Earnest Walter Rowe


AGE: 99 • Hockessin

Sept. 27, 1914-Nov. 21, 2013

He was born in Wyndmoor, PA, the only child of Mabel Susanna Earnest and Walter Emanuel Rowe. A standout competitor in basketball and baseball, he graduated from Springfield High in 1932 and was recruited with athletic scholarships to Banks Business College, earning his degree in 1934. First working as a clerk/accountant for Hilbert's Paint and Hardware Store before joining DuPont in their sales force for automobile refinish products, he retired after 41 years in 1975, as national Marketing and Development Manager for the Refinish Sales Division. In 1943 he was inducted into the Army and took Clerk Specialist Training at Ft. McClellan, AL, where he was promoted to Staff Sergeant. He served with the 69th Infantry Division, US Army, in the Rhineland-Central Europe campaign and was awarded a Bronze Star for bravery in the Battle for Colditz. He was honorably discharged January 9, 1946,

"Ernie" married Elizabeth Jane Leng, also of Philadelphia, on August 2, 1940, after they met in 1937 while serving as President and Secretary for the district Luther League. "Betty" and Ernie remained devoted Lutherans through their many moves, most recently as members of Hope Lutheran Church in New Castle, DE, where Ernie served in leadership positions and also chaired the Clergy Compensation Committee for the Delaware/Maryland Synod. Under the auspices of the Lutheran Community Services, he chaired the Retired Men's Luncheon Club for 17 years, arranging monthly programs for an ever-expanding membership of retirees.

A Phillies fan from boyhood, he coached Little League, and he loved to play golf at courses from the DuPont Country Club to the Monterey Peninsula. He and Betty maintained a special connection with Avalon, NJ from years of vacationing in the Leng family shore cottage. In August they celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary. In 1994 they had moved from Westminster to Cokesbury Village in Hockessin, where Ernie passed away peacefully. Preceded in death by an infant son, Kirk Walter (1958), he is survived by wife Elizabeth, three children, Karen (CA), Barbara and husband Chet Chmielewski (FL/UT), and Brian (NM), three grandchildren, David Rowe, son of Brian and his former wife, Katherine Marvel Rowe, Carolyn Chmielewski, Adam Chmielewski and his wife, Sarah, a great-granddaughter, Josephine Chmielewski, cousin Bill Earnest, brother-in-law Horace G.Leng and his wife Amelie, and their families.

Burial in Sunset Memorial Park, Feasterville, PA will be private; a Memorial Service will be held at Cokesbury Village at a future date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Hope Lutheran Church, 230 Christiana Rd, New Castle, DE 19720, or to Cokesbury Village, 726 Loveville Rd., Hockessin, DE 19707 in support of their ministry and resident activities funds.

For online condolences visit www.mccreryandharra.com


Published in The News Journal on Nov. 24, 2013