James P. Rose • Yellow Springs News
On February 6, 2021, James P. Rose left this world for what he called his next “great adventure”. “Jim,” as his friends and family called him, had a wonderful life and is missed by all who knew him.
Will Rogers once said, “I’ve never met a man I didn’t like.” Jim experienced this on a daily basis. Jim often said that when he woke up each day he would decide his mood and always choose “grateful.”
Growing up in Waterford, Connecticut, Jim was the oldest of three sons of puppeteers Rufus and Margo Rose. Jim acquired his love for puppets at a young age, literally cutting his teeth on pieces of wood carved by his parents. Jim toured the country performing shows with his parents during and after WWII.
In 2007, the Yellow Springs News ran an article about his seven-decade career as a puppeteer, featuring him in his shop working on puppets. The article noted that his love for puppets was evidenced by a sign “Department of Puppet Theater of the College of Antioch” above his fireplace. Jim loved nothing more than playing and teaching puppetry, especially at the annual Eugene O’Neill Puppetry Lecture in Connecticut. Jim was a long-time member of the Puppeteers of America.
Jim, like his father, attended Antioch College and then returned to Yellow Springs to teach for many years in the Theater Department at Antioch College. Jim has lived in Yellow Springs for over 50 years, volunteering as a youth football timekeeper, performing plays on the central stage, and singing in the church choir. Jim was always present at local celebrations with his iconic puppet, Pepito, whom the Rose family joked as their “second son.”
Jim is survived by his beloved wife of over 40 years, Judy Rose; her children, Duncan (Holly), Meggin (Al Davidoff) and Kirsten Rose; daughters-in-law Lisa Russell, Laura Russell (Shirley Cummins) and Linda Bankston (David); brothers, Rufus (Reece) and Christopher (Rosemarie) Rose; grandchildren, Iris Packman, Brittany and Courtney Bankston, Sam Rose-Davidoff and Alexandria Boyer; three great-grandchildren; and nine nieces and nephews.
A life memorial service celebration will be scheduled by the family at a later date.