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James Arthur Rowe Sr.

August 16, 1918 September 30, 2011
James Arthur Rowe Sr.
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Obituary for James Arthur Rowe Sr.

James Arthur Rowe Sr., age 93, native of Muncie Indiana, died September 30, 2011 in Lake Orion, Michigan.

Growing up in Muncie, Indiana in the twenties and thirties, Jim loved basketball, music, and academics. He cheered on his Burris H.S. Owls against the mighty Muncie Central Bearcats, played clarinet in the Muncie Boys Band, and was an exceptional student, finishing second in the Indiana state Latin championship in 1935.

After graduating from Ball State Teachers College he joined the U.S Navy and became commanding officer of a destroyer, the USS Allen, in the pacific in WWII. While on leave in San Francisco in 1941 he met the love of his life, Norma. They married two years later and had four children, Mary Alice, Jim, Nancy, and Katie. The family lived in Detroit, Huntington Woods, Southfield, Bloomfield Hills, Muncie, and Oxford.

Jim came to Detroit in 1947 as editor of All Sports magazine, a forerunner of Sports Illustrated. After the magazine’s demise, he worked as a writer at R.L. Polk, Grant Advertising, Wilding, Applegate, and Berman Marshall. His passions included politics and checkers. An avid Republican, he was never sadder than the first Tuesday in November, 1964, or happier than the first Tuesday in November, 1980. Jim was friends with many of the best checker players in the country. After his retirement he loved to drive to checker competitions in Mississippi, North Carolina, and New York.

There was rarely a dull moment growing up in the Rowe household. There was waking up one morning in 1958 to find a racehorse parked in the front yard in Huntington Woods (which he was driving to Ohio for breeding). There was the jersey cow he purchased at the state fair in 1961 to give son Jimmy a head start on farming (a few years later the cow and her many offspring were sold). There was the recruiting of football players for his alma mater, Ball State University- one of which (Art Stringer) later was a standout in the NFL. There were neighborhood parties, vacations in Bellaire and Pointe Aux Barques, and too many sporting events to list. And in the background there was always music playing, Spike Jones (at Christmas), Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Louis Armstrong… Like Louis Armstrong, he looked and saw a ‘wonderful world’- he enjoyed life.

In addition to Norma and his four children, Jim is survived by five grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. He will be missed by all.

Funeral service will be held on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 11:30 AM from Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors, Oxford. Friends may visit from 10:00 AM until the time of service. Interment will take place at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly


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