1932-2021 — 89 years
Jerry D. Rowe, beloved husband, brother, father and grandfather, passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 at his home at Foxtail Senior Living Center in Eagle, ID.
He was born at home on April 24, 1932, in American Falls, ID, to Thomas Griffin Rowe and Lila Elizabeth Farnham Rowe. He was the eighth of nine children, with three sisters and five brothers.
He spent his childhood years and attended school in American Falls. He moved with his family to Mountain Home, ID, during World War II.
He started working at an early age – shining shoes and selling newspapers in his father’s barber shop at the Mountain Home Air Base.
After returning to American Falls, he worked in a cabinet shop with his eldest brother, Darrell, and for his uncle, Willard (Bill) Rowe, at the Rowe Ranch in Fairview, ID.
He left high school early, working at various jobs until 1950, when he began a 44 year career at Westvaco/FMC, Phosphorus Chemical Division, retiring in 1994. At his 40 year work anniversary he was recognized as the plant’s most outstanding employee.
During his career he developed a process for the tapping of chemical furnaces to extract phosphorus. The process was filed with the United States Commissioner of Patents in 1978, and registered in more than a dozen countries throughout the world.
In 1949 he met a beautiful young lady by the name of Coleen Larson from Blackfoot, ID, at a dance at the Deleta Dance Hall in Pocatello. Both Jerry and Coleen loved to dance, and their performances delighted the younger generations of the family on many occasions.
They dated for a year and a half, and were married on Jan. 20, 1951 in Mountain Home, at the home of his sister, Emma Jean Rowe Leydet. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple on March 17, 1954. Jerry and Coleen had four sons.
In 1963 he was a delegate for the Western States Machinist Union Convention. In 1965, he lobbied the Idaho Utilities Commission in behalf of FMC. He was a delegate for the AFL/CIO Conventions in Coeur d’Alene and Boise, ID.
He was a member of the Governor’s Safety Conferences during the administrations of Idaho Governors Don Samuelson and Cecil Andrus. For 35 years he was responsible for the handling of high explosives at FMC.
Jerry coached little league baseball, and served as President of the Bannock Boys Little League Baseball Association from 1963 to 1965.
He served in numerous callings in his church, including First Counselor in Chubbuck 5th Ward Bishopric, Member of the High Council, High Priest Group Leader, and Temple Ordinance Worker at the Idaho Falls Temple.
From February 1996 to August 1997, he and Coleen served as full time missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Auckland New Zealand Mission. It was without exception the most rewarding time in their lives spiritually. They loved the Māori people they lived among.
Jerry was a committed family man. He loved the outdoors and enjoyed boating, fishing, camping, travel, and gardening. After retirement, he and Coleen loved spending their summers in Island Park in their RV, where their sons and their families accompanied them often. He loved his daughters-in-law as if they were his own.
Jerry is survived by his wife of 70 years, Coleen, Eagle, ID; his sons, J. Craig Rowe (Karmen) of Eagle, ID; Calvin Rowe (Jeanine) of Chubbuck, ID; Blain Rowe of Las Vegas, NV; Brad Rowe (Bonnie Jo) of Las Vegas, NV; 13 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren; a sister Emma Jean Rowe Leydet of Boise, ID, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, seven brothers and sisters, Dorothy Bull, Darrell Rowe, Robert W. (Bob) Rowe, Thomas G. Jr. (Tim) Rowe, Bettie Cox, Leroy (Todd) Rowe, Roger Rowe and a great-granddaughter, Everly Mae Rowe.
Services will be under the direction of Wilks Funeral Home in Chubbuck, ID, on Sept. 25, at 11 a.m. A viewing will be held prior to the services (10 – 10:45) at the Chubbuck LDS Stake Center, 450 James Avenue. Interment will follow at the Mountainview Cemetery in Pocatello.
We wish to thank Foxtail Senior Living Center staff and Encompass Home Health and Hospice personnel for their compassionate care.
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