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 James Bascom Rose, Jr

James Bascom Rose, Jr

Coxey, Limestone County, Alabama, USA
Death 30 Oct 1989 (aged 67)
Coxey, Limestone County, Alabama, USA
Burial Athens, Limestone County, Alabama, USA
Memorial ID 14991045 · View Source
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James Bascom "J.B." Rose, 67, of Route 5, Athens, died Monday October 30th, at a local hospital. The funeral was at Spry Funeral Home with Raymond Bush, Winfield Skinner, and James Bridges officiating. Burial was at Dement Cemetery. Mr. Rose, a veteran of World War II, was retired from NASA and a member of the Clements Volunteer Fire Department. Survivors include his wife, Allene Rose, four sons, Jonathan Neal Rose of Helena and George Michael Rose, Julian Wayne Rose, and Paul Edward Rose, all of Athens, four sisters, Ora Lee Turner, Ellie Turner, Mildred Parham, and Alma Stovall, all of Athens; and eight grand children.

J.B. ROSE by Neal Rose

My father, James Bascom Rose Jr, was born September 12, 1922 as the youngest of eight children and only surviving boy of James Sr and Flora (Casteel) Rose. He was born and raised in the Coxey community of Limestone county, which is about 12 miles west of Athens, Alabama on what was then known as Florence highway, now referred to as highway 72. Dad passed away of a massive heart attack while serving his community as a volunteer fireman and putting out a field grass fire at the intersection of seven mile post road and that very same highway 72. His oldest sister, Winnie Odell, died at age 4 of an illness and his only brother died at birth as a twin to his oldest sister Gladys. His sisters, in order were, Gladys Ophelia, Mamie Ora Lee, Jane Elmira, Mildred Marie, and Alma Belle. According to his sisters, dad was treasured by them because he was the only boy, therefore he was slightly pampered. He and his sisters were raised by very poor but stern parents. I can't elaborate about my grandmother too much because she died a few years before I was born. My mother said she was a very loving and good mother, but Papa, as all his children called him, was a very a well respected man in the community that set high standards for his children and he brought them up in the nearby Mt Carmel Church of Christ. He also was a lawman for the Limestone County Sheriffs department. Papa held many titles over the years besides being a lawman. He supplimented his living as a blacksmith, farmer, and fisherman. He died when I was only about six years old but I have heard many stories over the years from various people in the community about what a good man Jim Rose was. During this era of law enforcement such illegal activities such as "moonshining" or the making of "wildcat" whiskey was rampant in the area and "steel busting" was part of his everyday job. My father once told me that his dad being a lawman caused him some problems at school because some of the law breakers had children who took it out on my dad at school. Papa also made some of his living "trot line" and "net fishing" on the Elk and Tennessee rivers of the Limestone county area. He died April 26, 1963 of a heart attack.

Before I continue I would like to mention an uncle of interest on this site. He is Uncle Tom Rose and you can find information about him here.

My dad married Thelma Allene Mangrum on March 14, 1944 in the city where they met, Nashville, Tn. Mother always referred to him as Jimmy. I never have asked but have wondered if that was what his mother called him. Mother passed away September 21, 2005. Dad was in the Army Air Corp and was serving his country as a MP during that time. According to mother, a sickness of his father kept him out of the war. They eventually moved to Coxey and went on to raise four boys, of which I am the youngest. My older brothers are fairly close in age but there was a gap of seven years before me. I was told many times that I was my moms last try for a daughter. My brothers are, in order of birth, George Michael, Julian Wayne, and Paul Edward, who we call Jack.

I could ask each of my brothers to write about our father and you probably would get very diverse descriptions of what it was like to be his son but I think all would agree that he was very hard working and ingenious. He quit high school before graduating to join the military but went on to self educate himself to be an excellent electrician and a man of all around talents. Most of his occupational career was spent working for NASA at the missile engine testing site at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama during the Mercury and Apollo programs and the beginning of the space shuttle era. I will never forget watching in amazement the incredible event of the first man on the moon unfold as Neal Armstrong stepped foot off that ladder, all the while knowing that I was sitting next to one of the thousands of people that had a hand in making perhaps the most monumental moment in history. In his final stages with the space agency he worked as a scuba diver in the neutral buoyancy tank helping with the training of astronauts, which he dearly loved. Dad meant so much to me but none as much as being my best friend. His passing probably affected me more than any other event in my life. I felt like a part of me left with him. The glue that held our family together for gatherings during the holidays and other times had fallen. We had gatherings for a few years after he died but it just wasn't the same. I guess the thing that I missed the most was the closeness that he had with my children. The youngest, Christopher, was only five when he passed so he has very little memory of his granddad, but he has related to me on numerous occasions that the good name and legacy that dad left him in this community has been beneficial to him in countless ways. I too have benefited from that name. After dad retired from the space agency he became basically a full time volunteer to his fellow man. For many years after retirement he served in the rescue squad, fire department, and red cross, while taking care of the cemetery that he is now buried in. He also did electrical work, carpentry, plumbing, and many other deeds for his neighbors in the community, most times refusing pay. I learned from him in so many ways to be a good friend and neighbor. Dad had a way with young boys that appealed to their sense of adventure. He loved the outdoors and thereby made a tremendous boy scout master for years when my brothers were young and then again later on in life after I left home. I remember fondly going on hiking trips in the Smokey Mountains with him and camping out in the mountains. That was his element and I like to think that I might find him one day passing on the trail in the cool air of the mountains that he dearly loved.

Dad loved all the seasons of the year but his favorite was the fall of the year. After his death I found this story in his study:
by James B. Rose

Why is the season of the year so beautiful to me, and why does it bring to my mind so much more than other seasons the seldom recalled, but sharp and clear memories of boyhood? Memories that when brought to mind by some incident such as the smell and feel of the crisp, clear air flowing from the north on some cool fall morning that seems to hold the threat of promise of all kinds of severe climatic conditions to follow. A threat or a promise depending entirely upon the spirit of the observer. To someone who has never been particularly thrilled at the call of the wild goose as he makes his journey south, or the refreshing bite of the first snowflakes of winter. To this person these shortening days of approaching winter is indeed ominous.

But to one who has tasted the wild and free pleasures of the unbounded adventure such as existed in the hills and vast bottoms of the area where the sluggish Elk and roaring Tennessee met. To one who has chased the wild driven leaves fallen so far from the tops of virgin oak and hickory that watching them start their lonely journey eastward would cause a young boys heart to thrill at the vastness and wonder of it all. As he watches the leaves taken beyond the grasping hands and be lowered gently to the earth that seems impatient to receive them unto itself and hold them firmly while the decaying process changes their fiber to mulch that enriches the forest floor.

To one who has watched the towering chestnut trees bend in the chilly Autumn wind as their tops seem to sweep the threatening skies, and they shower their delicious fruit to eager searching hands. To one who has hated the patience of the cotton boll as it responded reluctantly to the relentless drying sun and opened wide to present its downy fiber to the streaming solar rays. To one who has searched out many weapons carved out of flint, and holding them while standing in the dark and lonely hollow, or on the glittering shell of periwinkle mounds beside the fast running Tennessee looked up and seemed to be transposed to a time not many years before when the sons of the red man trod these forest floors, and almost surely wrestled opossums and other wild game from the same dens. To one who had done these things and more, and felt kinship with every wild thing, but rather only respect for things that it can do for him. To him, fall is the beginning and memory of a glorious adventure.


Dad ended his adventure on earth October 30, 1989, and began his adventure beyond during the fall of the year.

Family Members


  • Created by: Neal Rose
  • Added: 20 Jul 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 14991045
  • Neal Rose
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for James Bascom Rose, Jr (12 Sep 1922–30 Oct 1989), Find A Grave Memorial no. 14991045, citing Dement Cemetery, Athens, Limestone County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Neal Rose (contributor 46853235) .