Rowe, Robert Roy, Sr.
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Fairport: Robert Roy Rowe, Sr., 95, "Bob" died peacefully on June 3, 2013 surrounded by family.
Mr. Rowe was born August 17, 1917 in Utica, NY. He grew up in New York City and graduated from George Washington High School. Always an avid outdoorsman, after high school, Mr. Rowe made a trek from New York City to Florida by bicycle where he landed a job as a guide at the Florida Reptile Institute. His interest in herpetology began as a child. He even had rattlesnakes and water moccasins as pets in his New York City apartment. In 1940, Mr. Rowe joined the army. He spent eight months in Europe and nearly 4 years in Panama as an army photographer. After World War II ended, Mr. Rowe continued to work as a photographer in New York City until he moved to Rochester after accepting a position at Eastman Kodak Company. Mr. Rowe married in 1947 and in 2013 he and his wife celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary. The two had five sons.
Mr. Rowe continued his education while working full-time, attending night classes at the Rochester Institute of Technology and earning a diploma in photo science. He introduced his children to bow-hunting, scuba diving, swimming and kayaking taking the family on numerous camping trips through the years. He volunteered with the cub and boy scouts for years sharing his passion for the outdoors with many boys. Given his enjoyment of kayaking, Mr. Rowe ran a business selling small boats including kayaks, for twenty years while working at Kodak.
In 1975, the Rowes suffered the accidental death of their son Alan at age 25. The event brought them even closer as a family. Alan is deeply remembered at this time.
The Rowes took many trips both with their sons and together traveling 8,000 miles by car in Mexico, and also to New Zealand, Australia, Samoa, Cook Islands, Hawaii, several Caribbean Islands, Panama, Italy, France, Austria, Great Britain, and, a lifelong dream, to Tahiti. Mr. Rowe continued his photography most of his life and took spectacular photographs on all his travels.
Mr. Rowe expressed his spirituality through his love for nature. His philosophy of life is expressed by the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling and the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Mr. Rowe retired in 1983. He and his wife spent many winters in Florida enjoying the natural beauty of the area around Fort Myers Beach. Always an active man, Mr. Rowe never retired from creating many projects over the years, working in his yard, and exercising by swimming, biking, and taking walks. Some of his happiest times were family gatherings as his sons married and had children.
Mr. Rowe is survived by his wife Helen (Lambert); his stepsister Beverly (Loss); sons Robert and daughter-in-law Elizabeth (Edmonds), Norman and daughter-in-law Sylvia (Vernarelli), William and daughter-in-law Sharon (Milton) and James; his grandchildren Jason, Julie (Alexander), Andrea, Justin, Louis (Perrica), Kathryn, Angelina, Zachary, Nina, Carly, James, Luke, Isaiah, Thaddeus, and Jeremiah; his great-grandchildren Colby, Rowen, Jaelyn, and Maxson; and many friends.
The memorial will be a private family event. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Leo Center for Caring, 1500 Portland Ave., Rochester, NY 14621.
Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on June 4, 2013