Lester T. Rowley has completed his mission in life and flown to his reward to join his beloved wife, Patricia, and God on May 28, 2013. He was born on Nov. 13, 1921, in Lansing, Mich.
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Growing up through the Depression, when duty called at the start of WWII, he was quick to respond. Joining the Army Air Corp in January 1942, he served with valor, honor, and distinction, flying as a turret gunner on 61 combat missions aboard B-25's in the Mediterranean. He received the Air Medal six times, the DFC, a Purple Heart and numerous other honors.
After discharge following the war, he reenlisted and spent time in Germany serving the Berlin Airlift. Following that he was sent to Korea where he received his second Purple Heart. After many other duty stations, Lester was assigned to duty in Vietnam in 1964 where he received his third Purple Heart. He was discharged from active duty from disability in 1966.
After discharge, he returned to his education, receiving his degree from University of West Florida.
Continuing his life of service, Lester proceeded to join the Coast Guard Auxiliary where he served with distinction for a further 32 years. One of the things he was most proud of was as a public education officer he was able to instill water safety in thousands of grade school children through the years.
His love of travel led him onward to make many trips to explore many places. He loved to drive the back roads and find new and exciting things to see.
Lester is survived in life by his loving family, sons, Steven P. Rowley, Noel L. Rowley and his wife, Petrice, and Bruce A. Rowley and his partner, Jeanne Jankowski; daughters, Linda J. Boone, and Susan G. Rowley and her partner, Jason Lynch; grandchildren, Brian Boone, Brandie Boone, Brooke Jones, Thomas Rowley, Chris Rowley and Matt Rowley; six great-grandchildren; and extended family and many friends.
A Celebration of Life will take place 2 p.m., Saturday, June 8, 2013, at Twin Cities Cremation Services & Funeral Home, 1404 E. John Sims Parkway Niceville, FL 32578.
Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at www.Twincitiescremationsfunerals.com.
McLaughlin Twin Cities Funeral Home
1405 John Sims Parkway E
Niceville, FL 32578
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on June 6, 2013