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Paul Leon Rose, 87, of Clay Lick Road, Nashville, died quietly in his sleep Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, at his home – he had been sitting in his favorite chair watching Westerns on television. Mr. Rose was born in Brown County, November 20, 1925, to Ralph Burl and Rosie (Rariden) Rose, the third of five children. His father was a farmer and employee of Meshburger Brothers Stone Corporation and his mother was a homemaker who raised their family in a house centered on a one-room cabin at Oak Grove in Brown County. Leon Rose attended Nashville High School and worked for Walter Bauffman Trucking until volunteering for the U.S. Navy in February 1944. During World War II, he served as a Gunner’s Mate Third Class SV6 in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre, Mediterranean Sea, and the Far East, and was assigned to the tank landing ship USS LST-471, the destroyer escort USS Kretchmer (DE-329), and the Gearing-class destroyer USS Norris (DD-859) until his discharge in June 1946. His medals include Asiatic-Pacific Campaign (3 Stars), Philippine Liberation (2 Stars), and a Victory Medal.
On October 19, 1946, he married Martha Mae Kent, daughter of Charles and Ethel (Deckard) Kent of Belmont. Mr. Rose was employed with Cummins Engine Company for 36 years, from 1947 until his retirement in 1983. He may be best remembered as a popular local race car driver. Known as the “Legend of the Paragon Speedway,” he raced at Paragon, Bloomington, and other Indiana speedways as a driver and/or car owner for 56 consecutive years beginning in 1954. He drove the well-known Rose Brothers sprint car No. 270, popularly known for its distinctive pink color, in partnership with his brother, Bob, owner of Rose’s Body Shop in Morgantown. He then partnered with his son, Dennis, and continued racing as co-owner/chief mechanic in Rose Racing. He received the Sportsmanship Award from Bloomington Speedway in 1975 and the Bob Rose Sportsmanship Award from Paragon Speedway in 1991. Mr. Rose was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 6195, serving as post trustee, Diesel Workers Union, and North American Bluebird Society.
Mr. Rose is survived by two sons, Dennis (Kris) Rose and Michael (Rod Smith) Rose; one grandchild, Nichole Rose (fiancé Eric Freeman); his sisters, Doris “Sis” (Pete) Schrougham and Peggy “Sue” Seitz; a brother Eddie “Butch” (Peggy) Rose; and his dog, Sugar. He was preceded in death by his wife, Martha; one son, Roger Lee Rose; and a brother, Robert “Bob” Rose.
Visitation will be at the Parkview Church of the Nazarene at Nashville Friday, October 25, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., and Saturday, October 26, from 10:00 a.m. until a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Cemetery in Nashville. The family suggests donations to a charitable organization of the donor's choice.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Bond-Mitchell Funeral Home in Nashville.
Online condolences may be sent to the family via the funeral home Web site, www.bondmitchellfuneralhome.com.