Kendra Rowan
Ahearn Funeral Home
783 Bridge Road
Northampton, MA
NORTHAMPTON – Kendra Ashley Rowan, 33, artist, craftsperson, photographer, and naturalist passed away Friday, Aug. 17, at Cooley Dickinson Hospital surrounded by her family.

Kendra was the beloved daughter of William and Kathleen Rowan, and sister to Kyle Rowan of Northampton. She will always be remembered by many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

Kendra was predeceased by her grandparents, an aunt, and cousin Gary Albero (9-11-01). Kendra was a 2003 graduate of Northampton High School. She was captain of the then nascent crew team. Her consistent and reliable performance as stroke oar earned her the nickname of "our little diesel" from one of her coaches. Kendra also coxed boats for both the men's and women's masters rowing programs. When not on the water, Kendra loved to downhill ski and hike the mountains of New England.

Upon graduation she received a Sophia Smith Scholarship to Smith College where she planned to major in physics. She was a member of the cross-country team until her health caused her to withdraw from school.

Kendra struggled with an extremely rare and poorly understood genetic disorder which was misdiagnosed for many years. Faced with a multitude of ever-growing health challenges, her level of resilience and tenacity was nothing short of remarkable.

Even medical professionals marveled at her ability to continue to defy the kind of odds that she faced. She also had to be creative and resourceful. When she could no longer pedal a bicycle, she built an electric powered one from parts.

Kendra's greatest pleasure came from bringing a smile to someone's face. At age 14, she began volunteering at soup kitchens and shelters, and continued volunteer work to the extent that her disability allowed. While living in Boston she volunteered at Common Art for the Homeless. Finding a piano in the space, she initiated a "music hour" at which she played piano and sang with program participants.

Kendra was a talented artist and a lifelong scholar of biology and ecology. She once said that she spent a lot of time being still, and used this time to study that which she saw. She found peace in spending time outdoors, and drew artistic inspiration from nature.

Using watercolor paint, pencil, or camera, Kendra shared her passion for art and life. Kendra was an extraordinary woman whose creativity, sense of humor, determination, and concern for others was an inspiration to all who knew her.

Calling hours will be held at The Ahearn Funeral Home on Thursday, Aug. 30, from 4-7 p.m. A private celebration of life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in Kendra's name to Common Art for the Homeless. Send checks to: Common Cathedral, 15 Newbury Street, Boston MA 02116 (write "Common Art" in the note section). You may also donate online at Where it says "Add special instructions to the seller", write: "Direct to Common Art".

To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to
Published by Daily Hampshire Gazette on Aug. 28, 2018.
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Funeral services provided by:
Ahearn Funeral Home
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23 Entries
Sending out all my love to you and your family, cousin Billy....and remembering your sweet daughter, Kendra, who was truly a very special soul. May she continue to be surrounded by angels and love, and rest in peace, Love, cousin Nora Kearney (Noreen) in California
Nora Kearney-Johnson
August 22, 2021
Dear kendra family want you know that I miss kendra every moment she was most sweetest and kinda and gifted person there will always be whole my heart and our community loss of kendra was devastating to all us and still is thank god for being blessed have kendra as friend love you kendra miss you dearly watch over us all from heaven to we meet again kendra love diamond oconnell
August 23, 2019
Sending all my love to all of my Massachusetts Rowan cousins! I am so very sorry for your loss of such a young and beautiful soul...sweet Kendra. Im sorry I never got to meet her in person. Much love, Nora (Noreen Kearney)
Nora Kearney-Johnson
August 22, 2019
Kathy and Bill,
I just found out about Kendra last evening. Deepest condolences on the loss of your daughter. She was a sweet young girl, and it sounds like that continued with her caring for others. I am so sorry..
November 28, 2018
I knew Kendra from CommonArt where she always filled the room with music and laughter. She was incredibly joyful and always ready to smile and brighten someone's day. I was stunned to hear that she had passed and she will be missed. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.
November 5, 2018
To all our beautiful Rowan family, most especially to cousin Bill, Kathy and Kyle, my heart breaks for your loss of Kendra. May her beautiful and amazing spirit shine brightly on you always and warm your hearts with love.
Lori Kearney
September 26, 2018
Dear cousin Billy, Kathy and Kyle, I am so deeply sorry to hear of your loss...of young cousin Kendra. She reached out to me on FB, and that is how we met. I've just learned of her passing, and my heart aches for you all. She is an angel for sure.....sending all of my love. Nora (Noreen) Kearney-Johnson San Diego,CA
Nora Kearney-Johnson
September 25, 2018
Kendra ilove you dearly most sweetest kind hearted soul will always treasure every memory we shared broken hearted over your passing my heart goes out to your family common arts never be same again your smile Ray of sunshine to all us miss you so much rest in peace my dear friend always be in my heart thank God bless me for knowing you watch over us Kendra our guardian angel love diamond
Diamond Oconnell
September 13, 2018
I didn't get to know you long but in the short time I did get to know you it brought me joy and sharing our artistic thoughts Etc it broke my heart to see you go but I know your loved and always will be and missed a great deal love your friend and neighbor Ange
Angelina Pacheco
September 12, 2018
Please accept my deepest sympathies for your loss. I had the pleasure of knowing Kendra while in college with her cousin, Megan. The beautiful spirit I had the opportunity to know then has stayed with me since. Love to her, you and your family.
September 8, 2018
I am so, so very sorry for your loss. I cannot even imagine to begin to understand the heartache you feel! I can just picture our kids playing, getting dirty in the back yard and having FUN! My thoughts and prayers are with you all!
Nicki Creer
September 5, 2018
Dear Bill, Kathy, and Kyle,
Trying to imagine what Kendra endured for so long is near impossible, but not so the friendship she offered so freely. For that, no effort or thought is needed... just feeling. I can't take your sadness away, but I do share it with you. Her empathy and love for those around her will fill my heart and mind with good thoughts and memories forever.
Patrick Rowan
September 2, 2018
Bill- my heartfelt sympathies to you and your family on the loss of Kendra. May her spirit be with you always.
Sheila Pixley
September 2, 2018
I was so sad to hear of Kendra's passing. I remember her throughout her years at Ryan Road school when I was a substitute teacher. She was a beautiful child, full of kindness and always helpful, and she carried that attitude throughout her life. God bless your family.
Joanne Lastowski
September 1, 2018
Dear Kendra, you are deeply missed. I remember you as especially beautiful and friendly soul. Rest in peace.
Miia T
August 31, 2018
It hurts to know that I will never read new good comments by Kendra in the PP support group face book. Kendra was a loving friend to people she never met. We shared the same chronic illness so her comments for support were special. Condolences for her family.
August 31, 2018
Sweet Kendra,
You were an inspiration to us all at the Periodic Paralysis Network. We will never forget you and your beautiful spirit. We will miss you and your sense of humor. No matter what you were going through, you were always there for all of us. You touched every one of our lives and made our days better. May you rest in peace forever.
Susan Hunter
August 30, 2018
May Kendra sleep in peace. My condolences to your family.
Elsie Poux
August 30, 2018
Dear Kathy and family,
Words cannot express the sadness in my heart when I heard the news about Kendra. I met her as a young student at JFK...she was truly a shining star. May Kendra's incredible life be a reminder to us all that one person CAN make a difference. God's peace to you.
August 30, 2018
My deepest sympathy goes to you and your family. Sending lots of love and prayers.
Patricia Teres
August 30, 2018
Easily one of the toughest women to touch our lives. Thoughts and prayers to the family.
Philip Schmehl
August 29, 2018
a loved one
August 28, 2018
As the family moves forward, may God's comfort be with you all. John 3:16.
August 27, 2018
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