Joe Rowan Jr. passed away Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020.
Husband and dad, teacher and coach, World’s Greatest Driver. Joe was so very generous with his time and love. Born in Chicago, he attended DePaul and Loyola Universities, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He taught physical education for more than 30 years and coached many sports. He was the world’s best dad, raising three daughters and helping many others through his generosity and encouragement. He ran two marathons, traveled the world, hiked many mountain trails, and was a conference champion swimmer. He treasured road trips and national parks. He was an encyclopedia of the Oregon Trail, World War II, and all things with a combustible engine. He was not much for formality but was big on friendships, calling his friends and family often and always providing a few words of advice.
Joe would like to leave you with some of that advice now: Be strong in your OWN mind. Be smart, think for yourself. Wake up with a smile. Dance. Always try for a personal best, and most importantly, have fun.
He is survived by his loving wife and adventure partner Mary Rose, and his brother and best friend Tom (Maureen). His journeys continue through his three daughters Kathleen, Julie, and Karen (Kirk), and grandchildren Elliana and Cace. Also surviving are his brothers Bill and Gerry, sisters Jean, Marylynn, and Rosemary, and many nieces and nephews. He will also be remembered by his many friends from teaching at Jane Addams Jr. High School and the VAST swim team.
If you wish to make a donation in Joe’s memory, please consider the National Park Service or your favorite local charity.
A memorial mass will be held on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 11 am, located at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 5323 E Co Rd 462, Wildwood, FL 34785.
Happy trails, Dad.