A suburban community is in shock Monday after a man died while trying to save a group of children from a rip current in the Gulf of Mexico.
Pete Rosengren of Batavia was in Florida on vacation over the weekend when he saw that several children, including his own, were struggling with a rip current near Miramar Beach on the coast of Florida’s panhandle.
According to the Daily Herald, Rosengren saw one child who was unable to get out of the water and went to try to rescue him. By the time lifeguards arrived on the scene, Rosengren was back on the beach, and lifeguards immediately began CPR.
He died a short time later at an area hospital.
Now, friends of Rosengren’s are left to mourn his passing, and the impact that he leaves behind.
“He was so full of life. Everyone had a Pete story,” Rosengren’s best friend Brian Ilc said.
“He’s one in a million,” friend Joe Shaker added. “He is the perfect definition of a best friend you could ask for. He always put others ahead of himself all the way to the end.”
As the vice president of sales and digital strategy at the Daily Herald newspaper, he was a giant.
“He’s a giant teddy bear,” Shaker said. “He didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He was a leader, and he gave you 110% in everything he ever did.”
Rosengren was also a huge fan of Chicago’s sports teams, especially his beloved Cubs. He was equally devoted to coaching his sons in baseball.
“Those boys meant the world to him, and he was all about coaching and raising them,” Shaker said.
Rosengren’s friends say that for all the time he spent bragging about his children and helping them in all areas of their lives, he was just as fond of bragging about his wife Maura.
Now, on their 18th wedding anniversary, Maura is now forced to plan for her husband’s funeral, and the world will never quite be the same for a devastated family.
“He loved his wife so dearly,” Shaker said. “Any time he could get a chance to brag about her, he would, and he would smile from ear to ear. The world needs more Pete’s.”