Thomas A. Rowe, Jr.
November 22, 1931
November 3, 2012
Resident of San Jose
Thomas A. Rowe, Jr., a beloved husband, father, educator and friend, passed away peacefully, surrounded by the love of his family, on November 3, 2012 from complications of Parkinson's disease.
Tom, the oldest child of Thomas Alan and Marian Koehler Rowe, was born in Saginaw, Michigan on November 22, 1931. When he was four, the family moved to Southern California where he was active in the YMCA, church groups, sports and jobs young boys had at that time: delivering newspapers and bagging at the local Ralph's market. He built his first jalopy, starting a lifelong love of old cars and British motorcycles. In 1948, the family moved north before Tom's senior year and he graduated from Palo Alto High School. Continuing a family tradition, he went east to Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan. After he graduated, he was drafted and served in the Army during the Korean conflict.
He came back to California and began a long and distinguished teaching career: a few years in Oakland public elementary school and 37 years at St. Elizabeth High School where he coached football and track and taught economics, history and politics, serving several years as Director of Athletics and Dean of Men. He retired in 1999.
He raised his daughters in Lafayette and moved to San Jose when he and Loraine were married in 1995.
He was passionate about sports: qualified for the decathlon trials for the 1952 Olympics, played rugby into his 40's and played, coached and enjoyed football most of his life.
He was passionate about family, teaching, the outdoors and life. He loved people and they loved him. He was intelligent, witty and caring. He has been described as a Renaissance Man, a good man, a gentleman and a gentle man. He had strong opinions and could argue them without personally attacking anyone with a differing opinion. He will be greatly missed and remembered with a smile by all whose lives he touched.
He is survived by his wife Loraine Wallace, his daughters Alison Rowe (Tom Beddingfield), Ann Rowe Church (Rob) and Linda Rowe Clark (John), grandchildren Alexis and Anika Clark and Elaina, Clara and Sam Church, his brother James K. Rowe (Ruth), five nephews and one niece. He was predeceased by his parents and his sister Patricia Rowe Willrich.
A funeral mass will be held at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, 80 S. Market St., San Jose on Friday November 23rd at 11:00 a.m. to be followed by a reception in the Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Parkinson's Institute, 675 Almanor Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085 or the Tom Rowe Scholarship, St. Elizabeth High School, 1530 34th Ave., Oakland, CA 94601.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Nov. 18, 2012