Clyde Rose

August 7, 1937 to October 25, 2023


It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Clyde Rose, surrounded by loved ones, after a long battle with Parkinsons. Clyde took his last breath on Wednesday, October 25th at 3:30 in the afternoon. In his final days Clyde was surrounded by friends and family, sharing memories and love, which meant that in true-Clyde-style, these last moments were serenaded with readings, poems, and songs.

Left to mourn are his partner, Nancy Charlton, his two children, Rebecca Rose and Jonathn Rose; two grandchildren, Holly Chafe and Brittany Rose; three sisters Elossie Parsons, Maisie Wallace (Lou Wallace) and Audrey Rose (Lindsay Rollin); nieces and nephews Rhea (Farrell) LeBouldus and Daniel Farrell; David Parsons; Cathy (Farrell) Krajcik, Ronnie Farrell, Jimmy Farrell & Danny Farrell; Jimmy Wallace & Gregory Wallace; Steven Rose, Junie Rose, Margaret Rose and Roger Rose; Michelle (Stuckless) Fischer and Wanda (Stuckless) Butt; Diane Juergens and Richard Juergens; Robbie Rose and Brian Rose; and an extensive network of many  beloved relatives and friends the world over, with special noting of cousin Peggy Hann, and dear friends Shelly Bowen and Paul Dean. Clyde was adored by Nancy’s nieces and nephews, remembering the bunny stories on their trips across Newfoundland.

Clyde was predeceased by his parents Simeon and Christina (Bagg) Rose, his brothers Jim Rose and Max Rose; his sisters Irene Farrell, Mary MacDonald, Sarah Stuckless, Vera Juergens; and his son Michael; and treasured life-long friends Al Pittman and John Simmonds.

Clyde was the first male in his family to not leave school to pursue life as a fisherperson, pursuing instead a degree in English literature that began a lifetime of teaching.  He began in Bay Roberts and moved on to Corner Brook, and then on to Montreal, teaching high school students, before returning to Newfoundland to teach at Memorial University.  Students of varying levels of interest in literature, always enjoyed Clyde’s English classes.

Clyde was one of the co-founders of Breakwater Books, Newfoundland and Labrador’s longest standing, most well-regarded book publishing house. He ran the company for over 30 years and his work was instrumental in ensuring Newfoundland and Labrador content was included in the province’s curriculum, as well as launching the careers of some of the province’s most prolific writers.

He was a true lover of all of Newfoundland, identifying how special places like Trinity and Crawley’s Cove (Woody Point) were, long before the rest of the world.  He loved these communities and all the people in them.  In later years, he added Indian Arm Pond where he and his partner found lots to do with a log cabin that his cousin Roy found for them.

The family would like to express their deepest gratitude for all who have assisted with Clyde’s health in recent years, especially all the wonderful neighbours around Willicott’s Lane, all dear family and friends, many care workers, the family-by-choice staff at The Duke and, in recent months, the wonderful team at Admiral’s Coast Retirement Centre.

Cremation was entrusted to Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Road.  Clyde’s visitation and celebration of life will take place at a later date, the details of which will be facilitated through the Carnell’s Funeral Home website.



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Clyde Rose had a huge influence on NL culture.
Not only through Breakwater Books but through everything cultural, he was very present. He will be remembered for being the cultural icon that he was.
I have known him since 1980 or earlier and he was always a real gentleman to me .My sincere condolances to his family ,especially his daughter Rebecca and son Jonathan.I knew Clyde when he was married to Jean Ann,condolances to her and his current partner.

I met Clyde in 1973 when I entered MUN and have never forgotten that day. He was sincere, encouraging and passionate about literature, poetry, et al. I have carried that memory for more than 50 years and I can still see him sitting there in his office. He was a top shelf first-rate human being and will be missed but never forgotten by those had the good fortune to meet him and spend time talking, trading theories, telling stories, and just hanging out. A la prochaine, j’espere.

Sincere condolences to Rebecca, Lossie, and families.
So sorry to hear about the passing of Clyde. He was one of my favourite English professors.
Blessings to all of you!
Linda Coles

Please accept my condolences on the passing of Clyde. I knew him through business at Breakwater Books. He was a gifted entrepreneur and a force in the cultural industry of the province.

My deepest condolences to Clyde’s family and his friends. I was saddened to learn of his passing.
Mine is likely a common story for I know he influenced many others during his lifetime. I was fortunate to have Clyde as a first year English student at MUN for my very first semester during the spring of 1971. I can say unequivocally that this man helped me focus my career in a way that no one else did.
I had just failed terribly an architecture course at the College of Trades and Technology and was a lost soul., not knowing what on earth to do with my life. As a last ditch desperate effort, I decided to try my hand at MUN. This made no sense at all to my family since I barely passed any of the reading courses at vocational school. Clyde picked up on my inability to read just after the first term assignment in English 101.
In the privacy of his office, he had me read aloud a few pages from The Lord of the Flies. Through a questioning technique, he soon discovered that I was a word by word reader and would need individualized instruction, something unheard of at MUN in 1971. He guaranteed me that I would get at least 50% in his course if I followed his direction and kept my shoulder to the wheel. In. a total selfless act, he had me go to his office twice a week for reading assignments that got me focused on ‘reading for meaning.’ For the first time, I soon learned not to get stuck at the word level. Such sessions opened my eyes to not only reading text but to the wonderful world of drama and literature. I went on to do an English degree, eventually becoming a deficit reading teacher who worked with kids who themselves struggled with the word.
I went on to work in the education field for thirty seven years eventually becoming a published writer.
Thank you, Clyde Rose! You will not be forgotten.

I wish to extend my sympathies to all of Clyde’s family and to his many friends who feel his loss deeply.

I was a young university student from PEI attending Acadia University back in the mid-seventies. I started publishing a literary news magazine (Alpha) with a friend and we became aware of a number of publishing activities happening in Atlantic Canada.

Breakwater Books seemed the most exciting for me and I wrote to Clyde about working with Breakwater for a summer. He took me on in the summer of 1978 when his offices were on Duckworth.

I hitchhiked to St. John’s and took an upper room in the old Cochrane Hotel overlooking the harbour. Clyde quickly threw me into many jobs during over that summer, from packing books to meeting book-sellers, to organizing a Maritime author tours. I had a bird’s-eye view of Clyde’s energy, vision and deep commitment to Newfoudnland & Labrador culture, its artists and writers, and musicians. How could I ever forget sitting in the Ship Inn sharing a brew or two… – with Clyde, Ray Guy, Al Pittman and Gerry Squires? I didn’t know how special it was till much later.

Clyde contributed a great deal to the publishing industry in Atlantic Canada and the country. It was in 1978 that he helped establish the Atlantic Publishers Association (APA) – and he was active in the Canadian Publishers Association – making sure that the “Toronto crowd,” as he would say, knew we existed out here in the Far East!

Later, after I graduated and was working with other ‘mainland’ publishers, my path occasionally crossed with Clyde at meetings, or in an airport, and I greatly enjoyed our chats and hearing his reflections about books that were being published, or efforts at getting local books listed on school curriculums.. But most of all, I was thankful for Clyde giving me an opportunity as a “wet behind the ears” college kid to work in those early years at Breakwater Books!

God bless you Clyde. I hope you, Al, Ray and Gerry (and maybe Rufus Gunichard too!) are now all havin a good ole’ time!

To Rebecca, Nancy and all of Clyde’s family we extend our sympathy to you. We have fond memories of music, stories and good times in Crawley’s Cove.
Fergus, Irene and Fergus

Very sorry to hear about Clyde’s passing. He was a real treasure and organized the best seal dinners we ever experienced. We will miss him.

I had the privilege and I mean that in every sense of the word) of being taught by Clyde at MUN in 1st year English course in 1969. I will always remember one day when he looked out of the window in one of the Tempory Buildings and stated as he looked out at rocks and gravel “Alas the Waste Land”. It was pure joy being his class. Over the years our paths would cross on my visits to St. John’s we always reminisced a about my time spent in his class. He gave me a break for which I am always indebted. Thank you, Clyde. To his family, my deepest sympathy and condolences.

How sorry I was to hear of dear Clyde’s passing .A wonderful character who both my late husband(Colin) and I greatly respected .Lovely memories of our trips to St. John’s and and his visits to our home town of St. Ives Cornwall England
I remember so well when he visited with Nancy and was introduced to Rattlers Cider in his favourite PUB. The Sloop. RIP. dear friend l
Condolences to Nancy and Clyde ‘s children you are all I. My thoughts.

I was very much in Clyde’s debt. As a young poet, I needed someone to take a chance on me and he did. I will always be grateful for that. I had dinner with him a couple of years ago — he was not well but his stories were magnificent. My condolences to Nancy, Rebecca and Jonathan.

Our condolences to Nancy, Rebecca and Jonathan. Clyde’s passing is a time to mourn, but it is also a time to celebrate a life so well lived.

If you are lucky, a few special individuals enter your life and effectively change its course. Clyde Rose was one of those people for us. Clyde slid into our hearts the first time he stood up at our dinner table and recited a poem. Clyde was an ambassador extraordinaire for Newfoundland. He shared his knowledge and love of Newfoundland poetry, art, literature, history and people with everyone he met. Because of Clyde we have a punt, get excited when we hear a make and break coming around the point, know how to make baccala, and have a home in Elliston. When we sit on our wharf in Trinity (which was once Clyde’s) we will always appreciate him for introducing us to the people and the splendor that is Newfoundland.
We raise our glasses of rum … to Clyde, a life well lived.

Clayton and Alison

In 1997 Clyde and I founded the “Bauline Blufinger Band” on New Years Day and every year we would hold a merry musical gathering on our deck in Bauline where everyone had to go outside to play an instrument, sing or dance. We spent more time covering the holes in Clyde’s accordion with duck tape than we did making music!!! What fun times. You will be missed, Clyde, but rest assured you will be playing up there among the stars. Rest in Peace. Chris Palmer and the late Colleen O’Toole

Thank you for all the books, ideas, and joy.

Sincere sympathy on Clyde’s passing.
He was my grade eleven teacher in Corner Brook and he truly brought Literature to life. He really was a born teacher !
Jane Piercey

Mr. Clyde you will be dearly missed. Hold tight to your memories Nancy your attention and love for this man was amazing. He will be dearly missed by anyone who got to know him.

Clyde Rose was my first year English teacher. He was wise, patient, provocative and often (to protected little townie high school brats like us) shockingly profane.

In the name of critical thinking, Clyde believed he had to undo “all the crap we learned in high school” and would set off explosive arguments in our classroom about freedom of speech and expression and human rights generally.

It is easy to dismiss a freshman English course as insignificant in the big scheme and perhaps it was. But Clyde Rose made sure we were preparing our naive minds for the reality we were about to encounter in the rest of our careers.

I will never forget the fierce arguments and life-long friendships I made in that class. Clyde gave me my first A.

Although your stay was short, the memories will last a life time, you will be missed dearly Mr. Clyde., Sending love to all of you❤️

It would be an impossible task to enumerate the ways Clyde contributed to Newfoundland’s cultural development.
Condolences to Nancy, Rebecca, Jonathan and Clyde’s many
friends and relatives. ‘Wishing you fond memories in this time of grief and loss.

Ken Pittman

Norma and I extend our deepest sympathy to Rebecca and the rest of the Rose family. This is a very sad time for me. I met Clyde in 1969 when we were both teaching at Memorial. We have been friends ever since and have come a long way together from the days when I was too shy to read my poems in public and Clyde would read them for me. Among many other things, Clyde was instrumental in getting Newfoundland writing into our schools. And although we haven’t fished together for years, I’m still losing a fishing buddy.

Rebecca and Jonathon so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing

So sad to hear of Clyde’s passing. My condolences to his family and Nancy. I didn’t see Clyde all that often but there are so many memories. Love, Cousin Linda

So sad to hear of Clyde’s passing. My condolences to his family and Nancy. I didn’t see Clyde all that often but there are so many memories. Love, Cousin Linda

Rebecca, I’m sending my heartfelt condolences to you and all the extended family at this sad time. Clyde was a true trailblazer and I am grateful for his contributions to our cultural community and education!
In peace

Our love and sympathy goes out to you Nancy and all his nearest and dearest at Clyde’s departure from the scene. How lucky Magda and I were to spend a few days before Covid as our daughter Rebecca’s guests at the Woody Point book festival. Our mutual friend Gayle Tapper generously made room for us, and we soon met you both, spending mornings and breaks after book readings with you, while Clyde brought us up to date with his world since we last met several years before. We enjoyed every moment of those few days in Gail’s kitchen while Clyde entertained us in his wonderful style of ironic, slightly inquisitive sense of humour.

We always enjoyed Clyde’s caustic wit, not much changed in 2019, in spite of the Parkinson’s. Whenever we sat down together the years between always disappeared, a gift Clyde had, along with his prodigious memory to bring us back to our sometimes volatile, competitive Theatre family, often quoting long passages of Shakespeare. I will always be grateful to Clyde for publishing the gifted poets, Tom Dawe and Al Pittman, and work by Gerry Squires. Posterity will be even more grateful.

‘ Let four captains bear Clyde Rose like a soldier to the stage and for his passage bid the soldiers shoot!’

John Moyes and Family

Dear Rebecca and Jonathan, Clyde was a charming soul with a wonderful sense of humour, who was generous with time and wisdom. He was a great friend to my family and growing up I did feel a real connection with him, because he spoke to me in a way that made me feel seen. I really appreciated him and will always remember him fondly. With love and respect.

So sorry to hear of Clyde’s passing, he was a wonderful man and a true inspiration to many. Sharon and Don Holley.

We enjoyed knowing and visiting with Clyde during the 16 summers we spent in Woody Point. Sorry to hear of his passing..
Barbara and Ed Huberty

Rebecca and Jonathan, we were saddened to read of your dad’s passing. We have many fond memories which date back to our Portugal Cove days, and up to recent years. Our condolences to you both, and to Nancy. Cherish the memories.
Barry & Glenda

Rebecca and Jonathan,
My condolences. It was such an honour to grow up close to you and your family.
Clyde was always such a positive influence in my young life. Always very kind to me. I’ll never forget when I played Anthony in Shakespeare’s “Anthony and Cleopatra” in the Provincial high school drama festival in Corner Brook. Clyde took the time to come see me perform and he was so proud of me. It meant a lot to hear his positive encouragement.
I know my dad held a deep affection for Clyde, appreciating the fun and laughter he brought into his life, and as you know my dad loved a bit of fun! I have wonderful memories of Clyde playing the accordion at our parties. Not to mention the huge contribution made to Newfoundland culture. His passing is a tremendous loss.

Dear Members of Clyde’s family: We send our sincerest condolences as we remember a life of accomplishment and goodwill. Clyde soared as a publisher. Requiescat in Pace.

Peter and Hilary Neary
London, Ontario

sorry to hear about Clyde

I was saddened to learn of Clyde’s death.
I’ have many fond memories of your dad and his buddies.
He was a proud defender of local writers and their stories.. his memory lives on with Breakwater.

Rebecca and Jonathan – condolences to you both on the passing of your father. Take pride in the respect he earned in the literature world here in NL and beyond.

Rebecca and Jonathan,
Im so sorry to hear about the passing of your father.
I have so many fond memories of Clyde and Breakwater from back in the day.
I still talk about the interview I had with him in 2001. He asked me what I read. I said the funnies in the newspaper. He appreciated my honesty. Lol
All of the great memories in woody point and trinity will never be forgotten. It was a pleasure to work with you all.
Hugs to you both. XO
Hold tight to all the fond memories.

Rebecca and family, so sorry to hear about the passing of your Father


Debbie Webster

We first met in 1965 in Montreal. I had just started dating Al. He wanted me to meet you. I knew you were a special friend the way he spoke of you. Almost in awe. He had moved from Corner Brook to Montreal to escape a few demons, who followed him there. I remember that night. We listened to a recording of Dylan Thomas reading “ Under Milkwood”. I had never heard of Dylan Thomas, the Welsh poet. You sat in rapture, savouring every word. It felt sacred.
I knew nothing about modern poets. I only knew poetry written by long dead English men. Al introduced me to poets like: ee cummimgs, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Sylvia Plath, Alan Gingsberg. And the Canadians; Irving Layton,Leonard Cohen, Margaret Atwood, Milton Acorn, Dorothy Livesay, Raymond Souster, Alden Nowlan, Michael Ondaatje, Al Purdy, Earle Birney, Gwendolyn MacEwen. Many of whom you and Al formed lasting friendships with over the years.
What a ride it’s been!
After Montreal we returned to Newfoundland. You were teaching at Memorial University. We moved to Fogo Island for two years. Eventually, and most likely with you influence, Al was appointed to the English Department in 1972. Pat Byrne, Patrick O’Flaherty, Ted Russell among others. We became fast friends. Those years from 1972 to 1975,when we moved to Corner Brook were filled with music, theatre, poetry and friends. Some refer to that period of Newfoundland culture as a renaissance. Ryan’s Fancy at the Strand Lounge, Mike Cook’s plays, The Brother Byrne, Gerry Squires the artist. It was such an exciting time.
Breakwater Books was established. What an achievement! Fifty years ago. You introduced Newfoundland and Labrador literature to the world. You travelled around the globe. Sometimes in the company of dear friends like Al.
Your friendship never wavered. Loyal to the end. Al loved you fiercely. I’m sure when you meet again all Heaven will rejoice.

Clyde was one of a kind, gentle and sharp of wit at the same time ! I would like to express my deepest condolences to Nancy, his children and extended family. You were blessed to have him as a membe of your family, cherish the memories of a once in a lifetime individual.

Thanks for all your gifts. Newfoundland is better for having had you.

One pebble in an ocean of beaches who have lifelong memories of Clyde …condolences to his family

I am deeply saddened to hear of Clyde’s passing. But his widespread influence and inspiration stay with us. There is so much for so many to be thankful for.. A loss to mourn, a life to celebrate.

My deepest condolences to family and friends.

Rebecca and Jonathan , our deepest condolences on your Dad’s passing. We shared many great celebrations and fun times . The kids remember trudging through the woods looking for our Christmas trees and your Dad would have a cook up for us all. So much fun for everyone.. And of course our Mom thought the world of your Dad. So sorry for your loss.

Rebbec a and family what a shock for me to read this.Clyde spent quite a few hours at our dinner table with Barry Martin and friends.Great stories ,songs and laughter.A one of a kind and a Newfoundland icon.My deepest condolences Tony