George W. Rowley

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George W. Rowley, 89, passed away Monday, December 31, 2018 at The Brook in Gladwin.

George was born in Tawas City on February 5, 1929 to O.W. & Catherine (Lansky) Rowley. He graduated from East Tawas High School in 1947. He was the last living male member of his graduation class. He attended the University of Detroit for two years and was then drafted into the Army, serving during the Korean conflict. He was assigned to the intelligence corps serving in Stuttgart, Germany for two years.

Upon returning from the service he met his best friend and loving wife for life, Grace H. Donovan. They were married at Sacred Heart in Oscoda, by Father Henry DuRussell. George and Grace moved to Vanderbilt, where he was in business with his father and brother, Dick, operating a sawmill and box plant. In later years George and Grace started O.W. Rowley & Sons which they owned and managed for about 40 years.

George was predeceased by his parents and his brother Richard.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Grace; his four children, Patricia Rowley (Guy Williams), James George (Judy Eccker), Jane Rowley-Smith (Glenn Smith) and Mary Kay King (Pat King). George has eight grandchildren, Nicholas, Jessica, Jada, Jammie, Margaux, Tony, Kaylee and Katherine and seven great grandchildren.

George served as secretary for Upper Great Lakes Timber Association. He was a member of St. Mary’s, Gaylord and Holy Redeemer, Vanderbilt. He is a member of St. Mary Knights of Columbus Council 2781 and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Assembly 1718. He served as Grand Knight for Council 2781 and Faithful Navigator for Council 1718 as well as being in the Color Corps for the 4th Degree. He also served as Treasurer for both. He worked bingo with his fellow Knights (friends) for several years.

George’s hobbies included fishing, hunting, feeding deer and traveling. He and Grace made several trips to Alaska where they fished for and canned salmon. They wintered in their motorhome in Florida for several years. He also enjoyed playing cribbage and pinochle and working in the woods.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, January 4, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. from St. Mary Cathedral.
Visitation will be held at the Nelson Funeral Home on Thursday, January 3, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
St. Mary Knights of Columbus and Our Lady of Grace Circle will offer a rosary at the funeral home Thursday evening (January 3rd) at 5:00 p.m.
Visitation will continue on Friday, January 4, 2019 at St. Mary Cathedral from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary Cathedral Schools or to Heartland Hospice.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Nelson Funeral Home, PO Box 1548, Gaylord MI 49734.

44 comments on “George W. Rowley”

  1. My greatest sympthoy goes out to George”s wife, Grace, and family. I knew George for a short bit, but the time spent with him was very much treasured. Rest in peace George, you will for ever be missed😇😇😇

    1. Grace and family, so sorry to hear of George’s passing. So many fun memories of George and my father-in-law Ed enjoying themselves on Cherry Hill! I’m sure my George and my father-in-law Ed had a cold one waiting for him in heaven. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  2. DeEtta Beebe ( Crawley)

    Rest In Peace George. It was so Fun living next to you. I would always kid if someone said The Crawley kids. I would quickly say , no the ROWLEY kids. Great neighbors. Loved his smile and humor.

  3. Mrs Rowley and family,

    My sincere condolences on the loss of your husband. I only met him a few times, but he always impressed me!
    My prayers and thoughts are with you during the time of your loss.


    1. Thank you so much Mr. & Mrs. Robarge. We sure are going to miss my Dad. What a character! Mom fell & broke her arm Friday. A very difficult week. Thank you for the kind thoughts. Patty

  4. Grace…my condolences to you and your family from Don and myself. I have such fond memories of you and George and your children, going all the way back to when I stayed with George’s mom, from time to time while my parents were in Florida. That was way back in the late 50’s and early 60’s…where did all that time go.?..Now all those small children of yours are grown and have their own. I was so glad to run into you in Gaylord before we left for Florida. Hope to chat with you again..Take Care, Linda

  5. Uncle George was such a great guy. Many wonderful memories. Love and peace to you all. Therese Sarata Schwab. Love you guys.

    1. Thank you Therese! We’re sad but relieved Dad isn’t in pain anymore. We’ve missed all of you. Please tell Julie I said Hi. Thank you for the kind thoughts. Love you guys! Patty

  6. Thank you so much DeEtta. It was a very difficult process, hard on everyone. And Mom breaking her arm! What a bad week. We sure are going to miss my Dad. Thank you again DeEtta. I talked to your son recently. Love you, Patty

  7. Hi Linda! Patty here. I remember you! You were blond, and so pretty, and so tall (I was little). I was jealous of you because I had to share my Grandma with you! 😊 Thank you so much for the kind words – we sure are going to miss my Dad. What a character! Thank you again!

  8. Sending my thoughts and prayers to Grace, Patty, and rest of the family during this difficult time. Bob Enders

  9. So nice that our Dad had so many friends. He is now in heaven doing all those things he had to give up these past few years. Jane

  10. Dick & Ona Dunbar

    Rowley Family: Our family is keeping your family in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. We will always be grateful for all that George and Grace did to help our Dad when he needed a watchful eye from across the street.
    In caring sympathy: Dick and Ona (Dickerson) Dunbar

    1. Thank you Ona. So nice to hear from you. We sure are going to miss him. Especially all his terrible jokes! Thank you. Patty

  11. All my condolences on the passing of your Father, Grandfather, and Great Grandfather. Losing a parent is never easy…my thoughts and prayers for your family from mine. Mary is a friend of mine.
    Christopher Noah
    Fargo, ND

  12. My deepest sympathies to Grace and family. He will be missed by The Brook of Gaylord staff. We loved getting to know your family.

  13. Karen Zaremba DeNike

    Jane, and Jim, so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. Hold tight to the many memories you have with and of your Dad. Keeping you all in my prayers. Hugs to your Mom, Karen Zaremba DeNike

  14. In order for me to get to Jane, I had to work in the woods with George for at least 2 years on and off.
    Good trade
    PS I do know how to use a chainsaw now

  15. Lee and Linda Curry

    Grace, Patty. Jim, Jane, and Mary Kay, So sorry to hear of George’s passing. We have so many good memories of the whole family. We are so grateful for the watchful eye from across the street as my dad struggled through dementia. Loved the commercial for The Brook too! Our prayers are with you. Lee and Linda (Dickerson) Curry

  16. Gracie, Patricia, Jim, Jane, Mary K and all of the rest of his beautiful family,
    Our love and prayers are with all of you as you go through the next few weeks. Share thoughts and memories of George with each other over a few beers as you know he would love. He will be with you ALL for the rest of your lives. What a great guy!! Until you see him again, he’s having a beer with Herman and scratching Fergus behind the ear and of course sneaking him treats. Love you guys

  17. Grace and family, my sincere sympathy on the passing of George. He always was a barrel of fun. It really impressed my grand daughter how he ate the chocolate bunny ears at Easter. I am sure he and Jerry are now working at Bingo on Thursdays.

  18. Grace and family, my sincere sympathy on the passing of George. He always was a barrel of fun. It really impressed my grand daughter how he ate the

    chocolate bunny ears at Easter. I am sure he and Jerry are now working at Bingo on Thursdays.

  19. Linda (Bauers) Shaw

    Dear Grace, Patty, Jimmy, Janie, and MaryKay, sooo sorry to hear of your husband , father passing ….. so many good memories of the Rowley family….. my thoughts are with you and I’m sending hugs to you all Steve n Linda (Bauers) Shaw

  20. Mike & Linn Hill

    We are so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved husband, father and grandfather. George was an amazing man who would do anything for anyone. His humor was second to none. We were Blessed to spend so much time with George and Grace during the years we were raising our family and attending Holy Redeemer with them. Give Grace a hug and let her know that Mike and I will keep your family in our prayers.

  21. Grace, Patricia , Jim, Jane , Marry Kay. Sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We just saw in paper that he had passed away.

    Bob and Jinkie Cherwinski

  22. Cathy, Chuck and Christian Elsesser

    We are so sorry for your loss. We have fond memories of renting Grace and George’s house on N. OHIO Street and visiting them at their home in Vanderbilt. Our thoughts and prayers sent to Grace and the family.

  23. I took George and Ed on a Caribou hunt one time, I enjoyed those two going after each other, rest in peace George.

  24. Mike and Jackie Prusakiewicz

    To the WHOLE Rowley family, so sorry to hear about your dad and husband. We not know until after the funeral was over, sorry we missed it. Your dad was certainly a great guy always busy doing something! Were never old enough to lose our parent. We’ll keep you in our prayers.

  25. Connie Nelson (Richards)

    Mrs. Rowley, Patricia, Jim, Jane and Mary,
    Sorry for your loss, May the Angels lead him into Paradise. I lost my Mom in March; I sure miss her but cherish my memories. God bless.

  26. Our heartfelt condolences to your family. There is no easy way through this journey. What I believe to be true is the loss here is heavens gain. Praying for all! Nick and Sandy Chaffee

  27. I am so sorry to learn of George’s passing. It brings a smile to my face to remember the pranks he and my Dad pulled on each other when I was growing up and how much he thoroughly enjoyed dancing the polka with Grace. My deepest condolences.

  28. Suzanne Karslake Medellin

    Grace and family. I was so happy to see you and George at my dad’s funeral, Don Karslake in February 2016. They were good friends. Seems like we saw you all many times through the years. What a part of history was made by the Karslakes, Rowleys and so many others in Vanderbilt and Gaylord. I value the friendship our families had. I was sad we didn’t see one another as the years went by.
    I’m am sad to see George passed away. I’m glad for his suffering to be over My prayers are with you all. It’s something you never get over, the loss of your loved one.
    Love and hugs Suzie Karslake Medellin

  29. Dear Grace and family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. When I would go visit my Dad in Tendercare George would always be outside weeding his front yard! It was obviously his Happy Place.
    Grace, I miss seeing you in Glen’s Market,(as it will always be to Gaylord people), and chatting about your kids. My prayers are for your comfort and strength. You and George were a great couple.
    Karen McCoy Billman

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