Donald Doren Rowland, son of Justin and Irene, was born and grew up on a farm in the Willamette Valley. Though he contracted polio in the epidemic of 1929, he lived a full and active life. In 1942 he graduated from Independence High School in Independence, Oregon, and the following year he was State President of the Oregon Chapter of Future Farmers of America. In 1949 he received a BS in Farm Crops from Oregon State College (now University) where he was a member of both Alpha Zeta (National Agricultural Honor Society) and Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. While at Oregon State he lettered as Manager of the Baseball team, and won the honor of representing the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming at the 1947 National Debate Championship held at West Point.
In 1946 he married Carolyn Louise Tilton (1926-2012). In 1955 they chose to leave the farm and moved their family (including children Doren, Caron, and Craig) to Berkeley, California, so Don could attend seminary. In 1958 he received his Master of Divinity Degree Cum Laude from Pacific School of Religion. He was Ordained in the Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) and enjoyed a long career serving churches in California, Washington, Arizona and Oregon. Aside from his ministry, Don loved fly fishing and camping, and never lost his love for the game of baseball or for reading. Along the way Don and Carolyn enlarged their family by three additional children as permanent foster parents.
Don is survived by son Doren (Carol), daughter Caron, son Craig (Kathryn), foster son Dan Romero, foster daughter Becki Johnson (Wally), 10 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, sister Lois Kyle (John), sister Alice Leitner (Bob), and a large extended family.
He was predeceased by his wife Carolyn, foster daughter Cynthia Romero, and sister Laverne Strain (Kenneth).
A graveside burial service will be held at Etna Cemetery, Rickreall, OR, at 11:30 on Friday, October 9, 2015. A Celebration of Life will follow. You may contact Caron at firstname.lastname@example.org for directions.
In lieu of flowers, please direct remembrances to The Shriners Hospital for Children (where Don received his polio treatments and surgeries as a child), The Alzheimers Foundation, or your local Food Bank.