Gerald (Gerry) Rose, former Chronicle editor, dies at 67

Picture drawn by Toby VanWeston

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Gerald (Gerry) Rose, former editor-in-chief of the Chronicle, the campus newspaper at Durham College and UOIT has passed away. He was 67.

Rose died peacefully, at Lakeridge Health, Oshawa, on January 9, 2017 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

Rose was born in Pasadena, Newfoundland, on January 22, 1949. In the mid 1970’s he moved his young family to Ontario to pursue work before deciding to go back to school at Durham College for journalism in 1976.

“I taught Gerry from the years of 1976-77 and ’77-78,” says former Chronicle editor Bill Swan.  Swan says Rose’s previous experience helped him with his journalistic abilities.

“Gerry was ten years older than his peers,” says Swan, noting that Rose’s university background also played an important role in his abilities.

After graduating, Rose was hired where he did his field placement, the Oshawa Times (the Times was a daily newspaper in Oshawa for more than a century before it closed in 1994). He was the editor for 10 years before Swan offered him the positon of editor for the Chronicle newspaper here at Durham College in 1991. Swan believed that Rose had the exact skills needed to fit the position.

“Gerry was a very quiet individual,” he says. “He didn’t dominate the room. But, when you talked to him, you’d see he had a lot to offer.”

Rose was the editor for the Chronicle for more than two decades before retiring on June 30, 2014, exactly 23 years after he started at Durham. He was admired by his peers and loved by his students. On his Facebook page, many former students expressed how sad they were to hear that he passed, but praised his abilities as an educator.

“Gerry was the dream teacher,” says former student Evan Barr. “He was very busy, but always available for his students. There were always students asking for edits.”

Rose was well known for his edits. With his famous green pen, opposed to the standard red, he would edit his students’ work.

Former office mate Ginny Colling recalls students being devastated seeing their work covered in pen, but stated that Rose would always give them a thumbs up to assure them that they were on the right path.

“He would always say ‘It’s OK with fixes,’” says Colling, indicating when a story had met final approval.

Rose wanted the Chronicle to be professional like any other newspaper, says Colling. Rose expected good work from his students and had the patience to help them achieve good work. He always helped out his students and would make sure the paper was always filled with interesting stories.

“Gerry ran the Chronicle in a very organized fashion,” says current Chronicle editor-in-chief Brian Legree, “but you couldn’t tell looking at his desk.” Rose’s desk was always buried under a mountain of paper, Legree adds with a smile.

Legree also worked for Rose at the Oshawa Times; and took over Rose’s position at the Chronicle when he retired.  He adds Rose was loved by his students.

Rose taught with a “get it done right attitude, with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye,” Legree says.

Rose invested in students beyond the classroom.

“I didn’t think I was going to graduate,” says Durham College’s credit transfer coordinator Kimberly Boss, another of Rose’s former students. “Gerry really helped me believe in myself the final semester. I wouldn’t have graduated if it hadn’t been for Gerry.”

Boss stated that she was going through some personal issues in the final semester of her second year, and Rose took the time to get her the right connections and helped her graduate the program. Calling him the “Dad” of journalism, she says Rose would never criticize in his feedback, but instead offer a different way of looking at it.

“He was just amazing in and out,” she says.

Rose was also an avid runner, completing multiple long-distance races. He continued to run after his retirement, and even did a 25 kilometre run a week before his cancer diagnosis.

Rose will always be remembered as the editor who would eat soup at his desk filled with papers and pictures of his grandkids, marking papers with his famous green pen in hand.

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Frank Katradis is a second-year journalism student at Durham College. When it comes to writing and reporting, he enjoys covering world news with specific interests in business, politics, humanitarian, and world culture . He likes to spend his spare time cooking, learning about different cultures, and reading . Frank hopes to work around the world covering stories that need to be told.

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