RoseAnn (Gearhart) Rowley ascended to be with the Lord on November 7, 2023, at the Knoxville Hospital. A funeral service will take place at 11:00am on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at First United Methodist Church in Knoxville. A visitation will take place at 9:00am prior to the service at the church.
RoseAnn was born January 31, 1946, in Colfax, Iowa to Kathryn (Snook) and Vernon Dale Gearhart. Valedictorian of her class, she attended the University of Iowa for a brief time before becoming a hairstylist in Newton and later Knoxville. Larry’s sister (Louise) was one of her patrons at Salon Francois in Newton and introduced them on a blind date. Louise’s brother-in-law was the radio announcer for her basketball games including the Girls State Tournament in Des Moines. She felt it was a small world when she married Irvin Larry Rowley on December 27, 1966, in Colfax, IA. A great start to their marriage since the wedding occurred during a snowstorm, RoseAnn had a flat tire on the way and Larry overslept!
They moved a mobile home on to Larry’s parents farm north of Knoxville which was purchased in 1948 and they have lived on the same farm ever since. In 1976 they designed and built their present home with the help of family and friends. They were blessed with three successful loving sons, Dale, Dave, and Dan. The family milked and bred registered Holsteins for thirty-four years. RoseAnn was left to finish the chores while her husband ran off to his many meetings.
Both with 4-H backgrounds, they enjoyed showing cattle with their nieces and nephews first and then with their boys which was one of their favorite pastimes and their vacation! Cattle were shown at the county, district shows, state fairs (34 years) and sometimes trips were made to show cattle at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.
They had lots of fun tailgating with their friends, Brent and Mary Hanna, while the boys were playing football at Iowa State University. Football replaced the cattle shows. They even attended the ISU football bowl game in Arizona the year the cows left the farm in 2000. When the boys and cows were gone, a new lifestyle developed. God opened their eyes; being active disciples of God going to church was now possible and especially important to them in their lives! RoseAnn, over the years, read the Bible many times, reading every evening before going to sleep.
In addition to RoseAnn going to the ISU games, she enjoyed working in her flower and vegetable gardens. She was also well known for cooking spaghetti, potato salad, apple crisps, and canning! She froze and canned up to three hundred quarts of her garden produce every year which she shared with her family and church dinners. She also had an enduring love for all animals, bottle feeding all the baby calves, and especially her many cats.
Over the years, RoseAnn served as a 4-H Leader, helped start and was secretary of the Marion County 4-H Foundation, and District 10 Holstein Association while helping her husband start two other foundations. She was recognized at the Iowa State Fair as an outstanding 4-H Leader, recognized by Mid-America Dairymen as the Iowa Outstanding Dairy Couple. RoseAnn was also a member of Marion County Fam Bureau and helped start their Ag in the City and Ag in the Classroom events. She was recognized by the Marion County Farm Bureau as the first County Outstanding Farm Couple of the Year. RoseAnn was an active member of the First United Methodist Church where she was chair of the Money Counting Group, and served as secretary for several committees: the Church Council, Leader Development Committee, and FUN group. She was also the church communion steward and a lay speaker.
RoseAnn is survived by her devoted husband, Larry; sons, Dale (Beti Jo Aichner) Rowley, Dave (Natalie) Rowley, Daniel (Kate) Rowley; and her eight grandchildren, Gage, Anna, Cole, Rian, Madison, Corbin, Mackenzie, and Caden.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Dale and Kathryn Gearhart; In-laws, Irvin, Alice, and Mable Rowley; brother, Ronald Gearhart; sister, Sharon Zachary; and several other family members.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Marion County 4H Foundation and/or The United Methodist Church Blessing Boxes.