Obituary: William "Will" Rowe, 1947-2018 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: William "Will" Rowe, 1947-2018

Published September 7, 2018 at 5:30 a.m.
Updated September 7, 2018 at 12:55 p.m.

William “Will” Rowe
  • William “Will” Rowe


William “Will” Rowe was born November 26, 1947, in Yonkers, N.Y., the fifth child of Harry and Agnes Rowe, and passed away on August 31, 2018. He is survived by his brother David Rowe and sisters, Frances Rowe and Susan Rowe, and Susan's husband, Ib. His brother Donald Rowe passed away in January of 2017. Words cannot convey the love and support Will expressed and received from his brothers and sisters during his life and especially his final years.

Will married his first wife, Lori Kohn, from Yonkers, in 1969 and, shortly after, the two of them studied and worked in Germany for five years. After moving to Vermont, their daughter, Alyssa, was born and has been the greatest joy in Will’s life since.

Will married Theresa Crete Jones, in 1990, who has been the love, life and soul partner of his life since. They spent the last 28 years building a life together in Vermont, Maryland and Florida. He had no words to express the love and care he felt for the person who has given him so much … his loving wife, Theresa.

Will is survived by his wife, Theresa, and his daughter, Alyssa Chase, her husband, Jamie Chase, and their two children, Hailey and James. He also loved his role as step-dad to Theresa’s children, Carol Cowan and Christopher Jones, and Christopher's wife, Tanya Jones, and as grandpa to their children, Molly Cowan, Brady Jones and Hannah Jones. Being “Grandpa Will” has been a great joy for Will, and he could not wish enough love and lifelong peace of mind to Hailey, James, Molly, Brady and Hannah.

Will attended Yonkers Public Schools and is a proud member of the Gorton High School Class of ’65. He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Manhattan College and continued graduate studies at Duke University and the Free University of Berlin. Will pursued his two career passions, the study and teaching of philosophy and the compassionate work of social caring. He taught philosophy at a number of institutions, including the Community College of Vermont, the University of Maryland, Trinity College and Indian River State College. He never stopped being awed by opening minds to new ways of seeing, thinking and being.

Will was forever grateful for the privilege of working shoulder to shoulder with such wonderful people at Spectrum Youth & Family Services, where he served for over 13 years as executive director, and the long-lasting relationships developed during that time. He always said that there was “an express ticket to heaven” for any person working in the child protection field. His passion for caring was also fulfilled through his 14 years in numerous social service positions with the State of Vermont and eight years leading a national health advocacy organization dedicated to helping people living in chronic pain. Will touched thousands of lives in his personal and professional career and regularly expressed his gratitude for the privilege to be helpful to others. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.

A memorial celebration for family and friends will be planned in Vermont at a later date. To honor Will’s life, memorial contributions may be made to Spectrum Youth & Family Services at 31 Elmwood Ave, Burlington, VT, 05401, or to the Lund Family Center at 76 Glen Rd, Burlington, VT, 05401.

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