Rex Rupert Rowell, Jr., 85, was born to Nannie Bell and Rex Rupert Rowell, Sr. on May 11, 1928, in Opp, Ala. His family relocated to Panama City during World War II. Rex attended Bay High School, and was selected for the accelerated program at P. K. Yonge, at the University of Florida, later transferring to Auburn University.
Having always loved flying, he was accepted into the U.S. Navy flight school, becoming a Corsair pilot.
After his service in the Navy he lived in Jacksonville, Fla., before returning with his family to Panama City in 1965, where he was affiliated with Harrison Motor Company automobile dealership, which later became Kendrick-Rowell Oldsmobile-Buick.
In Panama City, he was an active member of First Presbyterian Church, serving as a member of the choir for 45 years. His community service included membership in the Downtown Kiwanis Club and the St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club, having held various leadership positions in both organizations.
Rex passed away on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, at home surrounded by family. He will always be remembered as a true Christian, Southern gentleman.
Rex is survived by his devoted wife of 62 years, Nancy, and his sister, June Harrison (Jerry). Surviving children are daughter, Susan R. Cook of Navarre; son, Roth Rowell (Cylle) of Panama City; and daughter, Nan Mann (Gary) of Longwood. He was the proud grandfather of Stephanie Cook, Katie Rowell, Tricia Wise, Hunter Rowell, and Lee Mann, and five great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts be directed to the First Presbyterian Church of Panama City. The family expresses sincere gratitude to longtime family physician, Dr. Sidney A. Daffin III, his staff, and to caregiver, Maureen McBride.
A memorial service and celebration of Rex's life will be held at First Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, at 2 p.m. with Dr. Richard Watson and Rev. Bob Hayes officiating. A reception provided by the Women of the Church will be held following the service in the Lauren Merriam Room.
Wilson Funeral Home
Family Owned Since 1911
214 Airport Road
Panama City, Fla.
Published in Panama City News Herald on Dec. 28, 2013