LUBEC – J. Rowena Towers Reynolds, 91, went to be with her Lord, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. She was born April 11, 1921, in North Lubec, the middle child of Charles Howard and Vivian (Flemming) Towers.
Her parents and her sisters, Catherine and Juanita predeceased her. Rowena was educated in Lubec, graduating from Lubec High School in 1938. She continued her schooling at Bangor’s Gilman Commercial School, and served as the first secretary for R.J. Peacock Canning Company when its new office opened on Water Street. She married Robert Bryce Reynolds, the love of her life, in Lubec, Nov. 1, 1941. Together they reared four children, Robert Bryce Jr., Vicki Jean, Judi Vivian, and Howard Frank; and enjoyed 65 years of marriage. “I’ll Be Loving You Always” was their song and the theme of their lives. Soon after the wedding, the couple moved to 83 Pine St., South Portland. Bryce built Liberty Ships and Rowena served briefly as a nanny to Jackie and Buddy Jamieson. Their first son, Robert Jr., was born in Portland, and the young family enjoyed three years together before Bryce was drafted and deployed to the Pacific in 1944. Rowena and Bobby moved back into her parents’ home in Lubec while Bryce was gone. As his tour of duty neared an end, she purchased and renovated George Savageau’s Jewelry Shop, located directly across the road from Ridge Baptist Church. The little bungalow became their first house. As their family grew, they built the home on the Ridge where they spent the rest of their lives. In the late 1940s, Rowena accepted Jesus as her personal Savior; Bryce gave his heart to Christ while he was overseas. Their involvement in the Ridge Church over the next decades was legendary, with all their children following their heritage and teaching God’s Word to new generations. Rowena taught Sunday school for many years, served faithfully as church clerk, and held a Good News Club in their home. Through the years, Rowena worked part-time at Lubec Water and Electric District office, and at the Lubec Town Office. She was famous for her cooking and baking, she taught generations of Lubec girls how to quilt and sew, she kept a lovely home and gardens, and was dearly loved by all who knew her. Through the years the couple lovingly welcomed spouses for three of their children, then opened their hearts and home to eight grandchildren and several great-grands. Rowena’s magnum opus, however, was her oldest child. Bobby was brain-injured at birth, and might have been considered a burden. But Rowena and Bryce poured their energy and love into him, caring for him superbly, teaching him to live with grace and joy. By God’s mercy, theirs was a household of good humor, hospitality, and great love.
Rowena was predeceased by Bryce in 2007; and Bobby in 2011. She is survived by Vicki (Mrs. James) Schad of Vassalboro and sons, Tim and Ben and their families; by Judi (Mrs. Jeff) Sicko of Wilson, N.C., and sons, Joel, Jack and Jared and their families; and by Howard (and Diane) Reynolds of Gainesville, Ga., and children, Andrew, Kyle, and Amber. She leaves five great-grandchildren, as well as sisters-in-law, nephews, and nieces, and their families. We anticipate a grand reunion in heaven someday. Rowena’s caregivers during the last few years have included Kay Morrison, Carrie Stanhope, Sandra Oldson, and personnel at Oceanview Nursing Home and Downeast Community Hospital in Machias. The Green family, Pastor Rob and Vonnie, and their four youngest children, gave her tender care in her own home for three years before her move to Oceanview. Our thanks to all of you.
There will be a viewing 1-3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, at McClure Family Services, Machias. A celebration of Rowena’s life will take place 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, at Ridge Baptist Church, Lubec, with committal afterwards. The family requests that, instead of flowers, donations be made to Ridge Church, care of Craig Chute, 7 Somersville Ave., Lubec, ME 04652 or to the charity of your choice. Condolences and memories may be shared with the Reynolds family by visiting their book of memories at www.mcclurefamilyfuneral.com.