Leon Rose passed away on June 21, 2013 at the age of 88. Over a span of eight decades he indulged in a variety of writing pursuits. He had been a newspaper and radio news reporter and editor, an advertising copywriter, magazine editor and publisher and owner/publisher of financial newsletters. In 1972, he co-founded Futures magazine, still published by others. In 1978, he and wife Joy established LJR Communications in Columbia, Maryland and published two popular financial newsletters, Futures Industry Newsletter and Managed Account Reports, until 1991 when failing vision and aging forced retirement. ...
Leon Rose passed away on June 21, 2013 at the age of 88. Over a span of eight decades he indulged in a variety of writing pursuits. He had been a newspaper and radio news reporter and editor, an advertising copywriter, magazine editor and publisher and owner/publisher of financial newsletters.
In 1972, he co-founded Futures magazine, still published by others. In 1978, he and wife Joy established LJR Communications in Columbia, Maryland and published two popular financial newsletters, Futures Industry Newsletter and Managed Account Reports, until 1991 when failing vision and aging forced retirement. During these subsequent retirement years he delved into the field of fiction writing with the use of screen reading computer software, despite being totally blind. He and his wife Joy have resided in Henderson, Nevada over 10 years.
He is survived by his wife, 5 children, 11 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.
A memorial celebration is planned in Sun City Anthem, Henderson, Nevada on July 20, 2013 at 2:00pm in the Independence Hall Theater. A reception will follow the service. His ashes will be interred at 11:00am on August 3, 2013 at Columbia Memorial Gardens located on Route 108 in Clarksville, Maryland.
In lieu of flowers, Leon requested that donations be sent to a local charity which he supported, BLINDCONNECT, INC., 6375 W. Charleston – WCL#200, Las Vegas, Nevada 89146.
Let's start at the beginning, because describing the life and times of Leon Rose reads like an intriguing short story.
Leon, who was legally blind, was not only a legend in his working career and a true SCA icon, but he was a living testament to the power of the human spirit to overcome handicaps and enjoy a rich, fulfilling life while also enriching the lives of those who were fortunate enough to know him.
Leon was the son of Latvian immigrants Harry and Gertrude Rose. He was born in New York City on September 5, 1924 and grew up in New Jersey. He was not born blind, but from his early years he had poor eyesight that required him to wear thick eyeglasses.
When World War II broke out, his poor eyesight prevented him from being accepted into military service, so Leon, eager to serve his country, joined the Merchant Marine. He later joked that he never left New York Harbor, but he was very proud of having served to the best of his ability. After he left the Merchant Marine, Leon attended Rutgers University, earning a BS Degree in Journalism, which helped prepare him for a decades-long career as a newspaper and radio reporter and editor, an advertising copywriter, magazine editor, and owner/publisher of financial publications. During his long career in advertising, he wrote for accounts that included the Franklin-Templeton and T. Rowe Price mutual funds, Alex Brown investment bankers, and Commercial Credit Corporation.
In 1971, Leon left the advertising industry to co-found Commodities Magazine, now known as Futures Magazine. This is the cover of his very first issue, published in early 1972:
“Love is lovelier the second time around” sang Frank Sinatra, and it was certainly true in the case of Leon and Joy Rose. Both divorced, they first laid eyes on each other at a Parents Without Partners meeting, and though some years his junior, Joy was immediately attracted to this kind and witty man. Leon was more than 50-years-old when they married in 1978, but they enjoyed a 35-year marriage with Joy as his business partner and eventually his full-time helpmate.
In the year they married, Leon and Joy established LJR Communications and created two publications, the Futures Industry Newsletter and Managed Account Reports. During this general period, Leon founded two professional organizations, the National Association of Futures Trading Advisors and The Managed Futures Trade Association, both of which were later merged into the Managed Funds Association. At the time of their retirement in 1991, due in large part to Leon's failing vision, he and Joy were honored by the financial world when industry leaders established the Rose-Baratz Award in Financial Writing. For Leon, retirement did not mean a life of boredom, as he began to take an interest in fiction writing. In the mid-1990s, when he was told he would lose all vision, he prepared himself while he still had some sight by learning Braille and teaching himself to get around with a cane. To assure that he could continue to write for pleasure and to read, he also learned to use screen-reading computer software. After living in Maryland for more than 30 years, the Roses moved to Sun City Anthem in 2002, beginning what would be an incredibly busy decade of involvement in the life of the Sun City Anthem that Leon came to love. And through his participation in so many SCA activities, dozens and dozens of his fellow residents came to love him. Leon was an early member of the Performing Arts Club, appearing in shows such as "Murder on the Nile" and delivering stand-up comedy routines that featured his affectionate story-telling in the style of Henny Youngman and Myron Cohen. He was a devotee of old-time radio, and his proudest moments included creating, producing and directing "Radio Daze" and "Radio Daze II," tributes to the golden age of radio. He was a member of the Anthem Authors Club, writing three published books, including a memoir, a collection of “fables” which are really humorous stories with great punch lines, and a murder mystery with an Anthem setting.
Leon was a member and a director of the SCA Financial Club, where he excelled at recruiting entertainment for club meetings and special events. The staff of Channel 99, now SCA-TV, learned about Leon's off -center sense of humor when he volunteered to "spiff up" the scripts for the weekly Anthem Alive! program by putting his unique jokes and one-liners into the mouths of the program's hosts. His co-workers in the studio could be heard groaning at some of the humor Leon injected into the scripts, but it was all in good fun and it brightened everyone's day to know that Leon was pitching in with his special contributions.
Leon also served as president of the Las Vegas Breakfast Club, a group of Valley residents who met periodically to socialize and hear guest speakers on a variety of subjects. It was not all fun and games for Leon here in Sun City Anthem. He took a great deal of interest in promoting services for the blind and other disabled citizens, especially seniors. Along with his friend, the late Bob Ingerson, he worked with outside resources such as Henderson Councilwoman Debra March, Sandy Stanko of the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), and Fran Smith of the Independent Transportation Network (ITN) to bring ParaTransit and other transportation services to area residents. Sandy Stanko writes: “Leon was a great man. I just saw him and Joy at the BLINDCONNECT fundraiser last month. He was definitely very frail. We went down memory lane, beginning when I first started with the RTC. Leon was on the Minuteman Foundation board and helped with the implementation of Flexible Demand Response in Anthem. He had an amazing talent for putting people at ease. Leon was blind, but it never slowed him down, and he became very involved with the visually impaired community. He was the first rider on the ITN service, and Joy served as a volunteer for them, too. They were a truly remarkable couple, and they shared a storybook love story. He'll be greatly missed.” Even as his medical issues were growing more serious by the month, Leon was determined to squeeze every ounce of pleasure out of the life he shared with Joy. The two enjoyed taking cruises, and just this past February, they went on a two-week cruise to Hawaii.
This reporter frequently saw him playing slot machines in the Green Valley Ranch casino, Joy close by, simply enjoying every minute. To go back to my opening comments, we have lost a legend. We have lost an icon. We have lost a friend, a gentle, warm person whose zest for living made one forget that he had any handicap at all. Those who were honored to know Leon will never forget the lessons he taught us by simply "being Leon."