Monday, June 11, 2001

Good Samaritan's death stuns community

Rose mourned as city leader, good neighbor

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Rose in 1984
        LINCOLN HEIGHTS — The last day of Elton “Arybie” Rose's life said a lot about the kind of man he was.

        Saturday morning, the Lincoln Heights resident called black talk radio station WDBZ “The Buzz” to give Steven Reece and his listeners a pep talk about the state of the black community.

        Twelve hours later, he lay dying in the home of a neighbor whose safety he had become concerned about. The man suspected of shooting him, the neighbor's boyfriend, Stan Fitzpatrick, 33, was arrested late Sunday.

        While speaking on the radio, Mr. Rose reminisced briefly about helping Fannie Lou Hamer, a groundbreaking civil rights activist, run for political office in Mississippi, and later having Ms. Hamer as a houseguest.

        “I would like us to stop being so down on ourselves,” said Mr. Rose, his voice sounding decades younger than his 64 years. “I've never seen our black kids accomplish as much as they are now.”

The Rev. H.L. Harvey Jr., pastor of New Friendship Baptist Church, took the pulpit Sunday morning to pray for his brother, Mr. Rose.
(Yuli Wu photo)
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        He proudly cited his own two daughters, both of whom have master's degrees.

        “Black-on-black crime — it's bad, no doubt about it,” Mr. Rose told Mr. Reece, a friend and a fellow member of New Friendship Baptist Church in Avondale. “But we've had it since we've been on Earth.

        “Most of it is domestic — girlfriend, boyfriend, all that sort of stuff,” he said, tragically foreshadowing the deadly situation he would be pulled into hours later.

        After the show, Mr. Rose called Mr. Reece — a prominent businessman and father of Cincinnati Councilwoman Alicia Reece — four more times, Mr. Reece said Sunday. One of the last things Mr. Rose said to him was: “If anything ever happens to me, I want you to step in for the family.”

        Late Saturday night, Mr. Rose checked in on Doreatha Hayes, a neighbor across Chicago Avenue who hadn't been seen for a couple of days. While there, he was fatally shot.

        Mr. Rose's neighborliness was characteristic, said another resident, Pamela Hunn. He frequently offered to share his firewood with her and others on the street.

        Lincoln Heights was stunned Sunday by the loss of Mr. Rose, along

        with Ms. Hayes and Ms. Hayes' daughter, Shanay. His influence stretched from his street to his village to Greater Cincinnati's black community.

        “Mr. Rose?” one neighborhood boy asked disbelievingly upon hearing the news. “Not Mr. Rose!”

        Mayor Shirley Salter said Mr. Rose worked hard for Lincoln Heights behind the scenes, organizing such events as the annual fireworks display and the 2000 visit of award-winning poet Nikki Giovanni, a native.

        “We're at a loss,” Ms. Salter said.

        Miles away in Avondale, members of New Friendship Baptist prayed for Mr. Rose's family Sunday. He was an active member and their pastor, the Rev. H.L. Harvey Jr., was his brother. He took the pulpit in spite of his loss.

        “Preaching's the only thing I know to do this morning, so will you all pray with me?” he said.


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