Frank T. Rose, a native son and lifelong resident of Grass Valley, Calif., died on March 11, 2014, after a yearlong battle with cancer at his Cedar Ridge home. He was 81.
He was best known for his listening ear, his deep belief that “everyone has a story to tell,” his empathetic nature and his corny jokes. In recent years, these jokes became self-referential when he called himself “El Chivo Viejo” (the Old Goat). He never resorted to gravity when levity felt superior (and more inclusive).
Frank was born at his family’s Marshall Street home on Nov. 6, 1932. During his youth, he attended local schools, and in 1950, graduated from the old Grass Valley High School. With the exception of his Army service during the Korean War, he voted with his feet that Grass Valley was the best place to live and die in California.
Frank was a retired electronics specialist with the Department of Defense. After returning from the war, he gained employment at McClellan Air Force Base, making the 121-mile daily round trip for over 30 years so he could hang his hat in Grass Valley.
Although he never married, he had a loving, abiding relationship with Laura Lee Gouge, who preceded him in 2011.
Among other interests, Frank was an avid fisherman, hunter, bicyclist, artist and ham-radio operator. One of his special interests was exploring the back roads of the Mother Lode country. As recently as two months ago, he was touring the roads of Nevada County, photographing such historic areas as French Corral, North San Juan and Washington.
For many years he was a member of the Elks Club and the Sons of the American Legion. In recent decades, he and his friends constituted the regulars at Apple Alley restaurant in Cedar Ridge, where they told tall tales, cribbed other’s stories and emptied the coffee pots.
Frank was one of five children of the late Violet and Charles Rose, who were over half-century Grass Valley residents. He is survived by his brother, Gene Rose of Oakland; sister, Merle Cecil of Page, Ariz.; and eight (plus extended!) nieces and nephews and their families.
Longtime family, including Gene and Julie Rose; Laura’s nephew and niece, Mike and Stephanie Lee; friends Charlie and Cathy Fortner and Faye Wale (caretaker of Frank’s dog, Mona); and Hospice of the Foothills all made it possible for Frank to live out his last days in his home surrounded by love, family and friendship.
His ashes will be spread around the Sierra at locations he knew and loved. Thoughts of Frank can be shared with his brother, Gene, at email@example.com. Gene can communicate about any future gathering in honor of Frank’s life.