PUEBLO, Colo. (January 24, 2017) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo Athletics Department is saddened by the loss of Eddie DeRose, a major donor and friend to the University and city of Pueblo. DeRose passed away Sunday after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. He was 82.
"Eddie DeRose cared so much about CSU-Pueblo Athletics and in particular, Pack Football," said CSU-Pueblo Director of Athletics Joe Folda. "Eddie was a very generous donor to athletics, an avid fan of Pack Football and had a tremendously positive impact on so many of our student-athletes."
"Eddie was a champion of all causes," said CSU-Pueblo Head Football Coach John Wristen. "He was a guy that cared about people. He was a lover of the Pueblo community and he passed on a legacy that will be hard to match. He was so important to the city of Pueblo and developing people and kids. He is so important for the history of the ThunderWolves and without him this thing would have never taken place."
"Doc Eddie" was instrumental in returning the football program to campus, as he started Friends of Football, the financial group that jump started the return of the football, wrestling and women's track and field programs in 2008. The football stadium is appropriately named the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl.
"Eddie's positive attitude and competitive nature played a major role in the emergence of the football program, and in particular, the great National Championship team in 2014," Folda said. "Every time I would ask Eddie how he thought we were going to do in a game he would always say, 'We're going to crush 'em!' I distinctly remember Eddie answering my question just prior to the National Championship game - We're going to crush 'em!"
Beyond his contributions to the athletics department, DeRose, a Pueblo native, gave back to his community in many different ways. For his accomplishments and generosity, he was inducted into the Greater Pueblo Sports Association Hall of Fame and named Pueblo's Citizen of the Year in 2008. He earned his place in the Pueblo Hall of Fame in 2015.
"We in athletics will miss Eddie so much and want to make sure Neta and the DeRose family know how much he meant to us," Folda said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this time."
"It's an end of an era," Wristen added. "He is probably the greatest of all time and we are going to miss him."
DeRose is survived by Neta, five children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Davis Mortuary is handling the arrangements. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday at Praise Assembly of God, 2000 Troy Ave., with Pastor Steve Chavez presiding.
In lieu of flowers and food, donations can be made to the Friends of Football, 504 Grand Ave., 81003.
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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.