Georgia Rowe, a daughter of the mountain West, died July 22, 2013 in Sun City, Arizona following a stroke, a few weeks short of her 103rd birthday. She was born August 14, 1910, in Laurel, Montana, the eldest of five children of Dr. Albert E. Stripp and Montana ("Monty") Tschudy Stripp. She went to the public schools in Billings, Montana, where her father had moved his medical practice, and earned a bachelor's degree in biological sciences at the University of Montana in Missoula in 1932.
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She met Tom D. Rowe, son of a University of Montana geology professor, at the University; they were married at her family home in Billings in 1934. She followed Tom in his career in pharmacy teaching and administration, with his main early appointments including ten years at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, where their only child Tom Jr. was born in 1942, followed by six years at the Rutgers University School of Pharmacy, then in Newark, New Jersey, where Tom became dean.
They moved in 1951 to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Georgia's father had earned his medical degree at the University of Michigan and Tom had spent his first two undergraduate years. Tom went as dean of the College of Pharmacy and served in that position until he retired in 1975. Georgia was active in women's golf (they both enjoyed the game) and drew on her scientific training to work making histology slides for pathologists, who would request "the gray-haired one" for key cases because of the quality of her product.
Their son Tom Jr. graduated first in his undergraduate class at Yale, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, and spent most of his career as a professor at the Duke University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina.
After Tom Sr.'s retirement as dean at Michigan, he taught part time in the College of Pharmacy for ten years; they would spend the golf season and the football (and teaching) season in Ann Arbor, then head for warmer climes in the winter -- eventually in Sun City, where they bought a house in 1984. Following his death in 1997, she lived on her own in that house until the stroke a few days before she died.
She and Tom Sr. traveled widely and enjoyed golf as long as their health permitted. She had many friends and was active throughout her adult life in alumnae affairs of Kappa Alpha Theta, the "women's fraternity" she had joined as a Montana undergrad, which widened her circle of friends and gave her much satisfaction. She was also active in the Sun City community, particularly as a volunteer at the Sun City Library until macular degeneration forced her to give up that work. She bled and died (figuratively!) for Michigan's football Wolverines to the end of her days.
More than forty family and friends from around the country celebrated her 100th birthday at a resort in Scottsdale, Arizona in August 2010 -- a "celebration of life" with the celebrant alive and present and enjoying it greatly.
No memorial ceremony is planned. Deceased's funeral arrangements: Cremation; no ceremony.
Georgia is survived by son Tom Jr. of Marina del Rey, California and his wife Susan French, who is a retired UCLA law professor, and by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
Contributions can be made to a
or to the University of Montana Foundation and noted as a gift in memory of Georgia Rowe for the School of Pharmacy. Checks should be made payable to the UM Foundation, P.O. Box 7159, Missoula, MT 59807, or donations may be made on line at www.SupportUM.org with a designation that the gift is in memory of Georgia Rowe.
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Published in Daily News-Sun on July 31, 2013