Kenneth Albert Rowe, Sr.
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Kenneth Albert Rowe, Sr., 82, of Calumet, passed away peacefully on March 5, 2020, at his home on M-203 in Calumet, Michigan, with his family at his side. Ken was born on October 23, 1937 in Centennial Heights, Michigan to Oakley and Gertrude (Amala) Rowe. He graduated from Calumet High School with the Class of 1955.
His venture into entrepreneurship started at a young age when he ran a small store in Centennial Heights until his junior year of high school. He was then employed by Rowe Transfer Company of Calumet, which was owned and operated by his father and two uncles, until after his father’s death. The company was sold to Clairmont Transfer in Hancock, Michigan, and Ken worked there for a time. In 1959, he and his wife, Nancy, decided to start their own company, crating and making deliveries for Sears, and doing small jobs with a small pick-up truck. His success allowed him to buy back the original Rowe Transfer permit and he owned and operated Rowe Moving & Storage Company of Calumet until it closed in 2009. In 1988, he decided to enter into a new venture and started Rowe Furniture Company and ran that until his retirement.
Ken was very active in the Community. His love of hockey earned him the Paul Lehto Service Award in November of 2019, for his contribution to the Calumet Hockey Association. This was an honor he was very proud of. He served on the hockey board for many years, including serving as President for a term in the 70’s. He was also one of six shareholders in the USHL Copper Country Chiefs and was instrumental in bringing them to Calumet. Rowe Moving Company and Rowe Furniture sponsored many house league, travel and slo-puck teams spanning 40 years. Ken was a member of the Faith Lutheran Church of Calumet and a past President of the church council.
He served for 30 years on the Calumet Township Fire Department from 1973-2003, where he was the Assistant Chief for several years.
From 2001 to present Ken proudly served on the Houghton County Road Commission (HCRC). During his 18 years of service he served as chair, vice chair and board member. He played an active role in the construction of HCRC’s new office and maintenance facility in Hancock. He was also a board member for the Michigan County Road Commission Self-Insurance Pool for four years and a past President of the County Road Association Great Lakes Council of Upper Peninsula road commissioners. His dedication earned him a Distinguished Service Award in 2018.
On November 23, 1957, Ken married Nancy Adele Antilla, whom he referred to as “The love of his life”. This past November they celebrated 62 years together.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Oakley Rowe, sisters Delores Ryding, Kathleen Gawlic, and Loretta Blau, and an infant granddaughter, Allie Mollie Rowe.
Ken is survived by his wife, Nancy, their children Janice (Tony) Galerneau, Joyce (Ron) Stevens, Jill (Larry) Fallon, Kenny (Mollie) Rowe, Jr., Kurt (Shelby) Rowe, Jennifer (Jason) Wickstrom, and Korey (Samantha) Rowe, a special nephew Michael (Tammy) Harri, 21 Grandchildren and 7 Great-Grandchildren. Brothers Jay (Joyce) and Mark (Colleen) Rowe, and sisters Elaine Beaudoin, Judy Jarve, Carol (Jack) Barry, and Cheryl (Jean) Cygan, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Many people knew him as “Big Guy” because of his tall stature, but Ken had a big heart as well. He loved helping people and sharing his success with others. He enjoyed driving big trucks and tractors and owned many “toys” which allowed him to move dirt, snow, rocks, trees, etc. for himself or others. He loved the 4th of July at his Lake Property watching his grandchildren, friends and family enjoying the water, playing basketball or grandchildren’s talent shows. He loved building things and working on his trucks. Ken truly enjoyed travelling around and watching his grandchildren play sports.
He had many special relatives and friends who he mentioned often as being very important in his life. His good friend Bob Harter, Sue and Arnie Kero whom they enjoyed travelling with, Richie and Mary Zugel, for many winter stays in Vegas, Kevin “Splash” Laurie for friendship and hours of work on his “32 Ford Keni-Built”, Kevin Harju for his friendship and continued support on the road commission, Tommy Ryding, Keith Jenich, too many to mention but they know who they are.
Ken valued his family and friends above all and believed there is nothing in life that is more important. If he saw a need, he wanted to help.
Visitation will be held on Sunday March 8, 2020 from 3-8 PM in the Faith Lutheran Church 26016 Depot Street Calumet, MI and one hour prior to the funeral at the church on Monday.
Funeral services will be held on Monday March 9, 2020 at 11:00 AM in the Faith Lutheran Church with Pastor Jared Howard to officiate. A luncheon will follow immediately following the service at the Siskiwit Reception Hall in Calumet.
The Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet is assisting the family with the arrangements and online condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.ericksoncrowleypeterson.com
Burial with graveside services will be held in the Lake View Cemetery in Calumet in the spring.
Per Ken’s request a celebration of his life will be held in the summertime at his lake lot. A date and time will be announced in the summer.
In lieu other expressions of sympathy memorials in Ken Rowe’s name may be given to: Faith Lutheran Church 26016 Depot Street Calumet, MI 49913 or Calumet Hockey Association P.O. Box 385 Calumet, MI 49913