Born: December 13, 1934 - Deceased: April 23, 2020
Mary Violet Rowan, nee Burris, 85, of Millstadt, IL, having fulfilled her earthly purpose, traveled on into eternal life Thursday, April 23, 2020.
She was wonderfully and beautifully made, born December 13, 1934, in Vienna, Illinois, to the late Hubert and Melba, nee Branscum, Burris. Mary graduated from McKinley High School in St. Louis, Missouri; she earned a bachelor’s degree in the field of education from Harris Stowe Teacher’s College and a master’s degree from Southern Mississippi University.
She married the love of her life, Carroll G. Rowan, on January 21, 1956. Woven together, a beautiful tapestry of sixty-four years together, the two of them created the home and family of their dreams. Carroll survives, along with their son, Steven G. Rowan of Saint Peters, MO, and daughter, Rebecca (Joseph) Androff of Belleville, IL; brothers, Joe (Norma) Burris of Maryville, IL, Kenneth (Elizabeth) Burris of Bradenton, FL, John (Beverly) Burris of Paducah, KY, and Jim Burris of Belleville, IL; sister, Teresa (Dr. Jack) Arnold of St. Louis, MO: and beloved grandchildren that she took a special pride in, Alex and Brendan Androff.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents and brothers, Thomas Burris, Jack Burris, and Ray Burris.
Mary utilized her many gifts and talents to help others discover theirs, so as to better self and community. She was a member and past president of her college sorority, Alpha Sigma Tau. Mrs. Rowan owned and operated the Rowan Kindergarten in Cahokia, IL, and led many students down the path of learning during her career as an Art Teacher for Harmony Emge School District #175. She also coached girls volleyball and conducted classes for gifted students during summer school. She was a terrific mentor, and many students became cherished adult friends and colleagues through the years.
Mary loved her home in Millstadt, planting and cultivating the vegetable garden alongside Carroll, and growing flowers to enjoy and use in her art. With great joy, Mary served as the past president for the St. Clair County Garden Club and was a member and past Church Council President for many years with the First Congregational Church in Dupo, IL.
Mary delighted in being with and caring for her beloved family and friends, being Aunt Mary to many nieces and nephews, creating inviting spaces, sharing great food, energetic conversation, and laughter. She brightened our lives and lit a path for others to follow. She will be greatly missed.
Memorials: Mary’s mortal enemy was Alzheimer’s. Those wishing to continue the fight for her and others may direct memorials to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Funeral: Due to Covid-19, private family services will be officiated by a special “daughter,” Rev. Janice L. Ringenberg, with a celebration of life to be held at a later date.
Mrs. Rowan certainly made the artist in me that I am today. She was my mentor. Loved her style and flair.
Some of my best moments were in her art room Emge.
God Bless her and all of you.
My heartfelt sympathies and condolences to her family and friends. I will cherish seeing her in my lane as a cashier at Schnucks several years ago.
Rest in Sweet Eternal Peace and Paradise Mrs. Rowan. Thank you for seeing the artist in me before I did.
My thought and prayers are with the Rowen family. I meet Mary many years ago when I started working at the gym she and Carrol used to work out.
A wonderful soul.
Mrs Rowan, as I knew her, was a wonderful inspiration to those of us who had any artistic talent. I was just remarking yesterday as I spent my day in Quarantine painting with acrylics, that Mrs Rowan’s 7th grade art class was the only painting lessons I ever had in my life. How well that has served me over the years, to make me unafraid to forge ahead into the unknown and to see what comes out when you experiment a little. Add a touch of this and a touch of that, and ultimately it’s about what feels right to you. That guidance has been so good for my life, and really my entire existence. Thank you Mrs. Rowan for your untold contribution to so many lives.
Steve, we are so sorry you had to say farewell. We learned of your mom’s passing on FB – so many of my classmates wrote of how inspiring she was for them. You must have been so proud of the woman and teacher she was. Losing our mom is one of the hardest losses we face. Thank goodness we have the promise of seeing them again. And can you imagine how much she will enjoy gardening and painting in Heaven? Fully restored and free from earthly illness!
So sorry for your loss Steve, Becky, Carroll and families. She was a great lady. I only knew her a short time but loved her from day one. Hugs!!
I dearly loved Mary. She was so kind and genuine. She taught me about life and the value of learning at a very early age. I am the person I am today because of her early guidance. She was and always will be one of my favorites to walk this earth. Rest In Peace sweet soul, you will be greatly missed, but always treasured.
Steve and family,
I’m sorry that your mom has passed away. She obviously led a full happy life. You must have great memories of her in your heart.
Steve and Becky, so sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. While she didn’t teach me art, she did cut my hair on numerous occasions. Prayers to you and your dad during this difficult time.
So sorry to hear of this. I remember your wedding, Becky, in your mom’s yard with the beautiful flowers and the carousel horse. Prayers for your family.
It was joy to work with Mary for 3 short years. She touched my life with her creative talents and her zest for living.
I attended her kindergarten and it was a wonderful time for me and I’m still attending university. May she RIP