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Rose’s Roots

The Four Roses in 1999
“The Four Roses” in 1999 at her dad’s 80th birthday
Left to right: Back row Harmon, Jim, Front row Rose and Evelyn

Rose Klix (nee Catherine Ann Rose) has been a writer since she was 12 years old. As the daughter of Harmon and Evelyn Rose, she grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota, in the heart of the Black Hills.

Rose said, “We called ourselves The Four Roses.” Rose is now the last of the family bouquet. “The Four Roses brand of bourbon whiskey was not served in our household, but served as a moniker for our own family unit.”

Harmon Lee Rose c. 1941-1945

Her father Harmon Lee Rose was a Master Sergeant and career National Guard mechanic after his World War II service in the Army Air Corps. He was part of the second wave of the Normandy landings and was honored with a medal by Representative, later Senator, John Thune. “Dad often served on the Honor Guard for the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Rapid City, SD. He was always ready to help anyone. He particularly used his mechanical and home maintenance skills. His family, neighbors, and friends often called on him for assistance. Dad died October 1, 2001, just a week after Mom and Dad’s 55th wedding anniversary.”

Evelyn Mae (Swinehart) Rose c 1944

Rose’s mother Evelyn Mae (nee Swinehart) Rose created, owned, and operated Pioneer Quilt Shop in Rapid City, SD for approximately 20 years. She started the cottage business in her home and later moved into a rented store on the corner of Mount Rushmore Road and Columbus Street. In the beginning years, Rose and Evelyn partnered, taught beginning quilters, and created the Black Hills Writers Guild and its annual quilt show. Rose authored the how-to-quilt books and patterns after learning Evelyn’s techniques for hand-sewing. Over two decades, more than one-thousand students gained Evelyn’s knowledge of hand-piecing and quilting. Rose recalss, “The health unit nurse in the then senior living facility named Asbury Place in Johnson City, TN told Rose that Evelyn ‘Rosie’ discussed her love of quilting with her. By early morning Mom died in her sleep on January 28, 2009.”

James Orion Rose and his Swift tractor-trailer

Rose’s brother, James Orion Rose, was a career over-the-road truck driver 1992-2009. He died of a heart attack on May 24, 2009, three days before his 60th birthday. Rose reflected, “Jim was always on the move. Unfortunately, we didn’t see him much.” He was employed by various trucking companies including Swift, Crete, and Warner. Rose remembers, “Jim was proud to be awarded certificates for safe driving.” Prior to being a truck driver, he worked from 1980 to 1990 as a Burlington Northern Railroad conductor between Gillette, Wyoming, and Denver, Colorado. From 1966 to 1973, he served on the U.S. Navy ship Intrepid during the Viet Nam action.

Rose said, “I miss my birth family and often want to ask them a question or to visit about our lives.”

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