Industry Mourns Death of Jeffrey Rose
March 8, 2012 - 3:44pm

Co-owner and President of Robert Abbey Lighting since 1990, Jeffrey P. Rose died March 10 after a heroic battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He was 55.

His father Jerry Rose, owner and Chairman of the company since 1951, has named Ken Wilkinson as President, joining him and Chief Creative Officer Darlene Rose, Jeffrey’s widow, to direct Robert Abbey’s future.

“Jeffrey’s vision and creative energy made him a pillar in the lighting industry,” says Wilkinson. “His entertaining humor and wit, combined with his impeccable style and standards infused all who knew him with respect and admiration.”

Rose was born on Aug. 15, 1954. He is also survived by one sister, Ronnie Gambaccini; several nephews and a niece.

Family and friends gathered at Wilkinson’s home in Hickory, NC, on March 16 to celebrate Rose’s life. Services were provided by Bass-Smith Funeral Home & Crematory.

Rose’s legacy raises the bar for others at the company and in the industry, Wilkinson says. “His spirited sense of attention to detail, his desire to create and maintain solid and long-lasting relationships with our business partners, and his commitment to lead rather than follow, are all characteristics that make our mission at Robert Abbey clear.”

Memorials in his honor may be made to ALFA, 1120 Fairgrove Church Road S.E., Ste. 28, Hickory, NC, 28602, or Humane Society of Catawba County, P.O. Box 63, Hickory, NC, 28603. Online condolences may be left for the Rose family at

“For those of us that wish to honor his memory, we remember the man, the friend and the mentor that he was and will always remain in our hearts,” says Wilkinson.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement.

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