CHAMPAIGN – Gene H. Rose, 94, a longtime resident of Champaign County, died peacefully Friday (August 19, 2022) in Arbor Rose, Tolono.
Gene was born on December 25, 1927 in Ivesdale, the son of Ralph and Faye (Creel) Rose. His family moved to Champaign in 1941, where he graduated from Champaign High School in 1944 at age 16. He then studied accounting at the University of Illinois, where he received a BS in accounting in 1948.
Gene served our country in the military from 1951 to 1953 and was deployed to serve in the Korean War. He returned to Champaign, where he worked at Twin City Pontiac as chief financial officer. Following in his father’s footsteps, Gene was elected Champaign County Treasurer and served the county from 1959 to 1960. He then joined First Federal Savings and Loan as Comptroller and Vice President of Finance from 1964 until his retirement in 1981. Gene was director of First Federal Savings and Loan from 1964 to 1999.
Active in the community, Gene has been a member of the Champaign Rotary Club, a Paul Harris Fellow, a board member and treasurer of the Urban League, and a volunteer at Empty Tomb. He was a life member of the University of Illinois Alumni Association.
He married Doris Northrup on June 28, 1954. They had three children, Roxanne Butler, Randy Rose and Rick Rose. Gene then married Elizabeth Berry on September 14, 1973 and was a loving husband and father to Roxanne, Randy, Rick and stepchildren Susan Levey, Lloyd Berry and Sharon Rector. He was a family man and enjoyed vacationing and boating on Lake Shelbyville. Gene was a loving grandfather of 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Gene was predeceased by his parents; brother, Ralph; son, Rick; granddaughter, Melia Anne; son-in-law, Craig Butler; and his daughter-in-law, Susan.
He is survived by his wife, Betty; children, Roxanne of Cypress, Texas, Randy of Champaign, Lloyd (Polly) of Glenn Ellyn and Sharon of Champaign; and a son-in-law, Robert Levey of Union, Ky.
He shared his talent as a coach, mentor and friend with many and will be remembered for his quick wit, curiosity and love of softball and tennis. He was happiest working on projects with his friends at the Empty Tomb and Temple Baptist Church, in the yard around the house, or in the apartments he owned in Champaign and Urbana. He enjoyed watching his beloved Chicago Cubs and Illinois men’s tennis teams. He was a senior Olympian in tennis, playing regularly with his dear friend, Norm Kempka. Gene loved to dance and always shared his version of “Ay yai, yai, yai Canta y no llores”.
There will be a private burial for Gene at Grandview Memorial Gardens, Champaign. Visitations at 11 a.m. and memorial services at noon will be held Friday, August 26 at the Morgan Memorial Home, 1304 Regency Drive West, Savoy, IL 61874. At the request of the family, in lieu of further expressions of sympathy, donations may be sent to Circle of Friends, 609 W. Washington St., Champaign, IL 61820. Condolences may be submitted at morganmemorialhome.com.