Russel's Story

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Russel E. Rowe, 92, loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and cousin, died peacefully Saturday afternoon, Jan. 6, surrounded by his loving family at Goshen Hospital.
Russel is survived by his wife of 69 years, Joyce (neeĀ“ Hart); daughters, Kitty (Dr. Terry) Kaeser and Connie (Carl) Pestow, both of Goshen; son, Jack (Theresa) Rowe, Fort Wayne; grandchildren, Christopher (Courtney) Kaeser, Dr. Diane Kaeser, Katrina (William) Murray, Brian Pestow (Kristyn Moore) and Scott Pestow (Jerrica Hudson), who are expecting the 10th great-grandchild soon, Dan (Allison) Rowe, Craig (Melissa) Rowe and Dr. Linda (Sam) Parker; and great-grandchilden, Henry and June Kaeser; Claire, Russell and Logan Rowe, Leland and Calla Rowe, Jeremy and Julianna Moore; nieces, Susan Kane and Beth Smoker-Priest and nephew, Ed Smoker all of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; cousins, Larry and Jane Rowe, Goshen; and extended family members Audrey Prochaska, Mark and Cindy Tsagalakis and Mike and Cheryl Books.
He is preceded in death by his parents and sister, Evelyn (Stanford) Rowe-Smoker of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Russel was born in unincorporated Elkhart County near Millersburg, May 13, 1925, the second child of Samuel and Florence (neeĀ“ Shepard) Rowe.
He attended Goshen High School and graduated in 1943. While there, he participated in football and track, rising to the varsity level in each sport.
Russel enlisted in the U.S. Navy on his birthday in 1943 and was later stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as a Navy Seabee. He was honorably discharged at the rank of coxswain (CB) in March 1946, decorated with as an Expert Rifleman and Victory Medal World War II, Asiatic Pacific.
On return to civilian life, Russel began a lifelong career as an auto-body repairman in the Goshen/Middlebury area. Many including Byler's, I.A. Miller and Max Myers, employed his skills and workmanship.
Russel finally started his own business as the sole proprietor of the Maple City Body Shop in Goshen.
Away from work, Russel was a certified Red Cross water safety instructor for many years helping many children and adults learn to swim at the GHS pool.
He served as a precinct chairman for the Elkhart County Republican Party, was an active GHS alumni involved in the All-Class Reunion committee and a proud member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 985.
Russel enjoyed traveling the world with his wife and family. He thrilled at attending Notre Dame women's basketball games, auto racing events and relished attending his children's and grandchildren's school and sporting activities.
According to his wishes, cremation will take place at Yoder-Culp Crematory, Goshen. Burial will be at a later date at Violett Cemetery, Goshen.
A memorial service will be conducted Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 12:30 p.m. at Yoder-Culp Funeral Home. Family friend, the Rev. Amanda Yoder-Schrock, will officiate.
Friends may call from 3 to 7 p.m. following the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be directed to VFW National Home for Children to assist families and children of veterans in crisis or Paws for Purple Hearts to fund service dogs for veterans.
Online condolences may be shared at www.yoderculpfuneralhome.com
Published on January 8, 2018
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