Eric Rowley

Obituary
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Eric Rowley slipped gently from this earth on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012. His love of life and sense of humor kept him young and vibrant throughout his life. He will be greatly missed.

He was born in Oldham, England on June 21, 1914, one of ten children of the late George and Sarah Rowley. Eric served in the British Merchant Navy during World War II, part of bomb-sweeping teams and on rescue ships, including a special mission to rescue allied soldiers in Dunkirk, France. He married Dorothy Court and they had a son before immigrating to the United States in 1955. They moved to Michigan, where their daughter was born. Eric was proud to work for General Motors in skilled trades, retiring in 1984.

Eric is survived by his beloved wife, Dorothy; two children, Karl (Susan) Rowley of Orlando, Fla., and Sarah (Dan) Opperman of Midland; and two grandsons, Thomas Opperman and Matthew Opperman. He was preceded in death by five brothers and three sisters; and is survived by one sister, Agnes Hibberson. He also is survived by extended family in England and the U.S.

Eric lived a full life focused on his family. He was an avid soccer player, first as a wiry forward on competitive teams in Oldham, later teaching the sport in Karl's school, and still actively playing with his grandsons from the time they could stand and well into his 80s. He also had a great sense of humor, with a contagious smile and quick wit. His love of music - from church hymns to English pub songs - was legendary, and he sang with joy and a twinkle in his eye. Eric was outdoors whenever possible, normally with a yard tool in his hand and a handkerchief tucked in his back pocket. He also loved the family cottage and Lake Michigan, which reminded him of the sea.

Eric was a member of the Masonic Lodge, the UAW, and the Bridgeport Community Church, where he served as a deacon.

The family thanks all who have brought comfort to Eric, especially during the past several years. This includes MidMichigan Hospice, and especially Cindy; Stratford Village; the Toni and Trish House; Dr. Rev. Chuck Keyworth; and our many supportive friends.

Cremation has taken place. A service celebrating Eric's life will take place at 11 a.m., on Saturday, March 3, 2012, at First United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be offered to The Toni & Trish House, P.O. Box 125, Auburn, MI, 48611; or to the donor's favorite charity.


Published in Midland Daily News from Feb. 29 to Mar. 1, 2012
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