Thomas S. Rowlett, Jr.
Thomas S. Rowlett Jr., 92, went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on December 22, 2016, at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.
Tom was born January 25, 1924, in Seattle to Thomas and Louise Rowlett. He and his younger brother, Gerald, who predeceased him, grew up a block from West Seattle’s Alki Beach and made frequent family visits to relatives in North Bend, WA. His beach and mountain childhood gave him a lifelong love for Puget Sound and the outdoors.
After he graduated from West Seattle High School in 1942, he promptly enlisted in the Army and served in WWII fighting in the South Pacific. After his honorable discharge, he returned to Seattle and earned a degree in Industrial Management from the University of Washington. While at the university, he met and married Mary Jean Schairer of Bremerton, WA. Together they raised two sons and a daughter.
They moved to Spokane after his graduation where he worked eight years for Kaiser Aluminum before returning to the west side of the state to live in Auburn. He worked for Rohr Aircraft as assistant plant manager and later started and operated a manufacturing business building precision parts for Boeing.
Later in life, he met Betty J. Anderson of Portland, OR who was his partner for his remaining years. They lived in Portland; Lopez Island, WA; and Danville, CA. After Betty’s death in early 2016, Tom moved to Spokane to be close to his oldest son, Steve. In June 2016, Tom and Steve joined other WWII veterans in an Honor Flight trip to Washington D.C. to visit war memorials. This trip was a significant and poignant experience in the last year of Tom’s life.
Tom is survived by his three children: Steve (Sally) Rowlett of Spokane and their two children; Greg (Leann) Rowlett of Portland and their five children and two grandchildren; and Nancy (Wayne) Sencenbaugh of Edgewood, WA. Betty’s children also survive him: Rhonda (Jeff) Fazio of Danville, CA and their three children; Paula Anderson of Walnut Creek, CA and Curtis Anderson (Mary) of Portland and their two children.
At age 92, Tom gave his life to Jesus Christ and felt an unprecedented personal peace with God. During his months that remained, his spiritual story touched many others’ lives. We will miss Tom and to God be the glory for a life finished well. A private service will be held in Seattle at a later date.