August 25, 2023 at 9:55 a.m.
Updated August 25, 2023 at 9:55 a.m.
Rose M. Dowling née Rowen, age 93, passed away on Sunday, July 9, 2023 at the home of her daughter Joan in Woodinville, WA. Rose was born to John Howard Rowen and Helena Elizabeth Rowen née Beckius on July 31, 1929 in Dodgeville, WI. Her early life was spent on the family farm at Union Mills with her parents and her brothers Jerry and James.
After graduation, she moved to Madison with three of her girlfriends and worked as a secretary until Don Dowling, also of Dodgeville, swept her off her feet. They were married on April 15, 1950 and moved to Lancaster, WI where Don started his career with Interstate Power Company and their first child, Jan was born. A year later, they moved to Dubuque, IA where three more children, Mark, Joan and Bruce were born. Rose was a homemaker during those years and she was a good one! Friends and neighbors were always welcome and many lifelong friendships were made. She supported her children in sports (and horses), and weekends boating and waterskiing on the Mississippi were standard. The family remained in Dubuque until 1980.
At that time, Don accepted a consulting engineering job in Indonesia with Rose’s hesitant approval. They spent four years overseas with limited visits to the United States. This was a challenging development for a Wisconsin farm girl. Once back in the States, they settled in Charlotte, NC and later New Bern, NC. Always fond of boats and the water, they bought a rather large boat and traveled the Outer Banks and the Intercostal Waterway with the local yacht club.
When it was time to downsize, they moved to River Landing at Sandy Ridge, a retirement community near High Point, NC, where Rose really developed her crafting abilities. She made gorgeous quilts of all sizes and gifted many to friends and family. She painted, knitted, made baskets of rattan, bamboo, willow and sea grass and, of course, she made Christmas decorations! Her crafting room was filled with stacks of fabric, glue, paints, basket materials, sewing supplies, beads, pinecones and tools. She and Don made many dear friends at River Landing and they loved it when old friends and family came to visit. In most years there was a family vacation with one or more rental houses at a location with lots of activities and plenty of the traditional Dowling family favorite foods.
Don died at River Landing at the end of 2019 and Rose remained there for several months before moving to Woodinville, WA to live with her daughter Joan and her family. She brought her sewing machine and many of her craft supplies. She taught her caregivers to help with her projects and the closets are still filled with them.
Rose was loved by all who knew her. She was a generous, thoughtful friend, a supportive, loving wife, a patient and long-suffering mother, as necessitated by her adventurous and fun-loving children, and an especially awesome grandma. She donated most of her craft projects to church fundraisers and was always looking for ways to help. She raised a family that misses her desperately.
Rose was preceded in death by her husband, Donald A. Dowling. She is survived by her children Janet Buck (Thomas), Mark Dowling (Cathleen), Joan Dowling Beck (Richard) and Bruce Dowling (Elena), grandchildren Jason Buck, B.J. Brecht, Eric Dowling, Laura Dowling, Kate Dowling, Ryan Beck, Michael Beck and MaryAnn Russell.
A memorial gathering for both Don and Rose will be held on September 16, 2023 at 2 PM at St. John’s Church in Union Mills outside Dodgeville, WI.