Home: Cottonwood Heights, Utah
Death Date: August 8, 2017
Birthdate: June 26, 1934
Place Of Birth: Independence, Iowa
Service Information: Saturday, August 12, 2017 5:00 PM
Service Location: Starks Funeral Parlor 3651 South 900 East Salt Lake City UT, 84106
A true Renaissance man with wry good humor, John shone as a leading man on stage and in supporting roles near the altar. He was as comfortable in a tuxedo as he was in a tee-shirt... or skinny-dipping at a remote lake. Born in Independence, Iowa, he served two tours in the United States Army (1953-58), and spent his career at Union Pacific Railroad. Quietly brilliant and joyfully athletic, he shared his talents as a born teacher and problem solver in everything from electronics to wind-tunnel testing for the 1992 America's Cup; classical music to model airplane design and flight; as well as tennis, sailing, skiing, skating, swimming and hiking. Wherever John was, there was a song, and he shared his rich tenor voice over decades in theaters (Cheyenne, Salt Lake and Sundance), with the Utah Symphony Chorus, and in several Catholic parishes, including St. Thomas More.
John also had a talent for happiness, whether alone at his work bench or waking up in a tent, camping with his beloved wife of 58 years, Dee Franzen Rowland. He was the proud and empowering father of five daughters, Audrey (Tim Graham), Amy (Brian Hutchinson), Angie (Rob Rice); Allison; Amber (Hawk Mendenhall). He took great delight, too, in his five grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. John is survived by his sisters and brothers, Jean Eck, Bill, Rita Kellerr, and Ben. Preceded in death by sister Diane Brimmer and brother Joseph.
The celebration of John's life will be held on Saturday, August 12 from 5 to 7pm at Starks Funeral Parlor 3651 South 900 East in Salt Lake City. The funeral Mass will be held on Sunday, August 13 from 5 to 7pm at Saint Thomas More Parish 3015 Creek Rd. in Cottonwood Heights.
The family appreciates the skilled staff at the Salt Lake City VA Hospital. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in his name to the Refugee Resettlement Program of Catholic Community Services, or HEAL Utah.