<img class="alignleft wp-image-53754 size-jnews-750x536" src="https:\/\/theenterprise.net\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/23\/2021\/06\/Former-750x533.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="533" \/>\r\n\r\nBy Debbie Hall\r\n\r\nTom Rose, a former Patrick County Administrator, died Friday, June 18, at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.\r\n\r\nWhile his death is a shock to many, former co-workers and friends say he will not be forgotten.\r\n\r\n\u201cTom could combine being a friend and being a manager. He had that unique quality,\u201d said Jason Brown, building official with the Patrick County Building Inspection Department. \u201cHe could make you feel like a friend and when he needed to be a manager, he could be that too.\u201d\r\n\r\nRose began his tenure with the county in 2007 as economic development director. Brown said he was hired in 1995.\r\n\r\nHe recalled that \u201cevery couple of months, Tom would go by Circle K and come in with a big tray of BLTs for the office staff. He did that for a long time,\u201d Brown said. \u201cTom was a kindhearted individual, and he will definitely be missed.\u201d\r\n\r\nPatrick County Emergency Services Coordinator Steve Allen recalled that he and Rose visited the gym during lunch for about two years, and \u201cwe\u2019d always try to outdo each other.\u201d\r\n\r\nMelissa Taylor, administrative assistant in the county\u2019s Building Inspection Department, said she worked with Rose for nearly three-years.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt was a good experience. He was always good to me, and I always enjoyed working with him,\u201d Taylor said.\r\n\r\nShe also recalled that Rose made it a point to \u201csee that we were all taken care of,\u201d by providing office dinners to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, and cookouts during the summer.\r\n\r\nStaff members were important to Rose, according to Taylor, who added that \u201che was a very caring person.\u201d\r\n\r\nSandra Belcher, director of Tourism, said she worked with Rose for about four-years, and knew to expect laughter \u201cwhenever Tom came into my office.\u201d\r\n\r\nShe recalled that \u201cTom would always start off the conversation with a light-hearted joke,\u201d Belcher said, noting that he also talked about his family.\r\n\r\n\u201cTom was so proud of his children and his wife. He loved them very much,\u201d Belcher said.\r\n\r\nEconomic Development Director Bryce Simmons recalled that Rose \u201cwas definitely helpful in making me feel included as a new employee. Tom was a very personable person.\u201d\r\n\r\nMike Burnette, who then served as the county administrator, recalled that Rose helped get utilities into the Patrick Springs area. He noted that Rose\u2019s love of the community drove his strong work ethic.\r\n\r\n\u201cHe focused so much of his time, both on-the-clock and off-the-clock, to find ways to make Patrick County a better place for all its citizens. You can\u2019t ask for more from a community leader than that,\u201d Burnette said, adding Rose served as a role model for many.\r\n\r\n\u201cHis wife and his kids were always at the top of his priority list,\u201d Burnette said, and added that Rose was \u201cvery much a family man.\u201d\r\n\r\nBoth Burnette and Crystal Harris, chairman of the Patrick County Board of Supervisors, said that during Rose\u2019s tenure in economic development, he worked to not only attract companies to the county, but also to keep existing companies operational.\r\n\r\nLike many of those interviewed, Harris also recalled that Rose often talked about his family.\r\n\r\n\u201cTom loved his wife and his children so much. He was especially close to his brother, and he adored his mother,\u201d Harris said.\r\n\r\nShe recalled that when Rose\u2019s mother suffered a health setback, \u201che was just so devastated. She passed several years ago, and it was a tough time for him. He was just so close to his mother.\u201d\r\n\r\nHarris also recalled that Rose coordinated and participated in an annual Chili Cookoff between county employees.\r\n\r\n\u201cTom was always trying to make sure that he beat Shirley Rorrer, and it was always really funny if he didn\u2019t,\u201d Harris said.\r\n\r\nRorrer worked in the DMV Select office until her death last year.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s been a rough year,\u201d Harris said. Rose\u2019s death \u201cis a shock to all of us, and I am deeply saddened for his wife and children.\u201d\r\n\r\nRickie Fulcher, a former supervisor of the Peters Creek District, also said Rose was a community-oriented family man.\r\n\r\n\u201cBoth of his kids were involved in sports, and when he wasn\u2019t doing county business, he did his best effort to get to their games and watch his kids play,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\nFulcher also noted that Rose was \u201ca good man who did a good job\u201d through some difficult times. Additionally, Rose \u201cwas a dedicated public servant who was instrumental in the success of a number of projects.\u201d\r\n\r\nClayton Kendrick, of the Mayo River District, noted that Rose served in various roles during his tenure with the county, including Director of the Patrick County Public Service Authority (PSA), Assistant County Administrator and Interim County Administrator.\r\n\r\nRose accepted the County Administrator post in 2011 and served in that capacity until 2020.\r\n\r\n\u201cHe got all that stuff rolling and took care of it,\u201d Kendrick said, and described Rose as \u201ca courteous and helpful man who was very close to his kids and wife. If you called him with a problem, he would get you an answer to it,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\nDuring his tenure as County Administrator, Kendrick said Rose often visited local companies to see what he could do to help keep them operational in the county.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s a shame to lose all that talent,\u201d Kendrick said. \u201cHe had a lot of education and a lot of talent.\u201d\r\n\r\nBrandon Simmons, chairman of the Patrick County School Board, said he got to know Rose while serving with him on a liaison committee.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhen I first got there, we had a few communication problems and we butted heads a little bit. Finally, we just ran into each other in the parking lot outside one day and just talked it out,\u201d he said, adding that afterwards, the two developed \u201ca great relationship\u201d and could call one another and talk about work.\r\n\r\nRose was \u201ca kind of quiet person who didn\u2019t mind cracking jokes or joking around a little bit. Whenever we disagreed, he never had a real bad attitude or got too angry. He stayed pretty level-headed,\u201d Brandon Simmons recalled.\r\n<div>He added that regardless of the position Rose held, \u201cI think Tom wanted the best for the county.\u201d<\/div>\r\nA fund has been created to help his family. Donations to the Rose Family Scholarship Fund may be made c\/o BB&T, 100 Stonewall Court, Stuart, VA 24171.