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Phillip Eugene Rosenow

September 12, 1931 - November 6, 2017


Gene

 

In lieu of flowers donations in Gene’s memory to Albert Music Hall, PO Box 657, Waretown, NJ 08758 would be greatly appreciated.

 

Visitation will be held on Thursday, November 9, 2017 from 4-7pm at the Hoffman Funeral Home, 415 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ 07740.

 

A Funeral Service will be held 10:30 am on Friday, November 10, 2017 at the Hoffman Funeral Home. Interment will follow in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, West Long Branch.

 

Gene's Obituary Page at Hoffman's

 

There is a link to a video of Gene playing a show at the bottom of this page.

 

Cindy Giejda remembers Gene

I am quite saddened to hear the news of Gene’s passing. As a new comer to bluegrass in this area (about 10 years ago), Gene was one person who was a truly kind soul. He took a sincere interest in what I was doing musically. He was always friendly and welcoming. You could tell how much he loved the music. It was always fun to play with him. It’s sad that we many times learn more about our friends and acquaintances after their passing. Gene was one handsome young man who proudly served this great country. My sincere condolences to Gene’s family ... especially Eleanor. May he rest in God’s peace.

 

Joe Wills remembers Gene

Gene was a friend and friendly face. He was regular at Albert Hall and BOTMA, a fixture. He was part of the Bluegrass world I’ve circulated and lived in for so many years. Gene always came out and made music for Manasquan Meeting’s Friendly Fair each July... his participation raised money through the tip jar and brought attendees to our fundraising sale.

I can’t imagine the local music scene without Gene; he was such a gentleman in addition to being a fine musician.

 

Martin Kavanagh remembers Gene

I'm sad to hear about Gene. I always loved him because he was a true kind gentleman with a beautiful spirit. It was always a pleasure to talk and play music with him. Besides he loved the Irish music and always wanted to play a few Irish ballads. I will miss him at BOTMA.

 

Al Chambers remembers Gene

Hi Everyone, What can I say about my long time friend Gene? I can speak "volumes" about the many times he was there and encouraged me to "take on" that "next song" that I may not have known, but soon learned to play. Over the years, I played often at the hall with Gene's group and enjoyed every moment of it. He always had something comical to say and was one of the original "stars" of Albert Hall. If you knew Gene, then you knew the true spirit of Albert Hall! Gene made the fifty mile drive to the hall a pleasure for me because I always knew that a night of fun awaited me when I arrived. He and Eleanor were a "class act" and will always have a place in my heart. Thanks for the many great memories you gave me and I hope to be able to play in that "Heavenly Band" with you someday. Alan Chambers and Family

 

Mike Edgerton remembers Gene

I met Gene back around 2000 when I happened upon Albert Hall in Waretown. I hadn’t played with any regularity for years and I picked up a brochure in a New Jersey rest area coming back from vacation. My first night entering the Pickin’ Shed I probably made every mistake you could make. That aside that was the first night I met Gene. He came in with Larry Steward and Al Suiter. The three of them were pretty much dressed alike. Looking back I’m assuming they had played on stage before coming to the shed. I knew most of the songs Gene sang that night.

I returned the next week (and the next and the next) and by the third week Gene would come in and sit down near me and chat. Someplace in there he asked if I knew the song “A bag full of Money”. I told him I did not. He said “It’s a song about D.B. Cooper.” I said “I lived there when that happened” and he asked “Lived where?” When I replied Portland, Oregon he got real excited. Gene grew up in Portland, on the same side of town. We were about 20 years apart but we knew the same places. From that moment on we had a connection that never wavered.

Gene took me under his wing, mentored me, introduced me to people. He took me on stage at Albert Hall the first time. He made room for me in the established bands he was playing in. I know now that I wasn’t the first he had done this for and it’s very obvious I wasn’t the last. Many fine musicians that have passed through our little part of New Jersey got their start playing locally through their contact with Gene. He is the most unselfish man I have ever known.

He would push you to be better but he never looked down on anyone and their abilities. He was a man that simply enjoyed singing and playing music and was happy to do it with anyone anyplace. If people were playing Gene was there. I loved walking through the campgrounds at the bluegrass festivals with him. He knew everyone and everyone knew him. He and Eleanor were more than gracious with their motor home and impromptu camps would spring up around them with tables, tents, canopies, and food to support the group of friends that were in attendance. It was always a good time and Gene was always in the thick of it.

The years eventually slowed him down a bit but they didn’t stop him. For as long as he could he and Eleanor would be at Albert Hall for the Saturday night show and Jam. They were the same at BOTMA gatherings. Gene also attended the Tuesday night Jam at the Grange in Howell, NJ every week. He was a constant. You could bank on him.

Last Friday I got a call from his son Michael asking me if I would come by and play some songs for his dad. I did it gladly. Gene was awake and even though he was in great pain he was warm and welcoming. We sat and played and he even managed to sing a few. At that point he hadn’t eaten in twelve days or so. When his Hospice nurse arrived we got ready to leave. He took my hand and thanked me for coming and said “I love you my friend, I’ll see you someplace”.

Yes my dear friend, you will indeed see me someplace down the line and when you do I’m depending on you to show me around.

 

Obituary for Philip "Gene" Rosenow

Philip “Gene” Rosenow age 86 of West Long Branch passed away peacefully at home surrounded by the love of his family. He was born in Tacoma, WA on Sept. 12, 1931. Raised in Portland Oregon and attended Oregon schools. He served his country honorably for two years in the United States Navy. He was assigned to the USS Chilton APA 38 from 1948 to 1950. He also served three years honorably in the United States Army Signal Corp during the Korean conflict from 1950 to 1953. Gene retired from Bell Atlantic Telephone Co in 1989 after 34 years of service. He devoted his time singing and playing bluegrass/country guitar in his band “Saturday Night Express” at Albert Music Hall, Waretown, NJ , the Grange in Howell, flea markets and nursing homes. He was Past President of NJ Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association (B.O.T.M.A.), Little Silver, NJ. Gene and his wife Eleanor enjoyed their retirement years traveling in their RV. He was predeceased by his parents, Philip and Elsie Rosenow and a brother Thomas Rosenow . Surviving his wife of 65 years Eleanor Fornin Rosenow, three children, Carol Pell(David), Philip Jr. (Kathleen), Michael(Barbara), 8 grandchildren , 7 great grand children, a brother, Donald Rosenow, Indiana, sisters, Ruth Kirtright, Idaho and Virginia Fish, Oregon.

In lieu of flowers donations in Gene’s memory to Albert Music Hall, PO Box 657, Waretown, NJ 08758 would be greatly appreciated. Visitation will be held on Thursday, November 9, 2017 from 4-7pm at the Hoffman Funeral Home, 415 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ 07740. A Funeral Service will be held 10:30 am on Friday, November 10, 2017 at the Hoffman Funeral Home. Interment will follow in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, West Long Branch.

 

From Joe Fili's BOTMA Biographies May of 2014.

This month we again feature a good friend, musician, and fatherly figure of our community, Mr. Gene Rosenow. Gene has contributed to bluegrass and old-time music in New Jersey for decades, and on all levels. He has played music, led bands, provided leadership in the organization, and even pitched in with labor when necessary. Gene will be appearing on stage this Sunday. We are honored to present this profile and we hope you enjoy reading it.

Coming up, I never really thought about Bluegrass Music. I always liked country, and I liked folk music. One day on my job, I was working on top of a telephone pole and across the street from a used merchandize and swap shop.

On my break, I did some browsing and bought a well-worn and cheap guitar for $12.00. I then bought a Pete Seeger How To Play Guitar book, and learned chords and his style of finger picking.

Years later, I discovered BOTMA at M&M Hall, near Old Bridge, NJ. I liked what I heard and started learning and playing songs, which I still enjoy doing today. I played regularly at M&M Hall and later at the Embury United Methodist Church in Little Silver.

I never played at "The Old Home Place" in the Pinelands, but I frequented the Saturday night shows on Hwy 9, and at the Priff School and later at Albert Music Hall.

Three of my favorite shows at BOTMA were the Karl Shifflett Show at M&M Hall and later the Dan Paisley and the Roland White Shows at Little Silver.

Today my musical preferences are traditional Bluegrass, traditional country, and also Old-Timey music.

I have played with several bands through the years, and I am currently with SaturdayNiteXpress, with Victoria and Ron Kushnir, Larry Cottrell, Al Suitor, and my friend from Portland, Oregon, Mike Edgerton.

On my musical journey I have made many friends and have met the nicest and friendliest people, and I enjoy and value them all.

Sincerely,

Gene

 

 

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There is a video of Gene playing a Gospel set with Jeff Bush, Tom (Now Father Tom) Vala, and Jeff Propert on You Tube. You can view it if you click here.

Our thanks to The Rosenow Family, Bob Yellen, Roy Everett and our friends at the Pineland Cultural Society, and some unknown contributors for graciously allowing us to use their images of Gene.