DAYTON, Ohio – Former Moraine Mayor Bob Rosencrans always put a lot of stock in community pride. From the town he helped govern to his beloved University of Dayton Flyers, he would’ve had a lot to smile about Friday, March 28th as his family celebrated his birthday with the fourth annual Bob Rosencrans Memorial Blood Drive at the Dayton Community Blood Center (CBC).
Rosencrans was 61 and serving his second term as mayor in 2010 when he was killed in a crash caused by a speeding driver. He was an active member of the Moraine community for more than 30 years, volunteering with the Crime Prevention and Neighborhood Watch program and serving on City Council. He was also a dedicated blood donor with more than 70 lifetime donations.
The mayor was also a University of Dayton graduate and a Flyer basketball fan, with season tickets passed down to him from his dad. His daughter Megan uses the tickets now, and the whole family was buzzing Friday morning about UD’s dominating victory over Stanford Thursday night to advance to the “Elite Eight” in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
“He’d be so happy about the Flyers,” Megan said, who made her 31st lifetime donation Friday. “He was a huge fan, today’s his birthday, and the Flyers going to the Elite Eight, that would be the perfect birthday present.”
Bob’s granddaughter Reese was born just days before the second annual Bob Rosencrans Memorial Blood Drive. Reese is now an active two-year-old who played in the Donor Café with her mom Brandy, wife of Bob’s son Wes.
“Firsts are so hard after someone passes,” said Brandy. “First Christmases, first birthdays. I thought, ‘Let’s do something on his birthday and make it a celebration.’ Megan and he did this, came here to donate together so often. We talked about (a blood drive) and said let’s do this. We had a cake and everything.” She finished the thought by saying to Reese, “We made it like a birthday present for grandpa!”
The lasting tribute comes from the family, friends and former colleagues who return each year to donate in Bob Rosencrans memory. Dave Miller just retired as Moraine Parks and Rec Director and is now a member of the Moraine 50th anniversary celebration committee. He made his 30th lifetime donation in Bob’s honor.
“I knew (the blood drive) would be ongoing,” he said. “Prior to Bob’s passing the city had a blood drive every year, and I think it’s an appropriate way to remember our former mayor who was active in so many ways and was a stout blood donor here.”
Soon Moraine City Manager David Hicks arrived at the blood drive, and made his 63rd lifetime donation in Bob’s name. Hicks has been with the city of Moraine since 1975, went from police chief to city manager in 2001, and knew Bob’s dedication well.
“Before he was mayor and before I was chief I worked with him on our Crime Prevention program,” Hicks said. “He was always involved, and a really nice guy.”
Bob’s sister Joan Buckner was born less than a year after Bob and they would call themselves twins. She arrived at the blood drive early with Teri Murphy, Bob’s good friend and former campaign manager who inherited Bob’s four Dachshunds after his death.
Joan, Teri and Megan set out homemade cupcakes in the Donor Café and talked excitedly about the UD Flyers’ win and the chance of advancing again when they meet the University of Florida Saturday night. They spent the entire day at CBC supporting the blood drive.
“I feel like I should stay, I always do,” said Teri. “Then I’ll run home and take care of the dogs, then go to the St. Anthony’s Fish Fry.” It’s an event Bob would always attend. He would have joined them in front of the TV for the UD game, and for a Sunday breakfast after church.
Though Bob is missed, the mood at the fourth annual blood drive in his honor remained upbeat – especially when Joan returned from buying just-released “University of Dayton – Elite Eight” t-shirts. “I can’t wait to get the next one that says ‘Final Four,’” she said.
A ‘Final Four’ t-shirt will have to wait for another year. The Flyers’ celebrated tournament run ended with a loss to Florida Saturday night. It’s a season to remember, especially for the fans that donated at the Bob Rosencrans Memorial Blood Drive. They made a lasting tribute to the former mayor with 66 registrations and 53 blood donations.