Richard Rowe

Obituary of Richard E. Rowe

Lifelong Jesus follower, devoted husband, loving father, doting grandfather and great-grandfather

Jesus said to him, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die. And whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

Richard Emmett Rowe was welcomed into Heaven by his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at Charlottesville, VA after a brief illness.

Richard was a devoted Christian and led a holy life of more than 96 years. He was born in Richmond, Indiana on May 23, 1927, to Deryl E. and Gail Pickett Rowe.

His ancestry on the Rowe side traces to 1800 in Pennsylvania. His father’s mother’s side, the Hinshaw Family, traces to 1596. The family emigrated from England to Ireland in the early 1600’s and joined the Irish weaver community. From there, they later emigrated to North Carolina, USA in 1768 to find new markets for their handcrafted goods.

Richard was a gifted vocal musician and began singing tenor with the Richmond First Church of the Nazarene adult choir at 16 years of age. After graduation from Richmond Senior High School in 1945, he joined the United States Army at Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh, IN. After Honorable Discharge, he began classes in 1947 at Olivet Nazarene College in Kankakee, IL as a voice performance major in their Department of Music. One of his cherished honors in life was selection to the Olivet Orpheus Choir. He was a member for several years and later sang with Orpheus Choir at Olivet alumni Homecoming services.

During Richard’s time at Olivet, he met Frances “Jeanette” Ellwanger, another music major, in their Harmony class. They became engaged on Christmas morning in 1950 and married on September 3, 1951. They had two daughters, Cynthia Carol and Tamara Gail. During their 68-year marriage, they purchased nine homes and lived in six states.

Richard built a career as a procurement manager with large US corporations such as General Electric in multiple markets, Martin Marietta, The Boeing Company, and Cessna Aircraft. In the early years of their marriage, Richard and Jeanette held full-time employment while also serving as music ministers in the Church of the Nazarene in Cincinnati, OH and Orlando, FL – Richard directed the choir and Jeanette played the organ and piano.

Richard is survived by his children Cynthia Dickerson (Mark) of Highlands Ranch, CO; Tamara Wahl (Doug) of Troy, VA; his grandchildren Shannon Dickerson Colborne (Ryan) of Coeur d’ Alene, ID; Meredith Dickerson of Colorado Springs, CO; Natalie Wahl Elmore (Douglas) of Arlington, VA; and Samantha Wahl of Dulles, VA; his great-grandson Stahle Colborne of Coeur d’Alene, ID and great-granddaughter Elouise Elmore of Arlington, VA; and his nephews Robert L. Sawyer, MD (Jan) of Tempe, AZ; Charles William Ellwanger, Jr. “Chuck” of West Palm Beach, FL; and William T. Sawyer, Ph.D. (Nancy) of Overland Park, KS.

Preceding him in death were his beloved wife Jeanette in 2020; his father, Deryl E. Rowe in 1947, and his mother, Gail Pickett Rowe in 1929.

Richard’s interment will be conducted with Military Funeral Honors at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver, CO next to his wife, Jeanette.

Share Your Memory of