Orma Lily Rowe passed away peacefully at her home in Glendale, California on New Year’s Day 2021. The fourth of seven children, Orma was born on November 23, 1914 in Homer, Nebraska to Mable Tyler and Edward Beardshear. Orma played the trumpet in her high school band, which including Orma consisted of five members. Demonstrating her signature confidence and tenacity, after high school Orma paid her own way through business school and became a highly regarded executive.
In 1940, she married Andrew Carl “Shad” Rowe. The two were happily married for 58 years. They met in Oregon and moved to Glendale, California in 1963. They joined the North Glendale United Methodist Church, now known as Glendale First United Methodist Church, in 1964, where they were active in the Co-Weds social group. The Co-Weds remained a pivotal part of Orma’s life, the fellowship shared at their monthly potluck gatherings brought her great joy.
Orma’s keen intelligence and natural leadership skills propelled her successful career. She served as a Supervisor for Southern California Gas Company and noted that she was often the only woman, who wasn’t a secretary, in the room at executive meetings. After retirement, Orma and Shad enjoyed golfing and traveled across the United States to play at many different courses. Impressively, Orma was a scratch golfer. She and Shad were joyful hosts, renowned for their annual New Year’s Eve parties, luaus by the pool and card game gatherings.
An avid and skilled seamstress, Orma handmade many darling dresses, “frocks” as she called them, for children in foster care. In 2012, by then nearly a Centenarian, Orma was honored for her continued volunteer service to a local nonprofit organization, FosterAll. Her creativity, philanthropy and commitment to her Methodist faith were unwavering in her 106 years of life.
In addition to her parents, Orma is preceded in death by her beloved husband Shad who passed in 1998, her brothers Orin, George and John, and her sisters Myrtle and Margaret. She is survived by three grandchildren Andrew Curtis Rowe, Lisa Rowe Quinn and Scott Rowe; and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.