence will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Gene Rose is proceeded in death by his wife, Coral; his daughter, Kathryn Rose; and grandson, Kevin Rose.
He is survived by his children; son Bill Rose and wife Karen; daughter Connie Ross and husband John; son Bob Rose and wife JoAnn; daughter Mary Jane Guyer and husband Randy; grand-children, Kelley, Christie and J.J.; and his great-grandchildren, Elsie, Emme, Chalten, Wills and Elias.
The family suggests memorial contributions in Gene’s name be made to: The United Methodist Church of Haines, and The Gene Rose Youth Baseball and Golf Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation, through Gray’s West & Company, 1500 Dewey Avenue, Baker City, Oregon 97814.