Remembering Lois Rowe

February 06, 2017 | Jennifer Burkes

Friends and family of Lois Votaw Rowe gathered on Dec. 18, 2016, celebrating a life dedicated to Jesus and serving others. They filed into the Grants Pass (Ore.) Church sanctuary to remember a remarkable lady. Stories were shared, a message was relayed, and a life well-lived was remembered. 

For over 25 years, Lois Rowe worked and volunteered at the Grants Pass Seventh-day Adventist School. She served as the school librarian as well as bookkeeper and nurse. Her children attended the school in their younger years. Rowe helped to provide opportunities for other children to attend the school and access quality Adventist Christian education. Her last day volunteering at the school was Nov. 18, 2016. She suffered a stroke on Nov. 26 and passed peacefully on Dec. 11.

Many students were on hand to pay tribute and share memories. The impact she had on young lives was apparent. Rowe would play with the children in the gym before school. She made it her job to know everyone who walked into the school. She helped a few students get to and from school as needed. Rowe also told terrific stories of her time in India, hopefully inspiring others to pursue mission work.

She was born Lois Votaw in Ranchi, India, and grew up in Khunti with her missionary parents. Bryan and Verna Votow worked to establish an Adventist boarding school. Rowe spent her high school years at Vincent Hill School in Mussoorie, India, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayans.

As an adult, she attended Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich., and became a registered nurse. Rowe's true passion was life as a missionary. She returned to India to dedicate her life to service. As a single American woman, she adopted Anita and Bryan from India. On Dec. 24, 1978, she married Dr. Robert Lee Rowe, who had adopted two girls, Becki and Carol. The Rowes eventually retired and settled in Williams, Ore.

It was remarked many times Rowe loved everyone and had genuine concern for all. She spent her life sharing the love of Jesus and the joy found in following Him. She genuinely wanted to see as many as possible with Jesus when He returns. Her faith was an inspiration, and those who spoke stated they cannot wait to be reunited with this wonderful friend and follower of our Savior.