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Kent Rowley, a life-long resident of Orem Utah, peacefully passed away on January 2, 2019. In his 84 years, Kent was universally loved and admired for his humor, grace, judgment, humility, faith and service to others. He always had a smile on his face and a kind word, and he never sought or accepted fame, wealth or public recognition. Thousands of times he quietly gave of his time, money and love to help his family, friends, students, neighbors and even strangers. He was never the loudest voice in the room, but he was always the most heard.
He was born on August 6, 1934, in a small house on south State Street in Orem, and he spent his youth with his three brothers climbing the cherry trees, wandering the mountains, and at one point trying unsuccessfully to walk across a frozen Utah Lake. He attended Lincoln High School and later graduated from BYU, with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology and a master’s degree in Counseling. He served honorably in the Army and National Guard as an Engineer, and he helped build several roads in the area. He took his time (for that era) to find his partner and the love of his life, Katy, and he had to travel all the way to Long Beach California to do it. But when he did, they became inseparable for the next 54 years. They were married on April 10, 1965, in the LDS Temple in Los Angeles, California.
Kent was a mentor, friend and role model for generations of Utah Valley children, students and faculty; first as a science teacher and counselor, and later as a principal at many schools including Lakeridge Junior High. He was a renowned fast-pitch softball pitcher in his youth, a frequent tenor with choral and quartet groups, and an avid outdoorsman and traveler. Kent and Katy could regularly be found on trips across the state and country, and in later years worldwide.
He served in countless positions in the LDS Church, including three LDS missions—to the Eastern States as a young man, and in retirement to Budapest, Hungary, and Lexington, Kentucky. He also served as a Bishop/Branch President at BYU, in several local Stake Presidencies and High Counsels, and in almost every other local church position. He was particularly proud of his work in recent years with the boys in the Lakeridge Stake Cub Scouts.
He is survived by his wife S. Kathryn (Katy) Rowley (nee Ruttinger), his sons Andrew H. Rowley (Darla Thigpen) of Phoenix, Arizona, and Christian J. Rowley (Sally K. Smith), of Berkeley, California, his brother Evan Rowley of Sandy, Utah, and five very proud grandsons, Alex, Chase, Blake, Benjamin and Cyrus (as well as his dachshund Szereti). He was preceded in death by his parents Joseph Hyrum Rowley and Zenda Rowley (nee Wentz), and his brothers, Leon and Merlin.
Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, January 9, at the Lakeridge Stake Center, 158 E. 1100 S., Orem, UT. Viewing will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8 at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary 495 S. State Street, Orem, Utah and prior to the Funeral Services from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Interment, Orem City Cemetery. Funeral Home: Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary. Condolences may be expressed to the family at SundbergOlpinMortuary.com
Well done Kent. We will all dearly miss you.