Matthew Joseph Rowan, 89, passed away peacefully at his home in Turlock, California on September 30, 2015. He was born January 22, 1926 in Artesian, South Dakota to Edward and Elizabeth Rowan. At the age of ten, he moved to the nearby town of Woonsocket where he enjoyed a happy childhood with his parents and two brothers, Thomas and Frederick. Growing up in Woonsocket during the Dustbowl Era presented many challenges. During this period, Matthew learned the importance of energetic hard-work, having a positive outlook, and possessing a friendly manner, which all greatly shaped his personality. Woonsocket remained a special place in Matthew’s heart throughout his life.
Like many young men of his day, he was drawn to military duty after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Matthew joined the United States Navy as part of the V-12 Officers Program in July 1943, initially studying Engineering at the University of Minnesota and later studying Business Administration at Northwestern University.
After leaving the Navy, he moved to San Francisco where he met his bride Alice Waage of Tacoma, Washington. They married in June 1958 at the Carmel Mission and began their fifty-seven year journey through life together. They began their married life in San Francisco, later moving to the communities of South San Francisco and Walnut Creek. In 1973 they settled down in Turlock where they have lived for the past 42 years. Matthew and Alice lived out their Sacramental marriage as a true partnership serving each other, their family and their community.
Whether it was Turlock, Walnut Creek or South San Francisco, Matthew was active in his community and local Catholic parish. He enjoyed serving in a wide variety of positions including CCD Teacher, youth group leader, Lector, Eucharistic minister, CYO director, Cub Scout leader, and baseball, basketball and track coach for his children’s teams.
Matthew began his business career in San Francisco selling industrial equipment in the food processing plants and ship yards. In 1969 he and Alice started their own thriving business later to become Service Supply System, Inc. Matthew enjoyed all the friendships he made with his customers, employees and their families.
During his free time, Matthew loved to play golf and was a member of the Turlock Golf and Country Club for 33 years. He spent countless hours enjoying his grandchildren and their activities. Whether it was golf matches, baseball and soccer games, trips to the beach and the park or listening to his grandchildren’s stories, he was ever present.
Matthew, as a loving Husband, Father and Granddad is survived by his wife Alice Rowan, children Denise Rowan, Matthew (Teri) Rowan, Thomas Rowan, Regina (Brian) Bowyer and David (Shannon) Rowan. He also leaves behind grandchildren Mary Rowan, Elizabeth Rowan, Grace Simko, Paige Rowan, Brian Bowyer, Sydney Rowan, Rowan Bowyer and Michael Rowan; as well as many nieces and nephews who were dear to him.
Matthew was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, and children, Michael Joseph Rowan and Theresa Anne Rowan.
Recitation of the Rosary will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at Allen Mortuary in Turlock. A visitation will be held prior to the Rosary from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be held at Sacred Heart Church in Turlock on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. Private burial will follow at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California.