FALLS CHURCH, Va. - Sol Rosen passed away peacefully at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Northern Virginia on Feb. 15, 2013.
Rosen had moved to Virginia to spend his final years living with his daughter, son-in-law and their family after a long and interesting career that spanned more than 70 years in retail and sports, including several years as one of the founders and then commissioner of the Continental Football League. One of his proudest achievements was developing The Franklin Miners, a small sandlot team in his hometown of Franklin, N.J., into the best semi-pro football team in America in the late '50s and early '60s. He was elected to the Minor League Football Hall of Fame in recognition of these achievements.
Born in Lodz, Poland, in 1919, he and his parents came to the United States shortly after his birth and settled in northern New Jersey. He was the first in his family to go to college, attending Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., until he enlisted in the Army
during World War II
. He married Lily Cvern, also an émigré from Poland, via Cuba, and they lived in Franklin, N.J., where they had three children together. He later married Genevieve Storms, a high school sweetheart, and remained with her until her death in 2010. They were residents of Florida and he considered Miami one of his two hometowns and served on the Miami Super Bowl bid committee in the '80s.
Sol was an avid sports fan and shared his enthusiasm with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and numerous other family and friends. His passion for baseball, football and basketball was infectious and inspired that same love of the game in others. This sports passion created many intergenerational bonds within the family that were shared until his last days.
Rosen is survived by his brother, Jack Rosen, his two sisters, Mary Winter and Pauline Klotz, all now residing in Florida; and his three children, Bob Rosen of Miami Fla., Margery Kraus of McLean, Va., and Dan Rosen of Seattle, Wash.; three stepchildren, Bonnie Westhoff and Terry McVeigh of Jacksonville, Fla., and Russell Pinkel of Youngsville, N.Y. He also leaves five grandchildren and nine step-grandchildren: Lisa Edwards of Simsbury, Conn.; Evan Kraus of Vienna, Va.; Mara Hedgecoth of Maryland; Renee Lopez-Cantera of Miami, Fla.; Todd Rosen of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Tim McVeigh of Tampa, Fla.; Ron Westhoff of Palmer, Alaska; Cheryl Bulman of Lafayette, N.J.; Tom Costanzo of St. Petersburg, Fla.; Jennifer Nichols of Liberty, N.Y.; Jill Ruisi of Naugatuck, Conn.; Jodi Bair of Youngsville, N.Y.; Justin Pinkel of Albany, N.Y.; and Kevin Pinkel of Scranton, Pa. He also leaves 11 great-grandchildren and 12 step-great-grandchildren: John, Nina, Dagny and Elijah Edwards; Brennan, David, Ainsley and Leighton Kraus; Ian and Kiley Hedgecoth; Sabrina Lopez-Cantera; Hollie, Stephanie and Amy Westhoff; Jeanna and Matt Diaz; Eric Costanza; Sean and Evan Nichols; Tyler and Katelyn Ruisi; and Emily and Avery Bair.