J. Evans Rose, Jr., Prominent Republican and Former Sewickley Heights Council President
Rose was involved in Republican politics in Pennsylvania, including serving as a close adviser to former Governor Richard Thornburgh and as state finance co-chairman in 2004 for Bush-Cheney.
J. Evans Rose, Jr. of Sewickley passed away Friday, July 20 at Villa St. Joseph, Baden. He was 80.
Rose was a well-known fundraiser and strategist in local, state and national Republican circles as well as an attorney and former president of Sewickley Heights Council. He was a longtime adviser to Richard Thornburgh, the former governor of Pennsylvana and U.S. Attorney General.
“Although he never ran for or held statewide office, Evans Rose was a giant in Pennsylvania Republican politics during the last 50 years," said Thornburgh, of Rosslyn Farms. "He was well-connected in Pennsylvania legal, business, political and civic circles, with a wide range of friends and admirers across the state.”
He is the beloved husband of Patricia Rose and the loving father of Virginia Rose and Henry Jackson of Brooklyn, N.Y., Susan C. Rose of Westlake, Ohio, and Hilary H. Rose of Pittsburgh, and devoted stepfather of Henry and Shelley Clement of Sewickley, and Jennifer Clement Kelley of Wexford.
He loved and was proud of his grandchildren: Sam and Sarah Jackson, Jack Rose, Lauren Clement, and Callie and Bailey Clement.
His mother and stepfather, Jane and Oliver McClintock, his step-mother and father, Esme and J. Evans Rose. Sr., his sister Mary Kennedy and brother, Oliver “Tuck” McClintock preceded him in death.
He is survived by his brother, Andrew Rose, and sisters, Esme Rose Scott and Jocelyn Rose Thompson.
Mr. Rose graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, where he was captain of the varsity soccer and basketball teams. He graduated from Yale University in 1954 and was captain of the varsity soccer and rugby teams and member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.
Mr. Rose served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army from 1954-1956. After his service, he attended and graduated with honors from the University of Pittsburgh Law School where he was editor of The Pittsburgh Law Review.
He was managing partner and chairman of Rose, Schmidt, Hasley and DiSalle law firm from 1958-1989. He was director and member of the executive committee of Cohen & Grigsby law firm from 1989-2009, specializing in trusts & estates and corporate and public finance.
Mr. Rose always took a personal interest in his clients and took time to make sure their needs were met, according to those who knew and worked with him. Mr. Rose was also generous with his service to the legal community.
He was a member and secretary on the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission of Pennsylvania; member of the Board of Visitors, University of Pittsburgh Law School; chairman of the Appellate Court Nominating Commission; member of the Judicial Council of Pennsylvania; and chairman of the Pennsylvania Lawyers' Fund for Client Security. He was a member of the American Law Institute and the Allegheny County and District of Columbia bar associations.
During this time, he served on the boards of trustees of Equimark and Equibank; Integra Trust Corporation; Dietrich Industries; the Stackpole Corporation; The Hall Corporation; The Mallard Fund, Inc. and Allegheny Plastics. He was also a trustee of West Penn Hospital; Vesuvius Foundation; the Henry E. Haller, Jr. Foundation; and a member of The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.
Mr. Rose took pride in serving as a trustee of the University of Pittsburgh and served on the executive committee from 1997-2006.
For many years, he contributed time, thought and energy as president of the Sewickley Heights Borough Council. Through the years, Mr. Rose exhibited considerable political acumen, and those interested in seeking office often sought his advice.
According to the former Gov. Thornburgh: “His greatest strength was in fund-raising, at which he was a champion and which he thoroughly enjoyed. When I first ran for governor in 1978, Ev, a college classmate,was among my first recruits, and he thereafter became a close advisor throughout my public career.
"He had superior political instincts and a well-developed sense of ethics and propriety in the sometimes rough and tumble world of politics," the former governor said. "Fewer political figures in our state were as admired and respected as Evans Rose. He will be greatly missed.”
Mr. Rose was chairman of the Thornburgh for Governor Committee in 1978 and again in 1982. He was vice chairman of the Finance Committee for Tom Ridge in 1994 and 1998. He was also finance co-chairman in Pennsylvania for former Gov. George W. Bush and a member of the Exploratory Committee for Bush for President in 1999 and 2000. Mr. Rose was finance chairman for Jim Roddey 2000 and 2003. In 2004, he was finance co-chairman in Pennsylvania for the Bush-Cheney campaign.
Evans Rose loved his country and believed that it was important to play an active part in the political system. He had faith in the candidates he backed and knew that they would be capable of making wise decisions for Pennsylvania and the nation.
Contributions in his memory may be made to Villa St. Joseph in Baden.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 28 in the Presbyterian Church of Sewickley, 414 Grant St. Arrangements by Copeland Ltd. of Sewickley.