Clarence Laverne Rose, 98, of Brooksville, FL went to be with the Lord May 9, 2012, after fighting lymphoma for several years. Clarence was born Nov. 30, 1913 in Woodhull, IL to the late Sherman T. Rose and Blanche McConnell Rose.
He grew up in Woodhull and Cambridge, IL, working as a hired hand on a farm and with his mother in the grocery store they owned. He was an entrepreneur at heart. As a young adult, he and his mother bought the grocery store. Later he got a job driving new cars to California. That is how new cars were transported in those days. He chose to stay in California to go to school at L.I.F.E. Bible College at the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles. He graduated and was credentialed as a minister of the gospel. Shortly after graduation, he married his college sweetheart, Eloise Burgess, on August 6, 1937 and worked in an airplane factory. He lost two fingers in an accident at the factory making him ineligible for military service at that critical time in history. The company sent him to the Oklahoma factory as a supervisor.
After the war (1945), he took his young family to Puerto Rico where he became a literature missionary. Because of the war, churches had been unable to get Sunday School and church materials in the Spanish language. He set up a printing business, Puerto Rico Gospel Press, to print church materials in Spanish. Local people did the translation and he printed Sunday School materials, church bulletins, hymn books and whatever the churches needed. In 1960, the business was sold to a local church organization ready to continue meeting the need for Spanish language materials printed close to home. He and his family moved to Clearwater where he opened another printing business to serve the community there, Seminole Press. A few years later, Seminole Studios was born to print & market Florida Christmas cards. Later he bought Shelley Printing to add the equipment and expertise needed to print the Christmas cards. He regularly hired young people & taught them the field of printing and business management. He gave young people opportunity to increase their skills in printing, layout & design, commercial art and secretarial and receptionist skills.
In Puerto Rico, he started in printing in the basement level of a rented home in the very small town of Naranjito. He started with a small printing press and local people to translate Sunday School materials from English to Spanish and prepare it for the printing process. After a year, he was able to move the operation to a larger town, closer to those using the materials he printed. A few years later, he added equipment and employees plus a delivery driver. He built a building in Rio Piedras about a mile from the University of Puerto Rico. The Lord never failed to supply the financial needs of the growing printing business serving the churches of the Puerto Rico.
He was always active in his church. He served as Elder, Deacon, and on the Board of Trustees at various times. He retired from printing at the age of 80, in 1994, having taught his three sons and many of their friends the skill and art of printing and business management. In retirement, he took great pride in keeping his lawn beautiful and the orange, lemon and grapefruit trees producing their best. His garden was large and productive, supplying his wife and friends with homegrown vegetables, beans, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables. He shared the produce with anyone & everyone.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 75 years, Eloise; sons, Bob (Cathy) and Ray (Danya); daughters, Sharon Rose and Mary Gonzalez; 16 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and 5 great- great grandchildren. His parents and his second son, Rodger, predeceased him.
Services will be held on Thursday, May 17, 2012, at the Grace World Outreach Church located at 20366 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL, 34601. A Visitation will start at 10:00AM and the Funeral Service will follow at 11:00AM.
A Graveside Service will be follow at 2:30PM at the Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park located at 2853 Sunset Point Road, Clearwater, FL, 33759.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Mr. Rose's name ti the Mission Fund at Grace World Outreach Church, 20366 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL, 34601.