Rowland C. W. Brown

  • "Dear Heather, You and Rowland have been such fantastic..."
  • "May the love of friends and family carry you through your..."
    - young
  • "Sorry for your loss."
    - JM

Brown Rowland C. W. Brown, 89, who passed away on September 23, 2013, friends are reminded that a Memorial Service in his honor will be held on Sunday November 10 at 2 p.m. at First Community Church, 1320 Cambridge Blvd., Upper Arlington. In the 1970s Rowland and Heather and their family moved to Columbus where he became CEO of Buckeye International, a manufacturing conglomerate that at the time boasted the largest steel foundry in the world. During the final eight years of his business life, until retirement in 1988, he served as President and CEO of OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) in Dublin, OH, a role he described as the most satisfying management effort of his life. During his years in Columbus, he undertook numerous civic engagements, serving on the Boards of the Chamber of Commerce and Thurber House and, for more than two decades, on the Board of Ohio Dominican University. As the first President and Chairman of the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, Rowland led successful efforts to save the Ohio Theater and, later, the Southern Theater. He was a member of Scioto Country Club and the Kit Kat Club. Perhaps Rowland's most important civic undertaking on behalf of the city of Columbus was his work during the 1970s in organizing and chairing the Metropolitan Columbus Schools Committee (MCSC), a group of business, religious and community leaders whose mission was the desegregation of Columbus public schools. Under Rowland's leadership, MCSC led Columbus in implementing the largest peaceful desegregation of public schools in America to that date, drawing praise from across the country and a commendation from the U.S. Justice Department. In addition to his wife Heather, Rowland is survived by his daughters, Stephanie Kugelman of New York City, and Kathleen Brown Whalen of Boston; daughter-in-law, Lynne Breslin of New York City; and six grandchildren and three great grandchildren. In addition to his two daughters, Rowland was pre-deceased by his son Geoffrey in 1995. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to any of the following charities that were meaningful to Rowland: The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA); The (Central Ohio Chapter); Kirwan Institute of the Study of Race and Ethnicity or First Community Foundation.

Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Nov. 3, 2013
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