PORTSMOUTH - Jean Rowe was born on December 7, 1929, and has now completed this chapter of her life on Saturday, March 2, 2013 to start a new and more glorious chapter with her family. A lifelong resident of Portsmouth, she was the last of seven generations of her family who lived in this city that she loved. Jean was the only child born to Joseph W. Rowe and Julia Moore Rowe. She was predeceased by her parents and her very gifted child, Allison Beth Krause-Wagner.
She is survived by a grandson, Jared Louviere and his wife Brook; and two great grandchildren, Kinsey and Bryce.
Jean was born during an exciting time in U.S. history; the end of Prohibition was near; The Great Depression had begun; and even the bombing of Pearl Harbor happened on her birthday; and these were just some of the things that made her thirst for knowledge. Jean was a graduate of Pineland College in North Carolina and majored in English Literature and Anthropology; and because knowledge can be acquired, but wisdom is a gift from God, she believed that education was the most important thing anyone could have, second only to faith in God and love. She was proud of being a liberal, an activist for women’s rights and a protestor during the Vietnam War. She and Allison participated in many protest marches. She was a pacifist and didn't believe in war; and admired President John F. Kennedy, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King and Queen Elizabeth. She also admired her mother, Julia Moore Rowe and father, Joseph W. Rowe both were great humanitarians; her son, Allison Beth Krause-Wagner who was an accomplished artist, musician and spoke 16 languages. Jean loved the classics of art, literature and music, especially writers Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, and Edgar Allan Poe, composer, Wilhelm Richard Wagner and conductor, Herbert von Karajan; and the illustrator, Norman Rockwell, whose works took her back to happier times. "Gone with the Wind" was her favorite book and movie. She appreciated the many actors and actresses who bring joy to so many people's lives. Jean wrote poetry from an early age and played the clarinet.
Jean was free hearted...it made her happy to give. She loved the “Beatitudes” that were taught by Jesus; and admired people with humility and generosity. She didn't care for narrow-minded people who judged others, but she could find beauty in everyone she met. She believed that of all of the gifts that God gave….Love was the greatest. Because Love is forever, it never grows old; for God planted the seed within our soul. She provided compassionate care to her mother for over fifteen years. Jean nurtured Allison's many talents as a linguist, composer, musician, artist and writer. Upon her mother and child's passing, she spent much of her time alone, but felt that being alone didn't mean she was lonely as long as the presence of the Lord was with her. She spent many hours in prayer, especially praying for the souls of the departed.
From a young age, Jean always looked forward to being with the Lord. She always knew that this life was a brief journey compared to the glory ahead. She studied many religions and had respect for all faiths back to Buddhism. She took an ecumenical approach to meet her spiritual needs and also studied philosophy to find answers to life's mysteries. She wanted to be a nun early in life, but that path did not come to fruition. She attributed being born with a veil (caul) for her extrasensory perception and spiritualism. She was a firm believer in ESP, parapsychology and reincarnation and communicated with the founder of the parapsychology department at Duke University, Dr. Joseph Rhine. She also believed in predestination and that there is life on other planets. She believed that suffering was necessary to reach the goal of eternal life...first the Cross, then the Crown.
Next to her worship of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Blessed Virgin Mary, she idolized her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and looked forward to the time when she would be together with them in the sacred symbol of the unbroken ring as one big, happy family. As water is the sacred element, the unbroken ring is the highest of all sacred symbols. She always believed that this life was the classroom to prepare for crossing over to the glorious beauty of heaven...and in the words of the infamous Al Jolson, "you ain't seen nothin' yet".
In keeping with the scripture quote "You should cry at a birth and rejoice at a death", Jean requested a nontraditional service with tributes that will include music composed, sung and recorded by Allison Beth Krause-Wagner and some of Jean's other favorite songs. Anyone wishing to share their memories or say a tribute to Jean will be welcome. She never had a dull or mundane life and certainly didn't want a mundane funeral.
The nontraditional gathering will be held at 5 PM Tuesday in Sturtevant Funeral Home, Portsmouth Blvd. Chapel; and a funeral mass will be held at 10 AM Wednesday, March 6, 2013 in St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Entombment will follow in Oak Grove Cemetery.
She wanted to express thanks to Louise Hileman, who was her caregiver and friend; to Jeff Dodd for always being there; to her friend and attorney, George Talbot and his wife Carol for him always being a phone call away; to Ivorson “Gary” Garrison, who Jean said that on judgment day the Lord will say, well done thy good and faithful servant; Dr. William Naylor for his attention to her healthcare needs; to Chris Miller at Sturtevant Funeral Home for his assistance in planning the details of her funeral ahead of time; to Nelson Thompson Monuments for all he has done in constructing the private mausoleums and memorials at the cemetery for Jean and her family. Deepest gratitude to the many other friends who provided support, time and services that allowed her stay in her home that she loved so dearly, for as long as she did; and visited her faithfully at Harbour Pointe. She also wanted to express her deepest gratitude to the Lord for all of the blessings that he gave her.
This obituary was written by Jean before her death because she always said, “If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself!”.
Condolences may be made at www.SturtevantFuneralHome.com .