W. Rosser Thrash, a respected local businessman and revered community leader, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 19 at his residence at The Palms in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. He was a very young 84. To know Rosser was to love and appreciate this giving, spirited, accomplished and very special human being.
Rosser was born Sept. 8, 1932, in Macon, Georgia as the third of four children to Paul Alonzo Thrash and Ida Wadley and resided in Bolingbroke, Georgia during his youth. After graduating from Lanier High School for Boys in Macon in 1950, he proudly joined the U.S. Coast Guard during the Korean War, stationed in Jersey City, New Jersey. After military service, he enrolled at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, where he was a member of the SAE fraternity, graduating in 1960 with a degree in Business Administration.
While at USC, Rosser began working at T&T Sporting Goods for his older
brother Pat, who had founded the company in 1948. Rosser bought into the business in 1957 and worked there until 1967, when he opened a new T&T location in North Charleston, moving his young family to nearby Summerville in the process. Rosser’s love of both people and fair and friendly competition best explains why he relished spending most of his career as the owner and president of T&T Sports of Charleston. The sporting goods business allowed him to build and cherish the hundreds of invaluable relationships he would develop with area schools, coaches and athletes who all relied upon, and trusted his ideas and his expertise. Even after his retirement in 2002, he regularly visited the T&T offices and never stopped attending sporting events throughout the Lowcountry.
Rosser’s leadership and charitable contributions in the state and local community spanned more than 50 years and touched countless lives. Rosser was a longtime USC Century Club member, scholarship donor and ardent lifelong Gamecocks supporter. A past president of the Richland Sertoma Club in Columbia, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Summerville Sertoma Club, where he served as its founding president. He was the visionary and creator of the Sertoma Football Classic in 1970, an annual charitable event that, to this day, continues to kick off the local high school football season in spectacular fashion each August, while raising thousands of much needed charitable dollars. Almost a quarter century later, in 1993, his genius led to the development of the Rotary Roundball Classic, which has gone on to become a nationally revered local/invitational high school holiday basketball tournament. His fellow North Charleston Club Rotarians, a group he held especially dear, helped him take this tournament to record heights, with the American Red Cross benefitting each year from its existence. Those efforts help explain the recognition he received from the Red Cross and being named the 1994 Rotarian of the Year. In addition, Rosser was a founding member and past president for both the Palmetto Touchdown Club and the Executive Association of Greater Charleston (EAGC). He was also the recipient of the CSU Distinguished Service Award for his work on the Board of Visitors for Charleston Southern University.
The only thing Rosser loved more than his business and his community was his family. Rosser cherished his 59 years of marriage to the love of his life, Betsy (formerly Betsy White Coker of Columbia). He was the incredibly proud father of four children, all raised in Summerville, and the loving grandfather of eight. In addition to his wife, Betsy, of Mount Pleasant, Rosser is survived by two sons and two daughters: Bill and his wife Ann of Summerton and Ben and his wife Tracy and their children Regan, Cole and Riley Kate of James Island; Kit Thrash and her children Tatayana, John and Monic of James Island and Mari Wood and her husband Chip and their children Jackson and Davis of Charlotte as well as his younger brother, Frank Thrash (Mary) of Carrabelle, Florida. He was preceded in death by his parents Paul and Ida, his brother Pat and sister Rosemary. Rosser was especially thankful for the love, care and friendship provided by his caregiver the past four years, Charmaine Summers. His family is most grateful for her unwavering assistance and support.
A devoted family man, the best friend to many and relentlessly charitable to all, he was forever faithful to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He was a past member of, and served on, the Boards of both Bethany United Methodist Church in Summerville and the Presbyterian Church of Edisto Island.
Friends and family are invited to attend a visitation at Parks Funeral Home on Tuesday, April 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. and `a memorial service held at Bethany United Methodist Church in Summerville, on Wednesday April 26 at 2:00 pm. The burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations or support be given to The Roper Saint Francis Foundation - CBRI Alzheimer's, 125 Doughty Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29401 or donations can be made at www.rsfhfoundation.org/donate with designation to CBRI-Alzheimer's Research. The family thanks you in advance. Condolences may be left at Parks Funeral Home’s online guest book: www.parksfuneralhome.com
Arrangements by Parks Funeral Home, 130 W. 1st North Street, Summerville, SC 29483.
Parks Funeral Home
Tuesday April 25th, 2017
5:00pm - 7:00pm
130 West 1st North Street
Summerville, SC 29483
Bethany United Methodist Church
Wednesday April 26th, 2017
118 West 3rd South Street
Summerville, SC 29483
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I'm very sorry about the loss of your loved one. Remember the Bible's promise at Isaiah 25:8. May Jehovah comfort you during this difficult time.
Submitted by Yvonne Jenkins on Apr 27 2017 02:17:44 PM
My thoughts and prayers to the family. What a great testimony to Mr. Thrash's life. Kit it's been a long time, I hope you are doing well. Will keep you in my prayers.
Submitted by Brenda Clopper Lewis on Apr 26 2017 03:28:49 PM
Dear Betsy and Family,
So very sorry to hear about Rosser. I am thinking about your family and the good times that we shared at Romain Retreat in Awendaw.
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
In Sympathy, Claire Perry and Family
Submitted by Vicki Perry on Apr 26 2017 09:04:39 AM
Even in the saddest of times, when we no longer have the loved one the way that we knew them over the years, it is heartwarming to see the love and compassion that this family gave to their father through to his final days at The Palms. They broke the mold with Rosser, and boy does his legacy live on. Bill, Ben, Kit, and Mari - my deepest sympathies to you on the loss of your father, and Betsy, on the loss of your devoted husband. Much love, Michele Miller
Submitted by Michele Miller on Apr 25 2017 05:30:44 PM
Mrs. Thrash, Bill, Ben, Kit and Mari,
Please accept my sincere sympathies as you move forward from these days of sadness. Like many others, my memories of Mr. Thrash are so fond. Always a smile and kind word or a light tease to make you feel special. It goes without saying that Charles and Rosemary Peace were also fans and friends of Rosser.
Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Sincerely, Donna Peace Boyle
Submitted by Donna Peace Boyle on Apr 25 2017 08:55:31 AM
I have so many fond memories of working for T&T Sports and Mr. Thrash. I began working there at 15 years old and worked through high school and college. I took time off but was always welcomed back with open arms. I was treated like a family member and not just an employee. I learned so much about the business world and other life lessons from Mr. Thrash. I was always amused sitting in his office, it was like a museum of the sporting goods world and he always had a story to tell. Many great memories of Mr. Thrash and my T&T Sports days. My condolences to Betsy, Ben, Bill, Mari and Kit on the passing of this great man.
Submitted by Christie Bailey on Apr 24 2017 10:25:20 PM
Dear Betsy and family,
I was saddened today when I saw Rosser's obituary the State Newspaper. I remember so fondly the years you all lived next door to us here in Columbia. Please accept my sincere sympathy.
Submitted by Tish Dukes on Apr 23 2017 08:53:28 PM
Dear Betsy and family,
I saw just today in the State Newspaper about Rosser's passing. I'm so saddened to know about this. How fondly I remember the years you all lived next door to us here in Columbia. Please accept my sincere sympathy.
Submitted by Tish Dukes on Apr 23 2017 08:48:02 PM
I am sorry for you loss. After reading his obituary in the Macon, Ga. Telegraph, I reflected on my friendship with him at the numerous Sporting Goods shows we attended as fellow Sporting Goods Store owners. I respected him very much and always looked to him for advice when we were together.
Valley Athletic Supply Co.
Submitted by Bruce Sparks on Apr 23 2017 09:58:54 AM
Betsy so sorry for your loss.Our thoughts and prayers are with you and family.AKA Lorene Bongiorno.
Submitted by Lorene Shirar on Apr 23 2017 09:47:13 AM
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