Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In Memoriam: James William Rose

I'm sorry to say that my law associate and closest friend, James W. Rose, died untimely Sunday last of a heart attack while cross country skiing. Here's a newspaper account of his passing that begins to give the flavour of my friend. (

The article is wrong in having his death on the 24th and not the 23d and his age at 62 instead of 63.

But no matter. It captures something of the essence of my friend.

Jim left Toronto about 15 years ago to become a country lawyer in the best sense of that notion. He had a huge, generous heart and spirit and while not indifferent to money, it was amongst the least of his concerns. He carried a huge case load and was one of the busiest lawyers in his county. He was beloved by his clients and friends and respected by his colleagues and the judges he appeared before. Not a fairer man could you meet.

Admittedly getting somewhat jowly in his advancing years, in his prime he was tall--6' 2"--slim and as handsome--tall, fair and handsome, I'd say--as any man who walks this planet. I should know because I still can feel the breeze of the women rushing past me, wherever we were, to speak with him and be around him.

Paradoxically, he was larger than life by being quieter than life. Being understated and soft spoken only enhanced the great impression he made on nearly everyone who met him. Plus he had the gift of making anyone he spoke to feel special and better about themselves.

I'm still in shock and heartsick at his too early leaving of this earth and know that by these few words I have not begun to do my friend justice.

From The Municipal Gallery Revisited by William Butler Yeats, Stanza VII, the last stanza:

...And here's John Synge himself, that rooted man,
'Forgetting human words,' a grave deep face.
You that would judge me, do not judge alone
This book or that, come to this hallowed place
Where my friends' portraits hang and look thereon;
Ireland's history in their lineaments trace;
Think where man's glory most begins and ends,
And say my glory was I had such friends.

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