Charles Eugene Rose, 81, of rural Fowler, with friends and loved ones at his side, died peacefully the morning of Friday, August 24, 2018, at Blessing Hospital in Quincy.
He was born January 6, 1937, in Birmingham, Illinois to John Basil and Violet Edith (Greenleaf) Rose. He married Helen Elizabeth Stanley December 24, 1956, in Augusta, Illinois. Helen preceded him in death June 29, 1985.
Affectionately known as “Charlie” by family and friends, he was a graduate of Maplewood (Central) High School in Camp Point. After high school he served in the Illinois National Guard. He worked for 33 years as a welder for Litteral Manufacturing - Speedrack Inc. of Quincy, where he became active in the local labor movement, becoming a founding member of the United Auto Workers, Local 1270, and serving several years as its president. Driven by core beliefs in workers’ rights and civil fairness in the workplace, organizing with others similarly motivated, he helped secure improved working conditions, pay and benefits for his coworkers through collective bargaining with their employer. With his labor activism began an interest in progressive politics and a long affiliation with and support for the Democratic Party. While working at Speedrack, he developed farming and real estate interests which he pursued to the end of his life. During semi-retirement Charlie sold real estate with his longtime friend John O’Brien of O’Brien Realtors of Quincy.
An avid reader of many topics and a jack of all trades, Charlie’s mechanical skills and practical character were demonstrated by his passion for vintage automobiles and trucks, farm machinery (of necessity for farming), tools from any era for any useful application, and automotive and political memorabilia. In all things automotive Charlie held preeminent the Ford Model T. He was a member of the Illiamo Model T Chapter of the Model T Ford Club of America and the Mississippi Valley Historic Auto Club of Quincy. He and wife Helen (then later Sonia Hill) greatly enjoyed historic auto touring in several “flivvers” he restored and maintained religiously.
Charlie and Helen lived in Quincy briefly, then Paloma, before moving to Fowler with their three children. Over many years he enjoyed spending time with his friends at the Paloma Diner drinking coffee, sharing stories and telling jokes.
Charlie’s favorite foods included fried catfish, coconut cream pie and Morel mushrooms.
He was a Master Mason who was honored for fifty years of service. Charlie’s ancestors include early Illinois settlers of Schuyler and Fulton counties, as well as Civil War (Union) and American Revolutionary War veterans.
Charlie is survived by his longtime companion and fiancée, Sonia Hill; one son, Steven Rose of Yachats, Oregon; one daughter, Sherry Rose Adrian and her husband, Frank Adrian of Hillsboro, Oregon; two grandchildren, Alexander Rose of Ethel, Washington, and Katherine Rose of Portland, Oregon; one brother, James Rose of Stockton, California; several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins; as well as a host of longtime friends from the community.
In addition to his wife Helen, Charlie was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Stanley Rose; one sister, Virginia (Rose) Williams; one brother-in-law, Larry Keith Williams; and one sister-in-law, Betty (Featherlin) Rose.
SERVICES: 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 4 at Camp Point United Methodist Church in Camp Point with Pastors Sheila Kelly, Ronald Graham and Joe Tomich officiating. Burial will be in Paloma Cemetery, Paloma.
VISITATION: 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Monday, September 3 at Camp Point United Methodist Church
MEMORIALS: In lieu of flowers, please donate to Camp Callahan at campcallahan.com
ARRANGEMENTS: Lummis Hamilton Funeral Home, Camp Point