George A. Rowley, Jr.

1927-20136

Rowley, George obit picGeorge A. Rowley was born at home on April 18th, 1927, near Ringwood in Major County, Oklahoma and died peacefully surrounded by his loving family on January 31, 2013, at the age of 85. George married his high school sweetheart, Alice Fern Doll, in 1946 following his discharge from the Navy in WWII. George was a loving and compassionate son to his parents and a generous and loving husband and father. He was a hardworking, competitive, yet congenial person of high moral character who had many friends throughout the country. He was a people person and enjoyed spending time with family and friends. He and Fern loved traveling and did so extensively throughout the United States and abroad after their retirement.

George graduated from Ringwood High School, received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State College in Alva, OK, his master’s from Philips University in Enid, OK, and his doctorate in Education from Oklahoma State University. He served as a teacher, coach, principal, and superintendent of schools in Oklahoma for a total of 39 years, with 37 of those years as a superintendent at Blackwell, Perkins, Coyle, and Crawford. He retired in 1988 after 15 years as superintendent of Edmond Public Schools.

During his long and distinguished career in education, George influenced and touched the lives of countless students, colleagues, and community members. He received many honors and accolades during his career as an educator, including induction into the OSU College of Education Hall of Fame. He held various offices and positions in the American and Oklahoma Associations of School Administrators, and the Oklahoma and Oklahoma County Retired Educators Associations. He was awarded the Very Important Member honor by the OCREA. George was a valued member of the Edmond community and was named “Citizen of the Year” by the Edmond Chamber of Commerce in 1987. He served on the Edmond Arts and Humanities council, Friends of the Symphony committee, and chaired the YMCA Sustaining Membership drive. George steered the growth of the Edmond Public Schools with a steady and visionary hand from 1973 to 1988. In 2009, he was honored by the Edmond Senior Community Foundation as one of five Senior Citizens of the Year.

He was an honorary lifetime member of the Edmond Educational Endowment and a long-time Presbyterian, attending and serving as deacon, elder, and on various committees of Presbyterian churches in Stillwater, Blackwell, and Edmond.

George was preceded in death by his parents, George and Beulah Rowley, and his brothers, Gene, Joe, and Bill Rowley. He is survived by the love of his life, Fern, of the home; his sons Jerry and wife Linda of Stillwater; Kenny of Okmulgee; Robert and wife Karla of Edmond; and daughter Valli and husband Gus Rallis of Edmond. He is also survived by six grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved deeply. He is also survived by his sister Peggy and her husband LM Sullivan of Edmond; sister-in-law Willa Mae Rowley of Mustang; and sister-in-law Mary Lou Rowley of Portales, NM.

The family would like to express its sincere gratitude and appreciation to the staff and caregivers at Touchmark at Coffee Creek in Edmond for the excellent care they provided. If desired, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the OSU College of Education for scholarships in memory of George A. Rowley.

Public visitation will take place at Matthews Funeral Home, 601 S. Kelly, Edmond, OK, from 12:00 noon until 9:00 PM on Tuesday, February 5th, and from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM Wednesday, February 6th. Funeral services will be held Thursday, February 7th, at 2:00 PM at the First Christian Church of Edmond, 201 E. 2nd Street, with graveside services to follow at Gracelawn Cemetery.

Comments

  1. I was a brand new teacher at Blackwell High School in 1968 and taught English and Journalism for the next two years. Dr. Rowley was the Superintendent of Schools for the Blackwell school system at that time. Because my classes published the high school newspaper, I had occasion to work with Dr. Rowley a number of times, possibly more so than most new teachers. I found Dr. Rowley to be a reasonable and fair educator and enjoyed working with him. I was sorry to see that he passed away. My thoughts are with his family in this time of loss.

  2. My dad was on the school board when George Rowley was hired to be the superintendent of schools in Coyle. Through my remaining years of school until Dr. Sullivan took over, I grew to respect the principles, kindness and integrity of Dr. Rowley. Even though he moved to other locations and my career was moving me into various positions, we never completely lost touch. When our paths crossed, he always remembered members of the family as well as various classmates, inquiring about how they were doing. This was another of his special traits – remembering people and genuinely caring about them.

    Gene and I send our best to Mrs. Rowley and the family. We thank them for sharing this special man with us. Because of him, education in Oklahoma is better as he touched the lives of so many, from Coyle to Perkins to Blackwell to Edmond to his support of the College of Education at OSU and all across the state. Rest in peace, my friend and mentor.
    Ann Benson

  3. To The Entire Rowley Family ~

    We are so very sorry to hear of your loss. Dr. Rowley was a wonderful man and Blackwell was fortunate to have him as our Superintendent of the Schools.

    We hope that you can find peace in knowing he is with our Lord and Savior. May God sustain you during this difficult time.

    Blessings,
    Steve & Cheryl

  4. I am so very sorry!! He was such a good person!! A joy to know and visit with. He had a good life, raised a wonderful family and made many friends – what more can one want! He hired me to work full-time for Blackwell Schools and was wonderful to work for.
    I wanted you to know I am thinking of all of you – and sending love and prayers!! Corky

  5. My condolences to all the Rowley family. I had many opportunities to work with Dr. Rowley while I was in Edmond. He was such an honorable and capable man who gave wholeheartedly to the entire community, not just to the school.

    He was a key to the continued success of the Edmond School System. What a blessing his life was to teachers, students, his family and the citizens and patrons of all the communities he served.

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