Virginia Juanita Rose, 1920 – 2009, of Eagle
Eagle, CO Colorado
EAGLE, Colorado –Virginia J. Rose, a longtime resident of Eagle, passed away Nov. 6 in Glenwood Springs. She was 88. Funeral services will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. at the United Methodist Church of Eagle Valley.
Virginia was an active member of the Eagle community for more than 40 years. She was widely known as a doer – a neighbor who could always be counted on to volunteer her time, offer an opinion or assist a friend in need.
Virginia was born on Dec. 3, 1920, to Leonard Deck and Eunice Arvilla Shook in Cougar, Okla. As the oldest child in the family, she often helped out with her four younger siblings.
On July 1, 1940, she married Gerald Rose. The couple made their home in Wheat Ridge. They had one child, son Ronald Rose.
“Virginia was very proud of working at Montgomery Ward for 30 years and moving up through the various departments,” said longtime friend Katie Harper.
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From the time she was a girl, Virginia always had an especially soft spot in her heart for children, Harper continued. At her home, she displayed dozens of photographs of local kids and family members. “When she had a little child on her lap, Virginia just lit up,” offered Harper.
One of Virginia’s final contributions to the community was to donate money for a new playground at the Eagle Methodist church. “It’s very fitting since she loved kids so much that her memorial is a playground,” said Harper.
Gerald and Virginia moved to Eagle in 1977. Gerald was an avid beekeeper who kept their hives at locations throughout Colorado including the Eagle Valley. The couple ultimately decided to retire in the Eagle area. But retirement wasn’t slow for the Roses, especially for Virginia.
“Virginia always felt badly about not graduating from high school,” said Harper. “So when she learned about a local program, she went back to school and earned her GED. Then for 12 years, she taught GED classes. Through the years, people would call her and to say if it hadn’t been for her, they never would have graduated.”
Harper noted that many people experienced Virginia’s financial generosity, but even more were enriched by her gifts of time and talent. For 30 years, Virginia was a regular volunteer at the Eagle Valley Community Fund Rummage Sale. She literally volunteered thousands of hours and earned $1,000s for local charities, especially the senior community.
She was a stalwart presence for the Eagle County Seniors program. She worked on the regional advisory councils and helped out with dozens of programs. She routinely collected and dropped off clothing at the center. Her friends at the program will deeply miss her.
“She gave me clothes and money when I needed it and paid for me to participate in trips,” offered her friend Jeanie. “She was a dear friend and I loved her.”
“She was generous to a fault, really,” said sister-in-law Carolyn Shook.
Virginia was also generous with her opinions. “Part of her charm was when she had an opinion, she shared it with people who counted instead of just talking over the back fence,” said Harper. “And if she said she would stand behind you, she stood behind you.”
As the years advanced, Virginia’s eyesight failed. But even after she was declared legally blind, she managed to stay active. She was a proud Methodist and a gifted painter. She was a member of the local United Methodist Women, the Red Hat Society, a church hobby club and more. She could often be seen around town, visiting with friends.
“She had one friend – Tom Ehrenberg – who always said ‘Here comes trouble’ when he saw her. She thought that was petty cute,” said Shook.
Virginia really had two families – her family by blood and her family of friends in Eagle. And in her later years, her pug “Ginger” was a special companion.
She was preceded in death by her parents and by her husband, Gerald; sister Beulah “Billy” McDonald and her husband, Elwood; and brother-in-law Donald Gasper.
Survivors include her son Ronald Rose, of California,; brother Leonard Shook Jr. and his wife Carolyn, of Northglenn, Colo.; brother Elwin Shook and his wife, Ruth, of Post Fall, Idaho; sister Adwina “Eddie” Gasper, of Brighton, Colo.; numerous nieces and nephews and her extended Eagle family.
Memorial contributions made be made in Virginia’s name to the United Methodist Church of Eagle Valley.