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William Rowe

1928 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
William Rowe Obituary
William Rowe

Chicago - Mr. William (Bill) Rowe died on the 4th Of July, 2018 at age 90, peacefully in his bed at home in the NW Suburbs of Chicago, surrounded by his wife, daughter, and beloved dog Hercules.

Bill is survived around the country by his wife Judy and Daughter Pamela in the NW Suburbs of Chicago, grandson and name sake Ian William in Minneapolis MN, and siblings Arnette Magnuson in Crystal Lake IL, Margaret Kauppi in Llano TX, and John Rowe in Santa Barbra CA. He was preceded in death by his sister Delores Kurta of Gile, WI and beloved niece, Karen Kauppi, a Luther L Wright Alumnus. Judy was originally from Sheboygan

Bill was born in 1928 on what was then considered Memorial Day, May 30, in Ironwood, MI to parents Irene Minard born in Ashland, WI and William Rowe born in Baltic, MI. Bill's father was an Iron miner for both the Montreal and Townsite Mines.

Bill met Judy, the love of his life of almost 57 years, at the JCPenny store in Sheboygan, WI where he was assistant manager under Luke Lee. Judy was the daughter of podiatrist, Dr. Orville F Zerrenner and born and raised in Sheboygan ( high school class of 57). She ran the elevator at the store for a short time. Bill was personally promoted to the management program by Mr. James Cash Penny himself and often told the story of Mr. Penny's interview over lunch. Mr. Penny confided in Bill, later, that if he had salted his food first, before tasting it, he would not have been promoted.

Bill had a 6th sense for business and was a gentile and fair man with a dry sense of humor admired by his close friends and family. He worked his way up from the Penny's shoe department to District Manager and Company Buyer, before retiring to Lakeland, FL in 1988. Braving the winter, they eventually moved to Illinois in 2010 to be closer to their daughter and grandson. Every summer since the late 1950s, the couple would join their family at their cottage in Watersmeet, MI, to enjoy golf and 'deer' friends.

The couple had one child, Pamela, born in Milwaukee, WI. She believes that her father was the best example she could have had of how to live life and that even in his last moments, he had integrity and respect about him. She works as a Chicago wedding officiant and their only grandson, Ian William, works in the non-profit sector in Minnesota.

Bill was in ROTC while attending Luther L Wright High School, class of 1946, and a veteran of the Korean War. He served as a training officer for Chemical, Biological, and Radiological warfare at Camp McCoy Sparta, WI. and the Chemical School in Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland. Bill was very proud of a letter he received years later thanking him for his service from President Barack Obama.

Bill will be remembered by the stories he often told over 3pm coffee, his hearty chuckle after his own jokes, and the intense impact he left on the hearts of his friends and family. There will be no public funeral held, as the family will be preforming a private ceremony. All cards are asked to be sent to Judy via Kahle Moore funeral home in Cary Illinois.

Born on Memorial Day and went out with a bang on the 4th of July! - Bill would have loved the witticism.
Published in Sheboygan Press on July 11, 2018
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