My wife says the nicest people in the world come through our back door.’ ~Roy Rosen
Royas ‘Roy’ Rosen was born in Aviston, IL, in 1924. Roy served in the Navy for 3 years, from 1943-46, and saw action at Normandy and Okinawa, serving on the LST 540. Roy came home from the war and married his long-time school mate, Mary Ann Schulte in 1946. Roy and Mary Ann had five kids, Diane, Donna, Debbie, Denise and Richard. The Rosens moved to Webster Groves in 1953. Roy is a machinist by trade, and works by the rule that you measure it 6 times and do it right once.
In 1967-68, Roy’s son Richard started playing hockey at Webster. Roy became Bob Collett’s (HOF 2009) assistant on the ice. Big mistake! In the early days it was almost impossible to get skates sharpened correctly. They either didn’t have the proper machines or the people to properly operate the machines. Boys cut grass all summer to buy a pair of Black Panther skates for $40, only to have them get a bad sharpening job. Roy set out to correct this. Roy saw the need for skate sharpening and started to build a skate-sharpening machine. With his boss’s permission and a generous junk pile, Roy started to build one. Starting with a straightener, Roy built two quills (the unit that holds the grinding wheel), and mounted them over a flat work surface. Roy then added a diamond wheel dresser, three skate holders, and other minor pieces.
Roy worked all summer in his spare time to finish the machine for the next season. Roy got it done just in time. Roy started doing skates by the team. Webster skaters were the first to come. It soon expanded to Kirkwood, Affton, Kennedy, the Brentwood Blazers, Affton Americans Jr B, and many others. Over 43 years, Roy has lost track of the number of skates that he has sharpened. All of these were done for free.
In 1972, Roy went to work for Jim Jost (HOF 2008), and things really got busy! With Jim Jost’s interest in hockey, Roy started sharpening skates for more and more hockey programs. In the late ‘70’s, Roy started as Goal Judge for the Jr. Blues games. This lasted for 25 years.
In 1984, Dave Garth became manager of the Webster Groves Ice Rink. And it was on and up again! One of Roy’s first projects with Dave was to replace the benches in the warming room of the original outdoor ice rink. That first project replaced 20 benches, all through donations. Roy eventually replaced 60 benches.
In 1994, Roy was appointed to the committee for Residence for Recreation in Webster Groves. The Committee was tasked with developing and building a new recreation complex, consisting of an outdoor swimming pool and new indoor ice rink facility.
Once the new complex was built, Roy saw a need for additional equipment for the ice rink. Roy started with a new coach’s observation platform above the team benches. This is known as ‘Roy’s Roost’. Roy then built the Webster Groves High School trophy case, custom built around the Rink Manager’s window to the rink. (The trophy case is displayed to the right of the rink entrance.)
Other items Roy custom-built for the rink: Custom made wood lockers for the WGHS locker room Goal judge seats for WG & Affton Stick racks (6) Wooden benches Wooden stools (30) Skate rental boxes.
In 1998, the City of Webster Groves honored Roy with the Distinguished Service Award, for contributions to the Citizens of Webster Groves and for Efforts on Behalf of the Webster Groves Parks and Recreation Department.
Finally, Roy wants to thank his wife Mary Ann, for putting up with all of the mess, the dirt, and people coming and going out the back door for all those years. Roy couldn’t have done all this without her support.