Rodney Rose (1948 – 2018)

rodneyroseOn Wednesday 4 April, around 250 family friends and colleagues filled Milton Parish Church and spilled out into the Church grounds to celebrate the life of Rodney Rose who died on 17 March after a long and heroic struggle with cancer. Revd. Anne Hartley conducted a moving and dignified service, and a guard of honour was provided by the members of the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service with whom Rodney had worked closely while serving as Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council. Close friends Ian Newbery and Scott McIntosh gave the eulogy, and shared memories from his early days to current times. Rodney had lived in the Wychwood area for most of his life working on Mount Farm, then at Bruern as Assistant Farm Manager, and then in his own building company in the Wychwoods.

Rodney, however, will be best remembered locally as our County Councillor for Charlbury and the Wychwoods in which capacity he served from 1997 to 2017. He fought, often quietly and behind the scenes, to serve the interests of the Wychwoods, usually successfully and often unnoticed. He was easily available to people of all backgrounds with a great variety of concerns.

He served the people of Oxfordshire for over 21 years, in the last decade as Deputy Leader of the County Council. He was also the County’s representative on a number of major projects including the Oxford flood alleviation scheme, and East-West Rail scheme to connect Oxford to Milton Keynes and ultimately to Cambridge, in which he took a particular interest and delight. His construction background stood him in good stead. One of his proudest moments was when he was given a special award by the Fire and Rescue Service for his loyal and dedicated service for his time in office. In his role as Cabinet member, he was able to influence key decisions and did more than most to ensure that the Fire and Rescue Service was able to deliver a great service. This was a rare honour for anyone who was not a serving fireman, and is why Rodney received a Fire Service guard of honour.

The service was a true reflection of how Rodney touched every part of society. David Cameron and Robert Courts MP were there to mingle with everyone Rodney had represented, together with numerous close friends and family.

Rodney was an approachable man who gave devoted public service. He was always himself, unaffected by the assumed status of those he helped and served. His ready humour and fondness for good company and the good things of life will be well remembered, as will his cheeky sense of humour, kindness and basic human decency.

A colleague described him as ‘A true gent’. A very fair description he would have treasured and of which I am sure Ann and Neil would be proud.

Brian Rigby

June – July 2018