Kenneth Arnold ROWE

Richmond, Virginia




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ROWE, Kenneth Arnold, passed peacefully in his home on July 29, 2012 with family by his side. He was preceded in death by his parents, Arnold and Mabel Rowe; sisters, Shirley Duval and Marcia Weber; and daughter, Shireen Allen. Kenneth is survived by his loving wife, Loretta Rowe; sons, Mark Rowe and John Mertens; five grandchildren, Meredith Rowe, Tyler Rowe, Catherine Coday, Anne Smith and Tara Chevalier; and four great-grandchildren. He was born in Kenosha, Wis., and served with distinction during two Aviation careers - one in the Military and one in Civil Aviation. His military career began in December 1942 and he became a 4-engine bomber pilot at age 19. He flew 13 combat missions from England in the Mighty 8 Air Force, was shot down twice and liberated from a POW camp at Moosburg, Germany when WWII ended in May 1945. After 21 years of active duty, he retired from the USAF in 1963 as a Major and Command Pilot with 5,451 flying hours. Upon retiring, he accepted a flying assignment with administrative duties in the Virginia Department of Aviation. His 30-plus years spanned eight Governor Administrations for Virginia's Aviation Community and was highlighted by an appointment as Director by Governor Robb. He was reappointed by Governor Baliles who included Aviation in his historic Virginia Transportation Trust Fund which increased aviation funding tenfold and continues in existence today. After being reappointed by Governor Wilder, he retired at the end of his term at age 69. During his military career, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with one OLC, the Purple Heart, the POW Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal. During his Civil Aviation career, he was honored to serve as President of the National Association of State Aviation Officials and received many awards and recognitions highlighted by the National Air Transportation Association's "Ong Memorial Leadership Award," the National Aeronautic Association's "Elder Statesman of Aviation Award" in 1993 and induction into the "Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame" in 1994 by the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society. A Memorial Service will be held at the Virginia Aviation Museum August 10 at 2 p.m., and a funeral service with honors will be at Arlington National Cemetery on a date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society.

This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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I was honored to have met Ken at a 491st Bomb Group reunion at Atlanta some years ago and have kept up contact with him until recently. My condolences to Loretta. He was a great guy to know.

My prayers go out to the Rowe Family. In addition to all the great accolades and awards that he achieved and that have been expressed, Ken was a "True Gentleman" and wonderful person.

Our prayes go out the Rowe Family for he was a dear person who help many people make there dreams come true, he was very close to my Father Chauncey E. Spencer Sr, and he help the Tuskegee Airmen in many ways, May God Bless him and all his Family.

Mr. Chauncey E. Spencer II
Detroit, Michigan.

Kenneth F. Wiegand, Executive Director, Collin County Airport Development Corporation

Ken was not only a war hero of the Greatest Generation, he was the creator of Virginia's aviation program, which is so successful today. He stuck to the basics, backed his people and stood his ground. His dynamic leadership and successes also influenced the creation of strong aviation programs across the country. He will be remembered for his kindness, intelligence and wit. I will remember him as the most beloved and respected figures in Virginia Aviation History.

Our deepest sympathy to your family on your loss. Ken was a Great friend and our family will cherish the many memories of past fun times we shared together. His past military service to the defense of our country will never be forgotten. God Bless you and keep you always

Our Prayers are with allof Mr.Ken,s family,we lost a dear friend will really miss him.

Our prayers are with all of Mr.Ken,s family we lost a great friend.

Our thoughts are with all of Mr.Ken,s family,we have lost a very dear friend

we are so sorry to read of kens death our prayers are with each of you he will be greatly missed.adrian clark &cleta.cleta