Willa Bella Rowe
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Asheville - Willa Bella Rowe, 95, died Friday, September 20, 2013 at Emerald Ridge Care Center after a period of declining health.
Willa Bella was born April 6, 1918 in Andrews, NC to Will and Juanita Arrowood. After growing up and attending school in Andrews, she completed business school in Asheville and married Charles Rowe of Virginia in 1942. They had three sons. Charles died in 1975.
From the late 1950's to the mid 1960's Willa Bella enjoyed her position as school secretary at David Millard Junior High School where she endeared herself to students, teachers, staff and parents and immersed herself in school activities. These were some of the most fun years of her life.
She was later employed by Dr. Charles Anderson, after which she went to work for AB Tech, retiring from there in 1983. Her retirement years were spent caring for family members, enjoying her house and yard, and being an incredible grandmother to her grandchildren who spent many happy hours at her house. She became a kind of "neighborhood nanny" to their friends as well.
Willa Bella was an avid reader and a talented seamstress but her cooking endeared her most to her family. Even as a working mother raising three big, athletic sons, she managed to put home cooked meals on her table seven nights a week that would have qualified as Sunday dinners in most households. She set an extra place for whoever showed up. Her youthful nature, boundless energy and extreme independence caused her friends to marvel at the things she was able to accomplish into her later years, such as mowing her own grass until her late 80's. She was strong, capable and loving, and she will be missed.
Willa Bella was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Elizabeth Petrie; and two of her sons, Dr. Thomas Rowe of Greensboro, NC and Jon Rowe of Fort Worth, TX. She is survived by her son, Gary Rowe and his wife Carol of Asheville; grandchildren Jamie Rowe of Los Angeles, David Rowe of Athens, GA, Jason Rowe (Krista) of NYC, Jessica Foster (Jamie) of Arlington, TX and Kavin Rowe (Gabrielle) of Durham, NC and six great grandchildren.
The family would like to especially thank her lifelong friend, Peggy Ramsey, who contributed many hours of loving care and companionship in her later years, as well as her caregivers at Emerald Ridge.
The family will receive friends at Morris Funeral Home, 304 Merrimon Avenue, on Thursday, September 26, 2013 from 6pm to 8pm. Burial will be private.
Condolences may be sent to the family through the website, www.morrisfamilyfuneralhome.com
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Sept. 22, 2013