Meyer C. Rose
Born: June 18, 1918 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: October 01, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Judge Meyer C. Rose 1918 - 2014
Judge Meyer C. Rose, 96, of Fairmount, died Wednesday, Oct. 1, of aortic stenosis at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Judge Rose always had a story to tell. Whether it was about an interesting court case - he was on the Philadelphia Municipal Court bench for 22 years - or an experience abroad (he served in Europe and Scandinavia during World War II), his family likely had been regaled with the tale many times over.
"At bedtime, I didn't get Cinderella and Snow White, I would get his life stories," said his daughter Margie Rose.
The youngest of five children - one of whom was former Philadelphia Councilman Sam Rose - Judge Rose grew up in West Philadelphia. When he was a teenager, his father died; his mother died shortly before he left for Europe in 1942 as World War II raged.
He served in the Army in technical communications until 1946. Years later, he would tell his children stories of guarding prisoners of war in Paris and meeting Vivien Leigh by chance in London.
Back home, he graduated from the Temple University School of Law in 1953 and practiced law for 20 years before he was elected a Municipal Court judge in 1975.
He married his second wife, Jeraldine, two months before he was inaugurated. The two had met at a party and were married for 40 years.
"My whole life with him was wonderful," she said.
Judge Rose's daughter Margie was from a previous marriage to Joan Graziani, who already had two daughters, whom he raised as his own.
He doted on his children - when Margie Rose was 8, she said, he began taking her to his law office on weekends. She later served as his judicial aid in the courtroom for 15 of his 22 years on the bench.
Judge Rose was known around the courthouse for his kind demeanor and sense of humor. In small-claims court, he was often called upon to deal with cases that stretched into absurdity, including one involving a man who took his ex-fiancée to court to force her to return the engagement ring. (He ruled against the man after learning the hapless plaintiff had broken off the engagement himself. "He told the man that an engagement ring is unlike any other gift, and if he broke up with her, the ring was hers," Margie Rose recalled.)
And if a plaintiff took a landlord to court over bad plumbing or a leaky roof, Judge Rose was liable to head out to the house to check out the property himself.
"People think of judges as being very stern and proper," Margie Rose said. "He made it almost fun to be in the courtroom."
She described her father as someone who would "move heaven and earth" for his family. When she was diagnosed with cancer in 1993, Judge Rose flew her to Los Angeles to see a specialist, rented an apartment near her hospital, and cleared as much of his schedule as he could until she was well.
"He refused to accept that he would lose me," Margie Rose said. "I know I was very lucky to have him."
The judge went back into private practice in 1998 and continued practicing law into his 90s, retiring in 2009. He enjoyed speed-walking, reading, and volunteer work in his spare time.
In addition to his daughter, his former wife, and his current wife, Judge Rose is survived by another daughter, Pamela Roberts; three brothers; one sister; and two grandchildren. He was preceded in death by daughter Valerie Roberts.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, at Roosevelt Memorial Park, 2701 Old Lincoln Highway, Trevose.