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Posted on February 15, 2012 | 4:50 p.m.

Richard Duane Rose, 1947-2012

Vietnam veteran is remembered for making friends easily and for his seemingly 'nine lives'

Source: Rose Family

Richard Duane Rose was born Oct. 20, 1947, in Duluth, Minn., and passed away at Serenity House in Santa Barbara on Feb. 6, 2012, at age 64.

Richard Duane Rose
Richard Duane Rose

Rose moved with his parents to Pasadena and then to Santa Monica before arriving in Santa Barbara when he was 9 years old. He attended Ellwood Elementary School as well as La Colina Junior High and San Marcos High schools before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1965.

He served “in country” during the Vietnam War as a Navy SEAL, and was in transit aboard the Essex-class aircraft carrier USS Oriskany on Oct. 26, 1966, when a fire erupted on the ship’s forward hangar bay that raced through five decks, killing 44 men and injuring scores more during the worst shipboard fire disaster since World War II. Originally he was erroneously reported among the casualties. As a result of his experiences, combat veterans always held his highest respect, and he was a member of the Santa Barbara chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America.

Upon his discharge from the service, he attended California State University-Northridge before returning to Santa Barbara and further studies at SBCC.

Rose was employed by a number of local companies, including Mission Federal Savings, where he met “his favorite lady,” Kathy, and they were married May 21, 1977. But his ”dream job” was manager of information systems at Able Engineering in Goleta, where he established a long friendship with Max Benton, one of its owners.

Rose had a remarkable gift for making friends easily, and those who knew him always felt welcome, helping his friends whenever possible. A resilient individual, he survived a number of life-threatening incidents, seeming to possess “nine lives” — and he lived each one to its fullest. When asked why he never gave up, he said, “The movie isn’t over yet, and I want to see how it turns out.”

He is survived by Katherine, his wife and best friend of nearly 35 years, and younger brothers Don (Linda) of Santa Barbara and Tim (Beata) of Carpinteria, as well as a large extended family. He will also be deeply missed by his four-legged constant companion and shadow, Amanda, as well as his many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur E. and Ethel M. Rose, sister Christine and niece Lindsay Anne Rose.

The family would like to extend their appreciation to the many friends and neighbors who have offered their support, with a very special thank you to all of the nurses at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and Serenity House who provided such compassionate care during his final days. They are so awesome in all that they do.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Rose’s name to Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256, or to Serenity House, Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care of Santa Barbara, 222 E. Canon Perdido St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101-9632.

A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.


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