In Memory

Bill Rose (Security) - Class of 1988

FLORENCE - William Louis Rose, 84, of Florence passed away at St. Patrick Hospital of natural causes, on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010.  He was with his wife of 62 years Elfriede and family.  Bill was born in Sultan, Washington, on May 28, 1926, to Albert and Mary Francis Rose.

At the age of 4, the family moved to Seeley Lake and lived on the Clearwater River north of the lake.  When he was 16, he worked part time for the U.S. Forest Service in the lookouts and on the trails of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.  Bill attended Missoula County High School until his senior year when at age 17, he convinced his mother to sign his enlistment papers so he could join his brothers defending our country in World War II.  He would later complete his high school education, which he felt was so important.

Bill joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1944, and served in the Pacific Theater with both the 3rd and 5th Marine Divisions, including the invasions of the Mariana Islands, Guam and Iwo Jima.  His medals and ribbons were many.  After being wounded on Iwo Jima, he would later join his unit as part of the occupational forces of Japan.  He was also sent to China to bring the Japanese POWs back to Japan.  He was discharged from the USMC in 1946, when his Marine division was disbanded.

In 1947, Bill entered the U.S. Army, where he would stay until 1952 spending considerable time in Vienna and Saalfelden, Austria.  He was an Army ski instructor and shot on the U.S. Army rifle team.  He met his loving wife Elfriede there and would eventually come home to Montana.  Bill remained a soldier and stayed in the Reserve and National Guard until his retirement from the military in 1974.

Bill joined the Missoula Police Department in 1954 and would rise to the rank of lieutenant before having to take medical retirement in 1972 after nearly 20 years of service in 1973.

In 1959, the Montana National Guard was activated to help quell the Montana State Prison riot in Deer Lodge. If you visit the museum at the Territorial Prison, you will see a picture of Bill holding a bazooka that he used to help restore peace and quell the riot.

He then went to work for the Champion paper mill in Frenchtown for the next 15 years before finally retiring.

His love of outdoors had no equal, and he relished every opportunity to fish, hunt, hike or just spend time with family and friends in the great outdoors.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers; and granddaughter Angela Joy Rose.

He is survived by his wife Elfriede of Florence; his daughters Yvonne Busse (George) of Big Horn, Wyo., and Rosalie Meltzer (Lee) of Missoula; his sons, William Rose (Carla) of Florence, and Michael Rose (Lora) of New Mexico.  His is also survived by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held at 1:00PM, Wednesday, Dec. 29, at Garden City Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Pacific War Memorial.  For more information and forms for donations, go to