On Friday, October 16, 2020, Strutha Charles Rouse transitioned into eternal rest. Strutha, more affectionately known to his family and friends as “Struthie” or “Chuck”, was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He was the only child of the late, Ms. Helen Vanderhorst Rouse and Mr. Seabrook Charles Rouse. He spent his formative years in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina surrounded by a large family of aunts, uncles, and cousins.
After completing high school at General William Moultrie in 1970, Struthie joined an exclusive group of African-american men to first matriculate through The Citadel, graduating in 1974. Around that time, he met the love of his life, Claudette, which began what would be a lifelong romance; he was commissioned to Camp Lejeune, as an officer, and ultimately gained the rank of Captain before moving to civilian life. He began his career and home life with his young family in Cartersville, a small town in north Georgia. Strutha distinguished himself in business, first in technology sales, then as an entrepreneur with Radio Shack in Calhoun, GA, and lastly in the competitive automotive sales industry in the Atlanta area. Later in life, he served his community through work with Goodwill of Cartersville.
Strutha is survived by Claudette Dozier Rouse his devoted wife of forty-seven years; his sons, Strutha Charles Rouse Ⅱ (Kelley) and Sharod Carlton Rouse (Hadiya); granddaughters, Sydney, Sanai, Solae, and Capri; and a host of cousins, aunts, and uncles. He was preceded in death by his stepfather, Robert L. Bateman.
For the greater part of his professional career, Strutha excelled in the retail business. His mellow, affable nature helped him master the art of human connection, no matter the setting.
Beyond his career, Strutha was a man of integrity and a singular focus on his family. He was a loving, devoted husband and father who always had a warm greeting or a smile for whomever he met. His “love language” was joking, teasing, and pranking. To be scared by him coming out of a dark closet or being greeted with a splash of ice cold water in a shower was to be loved by him. As a husband, “Struthie” demonstrated his love to Claudette through small daily acts, from the occasional teasing to the more traditional forms of affection. He enjoyed cooking breakfast for her and he especially liked to eat. There are countless memories of finding Strutha in the kitchen for a late night snack or finishing the last “two pieces” of lemon meringue pie. And this was a trait that followed him throughout life. Rumor has it that his mom would often hide her pies, only to realize the next morning that they were found and devoured by him. He supported Claudette in all her hobbies, including her shopping sprees for herself and the family. As a father, he was always expressive about his pride and affection toward his sons, Strutha Ⅱ and Sharod. His eldest son, Strutha Ⅱ, often described him as a “cup-filler”, always affirming his children and grandchildren and supporting them in any way. Sharod would describe him as the “Phil Jackson” of fathers, a maestro of motivation and inspiration through his example, conversation, or by not saying anything at all. In the latter years, Strutha’s family grew to include daughter-in-laws and granddaughters, and that is when he earned the title “Grand”. He adored his granddaughters, as he watched Sydney, Sanai, and Solae perform in dance competitions and cheered on Capri in her basketball or soccer games.
Struthie’s family extends a thank you to everyone for the many courtesies and offerings of support. We appreciate you and will never forget your kindness.
Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the services at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 5916 Highway 905, Conway, South Carolina 29526 on Friday, October 23, 2020 at 10am with visitation beginning at 9am. Dr. Covia Stanley officiating. There will be a viewing at the Latimer Chapel from Thursday Oct. 22, 2020 1-2pm for family and 3-7pm for the public at 816 Wright Blvd., Conway, SC 29527.
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