Joanne Rowe

September 28, 1928 ~ September 22, 2021 (age 92)


Joanne Rowe of Fort Collins, Colorado, in the early morning hours of September 22nd, 2021, while in her own house and in her own bed, fell asleep for the last time.  It was six days before her 93rd birthday.

She was born Shirley Joanne Wyss in Millikin, Colorado, in a birthing center run out of the top floor of the town doctor’s personal residence. 

Her early life was spent down the road in Johnstown, where she was surrounded by grandparents, aunts and uncles, and where she was given the nickname Becky by her sister, who had difficulty with the word “baby” at the time.  Though her given name was Shirley, she was never known by that name.  Instead, she was always known by either her nickname or by her middle name, Joanne.

At the age of five, Joanne moved with her family to Fort Collins, where her daddy worked at the post office.  In 1946 she graduated from Fort Collins High School.

She completed three years of education at CSU, during which time she met and was wooed by a charming trombone player, and former serviceman, by the name of John “Jack” Rowe.  The couple were wed on Aug 20th, 1949.

The two of them moved to Denver, where Joanne enrolled at DU to finish her education.  In 1950 she graduated with a teaching degree in home economics, despite being greatly pregnant at the time.

Leaving Denver, she and her family moved to Des Moine, and then to Fort Worth, and then to Dallas.  From that time on there was a subtle Texas twang to her voice which she never entirely lost.

In 1962 she moved home to Fort Collins, permanently.  For many years she taught Home Ec. to junior highschool students at Cache La Poudre.  After retiring from teaching, she helped her husband, for a little while, in his furniture business.

She is survived by her three children -- Doug (Laem) Rowe of Benkelman, Nebraska; Susan (John) Labadie of Fort Collins; and Andy (Beverly) Rowe of Longview, Texas.  She is also survived by 8 of her 9 grandchildren and by her 3 rambunctious great grandchildren.  Her beloved husband, Jack, passed away in 2000.

Joanne was treasured by those who knew her and instantly beloved by those she met.  She was brave, gentle, and generous.  She was never known to hold a grudge.  She forgave liberally and never withheld her full heart from those she loved.  To describe her, succinctly, the word is “lovely”.  Joanne Rowe was lovely, inside and out.

We love you Joanne.  Goodbye for now.  Until we meet in Glory.

In lieu of flowers, special gifts can be donated to the Colorado Talking Book Library by visiting, or to Pathways® by visiting

There is a memorial service that will be held on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, 2pm at First United Methodist Church in Fort Collins. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joanne, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
September 28, 2021

2:00 PM
First United Methodist Church in Fort Collins

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