Scott Del Rosa was 20 years old when he joined Case Western Reserve’s security unit.

Over nearly three decades at the university, he helped keep the campus safe as enrollments grew and his own small team evolved into a 24/7 police department. No matter how much changed, though, Del Rosa himself kept one priority consistent: the relationships he forged with people across the university.

Those many friends and colleagues are now mourning Del Rosa, who died Sunday, July 30, after suffering a heart attack at age 49. This week, several have described him as a skilled officer, loyal friend, and devoted husband, father, son and brother.

“Scott was honestly one of the most calming and accommodating officers we have,” said Police Chief Jay Hodge. “He never raised his voice. He was kind and cool to everybody, no matter what walk of life you came from.”

Image of CWRU self-defense instructors

Among his many responsibilities, Del Rosa (back row, right) led Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) classes. Others involved included (front row, from left): Karen Gregor, Becky Bradbeer, Beth Mandl, (back row, from left) Todd Vogler and Rodney Jordan.

His innate ability to calm anyone—whether a criminal or a colleague—was unparalleled, according to Sgt. Daniel Colegrove, who worked second shift with Del Rosa for years and often saw this skill in action.

“He would listen, hear them all the way out and always give positive feedback,” Colegrove said. “He could talk a person down, no matter how mad they were. I’ve never seen [that quality] in anybody but him.”

Karen Gregor, department assistant for the Division of Public Safety, described Del Rosa as the “kid brother that I never had,” noting that he constantly made her laugh with his bright sense of humor and love for practical jokes.

“But above all,” she said, “he was kind.” Whenever something went awry at Gregor’s house, for example, he always offered to come fix it. (Carpentry and handiwork were among his many interests; he’d recently just finished making a wooden table for his family.)

CWRU police and security officers in a row

Del Rosa (third from left) “was just a great guy, a great individual,” said Police Chief Jay Hodge. “I can’t think of anyone who had a bad thing to say about him.”

Gregor and Del Rosa started at Case Western Reserve the same day in the summer of 1988. But the university had been a major part of Del Rosa’s life for much longer than that: His father, Robert, was the legendary wrestling coach of 49 years who passed away in 2011, and his mother, Ann, worked in the registrar’s office.

So when it came time for Del Rosa to enter the workforce, Case Western Reserve was a natural fit.

“This was his home,” Gregor said. “This was where he belonged.”

As much as Del Rosa felt connected to the university, his colleagues said, he had an even greater devotion to his family, including his wife of 25 years, Denise; their children, Adrianna and Cameron; his mother, Ann; and his brother, Jim (CWR ’99).

After suffering a heart attack, Del Rosa remained in the hospital for more than a week before his death; his family members, including extended family, were there “day in and day out,” Colegrove said. “I can’t say enough how dedicated he was to his family—and them to him.”

Del Rosa’s calling hours will be Thursday, Aug. 3, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. and Friday, Aug. 4, at 9 a.m. at Monreal Funeral Home in Eastlake (35400 Curtis Blvd.). A mass will take place Aug. 4 at 10 a.m. at Ss. Robert & William Catholic Parish in Euclid (367 E. 260th St.).

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Del Rosa’s honor be made to St. Jude’s or Bluecoats.