County Council chambers overflowed with love Monday as colleagues, family and admirers gathered to celebrate Richard Rosebrock’s 20 years on council.
Rosebrock decided against seeking an additional term, and though his tenure isn’t quite complete, Monday’s meeting was his last at the Summerville chambers.
Those gathered regaled each other with funny, heartfelt and grateful stories of Rosebrock’s commitment to serve all the citizens of the county.
“Richard is a man who cares about people above politics,” said Councilman Willie Davis.
Angie Crum related how Rosebrock was willing to help her find a location for the Ridgeville Community Resource Center even though he wasn’t her councilman.
Blan Rosebrock, his son, spoke on behalf of the family in honoring Rosebrock.
“Dad gives everything 100 percent. When he gets his teeth in something, he doesn’t let go,” Blan Rosebrock said.
When he was a child, his father worked long hours in Charleston County, meaning he couldn’t do much to contribute to the Summerville community, Blan Rosebrock said.
That ate away at him, but he more than made up for it after he retired, Blan Rosebrock said.
Council Chairman Larry Hargett started the evening by thanking Rosebrock for mentoring him and giving a brief rundown of Rosebrock’s life story.
Rosebrock was born in Orangeburg in 1928, but grew up in Summerville. He helped his parents at Rosebrock Grocery, across the street from then-Summerville High School, now Rollings Middle School of the Arts.
He graduated from Summerville High School in 1945 and over the years worked at a number of jobs, including as a parts manager for Pratt Motor Co., working seven years at the U.S. Naval Supply Center and 15 years for Charleston County, and serving three years in the S.C. National Guard.
He was married for 31 years to wife Martha, with whom he had three children. After she died, he married Grace in 1980 and added two step-children.
Rudd Smith praised Rosebrock for his consistency. People always knew where he stood on an issue, Smith said.
“Every decision you made was always a quality of life one,” Smith said.
Skip Elliott called Rosebrock “quintessential Summerville.”
Others spoke of Rosebrock’s prayerful ways and interest in the environment.
Howard Bridgman had a slightly different tale. He told of Rosebrock being roped into helping him on a river cleanup.
“Richard was really a sport. … He was covered in mud by the time we came back,” he said.
Rosebrock thanked everyone for coming out.
“I do love this part of the country,” he said.
He said God tells us to love one another as ourselves, and he tries to do that. But, he said, he’s getting older and no one lives forever.
“I figure if He’ll give me a few more years, I’ll do something different,” he said.
He and Grace led the crowd to the foyer for cake, and then Rosebrock returned to the chamber to get down to business: listening to public comments, voting on rezonings and new ordinances and considering requests for funding.