Robert Ross Rose, 71, died October 17, 2018 at his home in Woodbridge, Virginia, three years after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
He was born November 6, 1946 in Newport, Rhode Island, to Jerman Walter Rose, Jr. and the former Grace Marie Comaratta. He was raised in Omaha, Nebraska, graduating from Westside High School in 1964 and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1968. Early in his career, he worked for the in-house magazine at Mutual of Omaha. He was a working journalist for United Press International in New England before moving to Washington in 1972 to work as press secretary for Senator Edmund S. Muskie of Maine. Bob has written and edited hundreds of articles, speeches, editorial opinion pieces, pamphlets, and reports, as well as several handbooks on air quality and environmental policy. He also authored “Fuel Cells and Hydrogen: The Path Forward," which was the basis for part of the energy Policy Act of 1992.
In a career spanning over 45 years in Washington, Bob served in senior communications and policy positions in the U.S. government, and as an adviser to state and regional governments, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector. He was the founder of Breakthrough Technologies Institute, Inc. (BTI), an independent nonprofit advocate for technologies that carry environmental benefits to society. BTI’s internationally recognized fuel cell education program, Fuel Cells 2000, was launched in 1993. In 1998, he founded the U.S. Fuel Cell Council, the trade association of the fuel cell industry, and was executive director for ten years. In 2010, Bob was instrumental in merging the Council with the National Hydrogen Association to create the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA). Bob has received the Fuel Cell Seminar Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Hydrogen Association as well as a Special Recognition Award from the Department of Energy. He also served for many years on the Board of Trustees of the Barrie School in Silver Spring, Maryland, including time as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Bob maintained a home in Manteo, North Carolina, where he enjoyed fishing, boating, bird watching and other outdoor activities. His favorite time of day was sunset, when he enjoyed sitting on the deck with his family and a gin and tonic. His ashes will be lowered into the Atlantic Ocean off the Outer Banks next summer.
He is survived by his wife of forty years Ann Clear Rose, daughter Adrian Rose Amaro, son-in-law Shawn Amaro, grandson Robert James Amaro, brother Jerman Rose and his wife Marguerite, brother Anthony Rose, brother James Rose, aunt Archangel Berg, and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Please visit the Facebook group In Loving Memory of Robert Rose (https://www.facebook.com/groups/252514628794090/) for details of the memorial service.
If you wish to make a donation in Bob’s memory, please consider the Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society, which supports northeastern North Carolina’s wildlife refuges. Please make your check out to the CWRS, P. O. Box 1808, Manteo, North Carolina 27954, or visit https://www.coastalwildliferefuge.com/donate.html for other ways to donate.