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Donald Emil Rowe


Donald Emil Rowe departed this earth Wednesday afternoon, December 7, 2022, to take part in God’s heavenly choir.

Donald was born on June 17, 1950, in Yonkers, NY, on his mother’s birthday. He was the oldest son of the late Emil M. and Edythe Squire Rowe of Bronx, NY.

An eternal song started in his young life when he received Christ as his personal savior at Word of Life summer camp in Schroon Lake, NY. During his junior year, he felt the call to go to Bible school to study for the ministry. Don graduated from Brewster High School in Brewster, NY in 1968.

There upon attending Baptist Bible College at Clark Summit, PA, graduating with a B.A. in Christian Education in 1974.

Taking the lead over Don’s interest in sports and model railroading was his love of singing and music. Until the day before he went to be with the Lord, he was singing his praises to the Savior. Psalm 104:33, “I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my breath.”

Like a church hymnal with a wide variety of songs, Don’s life was multi-faceted revolving around church and Christian school ministries. He traveled to seven different states as a field representative with A Beka Book Ministries of Pensacola, FL. During those pages of his life, he met the former Judy Wilson whom was a teacher at a Christian school in Ghent, NY. They were married in 1979 and as a duet, they harmonized as they served in a variety of ministries in New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York. From a pastorate in Sayville (Long Island), New York to ministries serving people in teaching song leading, daycare directing, youth ministries in New Hampshire, and assisting pastors in Christian school ministries, they worked faithfully together.

Upon moving his family to Pennsylvania, he had a key change in positions in his ministry. He then began selling insurance, maintenance, and custodial work, being a nurse’s aide and working as a life skills coach with U.C.I.P., Choice Enterprises, and Savage Services. Don worked many years in retail at the K-Mart in Clarion and was employed at Mid-Atlantic Youth Services in Emlenton until his cancer diagnosis.

During this change of key, he administered as a pulpit supply pastor and interim in various churches in Butler, Clarion, Jefferson, and Venango Counties.

If he were to pick out his top choice of ministries, it would be his position as a choir director at Slippery Rock Baptist Church, where he served from 2015 to 2018 until his first cancer surgery. He was a member there enjoying his ministry in song with the opportunities to sing in a quartet and sing solos.

He took pride in knowing that his children and grandchildren sing and enjoy ministry in music.

Don’s last days were like a simple song to friends and family singing gospel songs and praising the Lord.

In addition to his loving wife, Judy, left to continue God’s promises in the are Don’s children, Elisabeth Gonzales (Jose) of Mechanicsville, MD, James E. (Shannon) Rowe of Urbana, OH, Stephen D. Rowe of Emlenton, Joshua T. Rowe of Emlenton, and Jullianna Rowe, a student at God’s Bible School in Cincinnatti, OH; his grandchildren, Seth, Ella, Silas, Emilia, and Elise Gonzales and Aidan and Tyler Rowe; brothers, Dale Rowe of Bronx, NY and Glenn Rowe (Debbie) of Fayette, OH; a sister, Anne Marie Rowe Gerringer (Bruce) of Newark Valley, NY; his brothers in law and sisters in law: Dave and Niki (deceased), Den (Judy), Tom (Sharon), Dan (deceased) and Nancy, Barbara, Dottie, Molly (Bill) and Anita (deceased); as well as a number of nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”

He was a member of the Fellowship Baptist Church, (3727 Oneida Valley Rd., Emlenton) where friends will be received on Saturday, December 17, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. A celebration of life will follow at 1 p.m. with the Rev. Jacob Langdon, pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church, officiating. The interment will be in the Emlenton Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Fellowship Baptist Church, 3727 Oneida Valley Rd., Emlenton, PA 16373.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Hile Funeral Home Inc., Emlenton, PA.

Condolences may be sent by visiting www.hilefh.com

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