In loving memory of William Harold Rowe who passed away peacefully in his sleep at home in Elliot Lake on November 22, 2021 at the age of 83. Harold will be deeply missed by his loving wife Sheila Jane (Cameron) Rowe, his partner for 53 years of adventures and his children, Vernon Archie Rowe, John Donald Rowe, Susan Joy (Rod) O’Keefe and Jennifer Lynn (Scott) Petrie. Proud and loving Granddad of Harley, Brenda and Crystal Bourke Rowe, Seth and Emma Rowe, Finnian, Lochlan, Tiernen, Aislin and Bronwyn O’Keefe, and Alexa, Will and Grayson Petrie,and godson Samson Fiddler, his “little rascals” will miss Grandad’s warm hugs and whisker rubs. Harold is survived by siblings Timothy (Ann predeceased) (Sylvia) Rowe, Mary (Joe) Middleton and Nancy (Jim McPhee/Ronnie Lewis predeceased) McPhee-Lewis. He was predeceased by his older brother Wilmer and wife Theresa Rowe and he will be fondly remembered by friends and family including many nieces and nephews.
Born On October 22, 1938 to Archie and Alice (Lane) Rowe, in Gordon Township, Manitoulin Island, he was proud to be a “Haweater”. Leaving the island to pursue his education, Harold graduated from the University of Toronto (Erindale) and followed many career paths including insurance salesman, teacher, miner, newspaper reporter, high school dormitory manager, recreation director, federal employment counselor and project officer. Through much of his career he worked for and with First Nations people including Windigo First Nations in Ontario and the Innu of the Labrador coast. He was called “The Grant Man” because every application proposal he wrote was funded! Never one to turn down the opportunity for adventure, Harold and his family explored Canada coast to coast to coast, living and working in British Columbia, Nunavut, Labrador, and many places in Ontario. In semi-retirement Harold and Sheila opened Rambling Rowes Bed & Breakfast in East Ferry, Nova Scotia where they hosted guests from around the world. Harold enjoyed writing and penned descriptive accounts of their travels in Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall UK, the Netherlands, Germany and much of the US. A highlight of his life was the trip he took to Rwanda in 2007 with cousin John and Ruth Rowe, to build a school dormitory in the small village of Ngarama. Besides writing, Harold enjoyed performing in little theatre. He gave many community volunteer hours everywhere he lived. He loved to work with natural wood, making whistles for his children and crafting fanciful creatures and hundreds of walking sticks from the driftwood he found on his beach walks. And with generousity of spirit he gave most of his creations away. In their younger years the Rowes camped all across Canada, instilling a love of the outdoors in his children. In keeping with his love of nature, Harold would walk every day when he could. Long hikes in Nova Scotia were shortened in the last few years to daily circuits of his Elliot Lake neighbourhood.
Although Harold had many encounters with the medical system for maintenance and repairs over the past twenty years he was never sick. He lived a very full and happy life. There will be a Celebration of Harold when his ashes are laid to rest in the Burpee Mills cemetery on Manitoulin Island in the late spring. If you wish, plant a tree in his memory or make a donation to a charity of your choice and remember to live by his wise words “don’t make mountains out of mole hills” and “call your sister”.
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