Dr. Ann Rowlette, Maryville, entered eternal rest on Saturday, February 18, 2023 in Kansas City.
She was born as Annie Lou Cowan on the family farm near Maitland, on May 29, 1933 to Zoa and Arthur Cowan. She grew up in Maitland and graduated as valedictorian from Maitland High School in 1951. After attending her freshman year at Lindenwood College, she transferred to Northwest Missouri State University and graduated in 1955 with a degree in vocational home economics and music.
Ann began her teaching career as a high school home economics instructor for six years. She completed a master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati, and later a PhD in adult and continuing education from Kansas State University. Well acquainted with NWMSU, she returned in 1971 as a faculty member where she taught until retiring in 2004 as an associate professor of family and consumer sciences. During her 33-year tenure, she served as faculty advisor to the family and consumer sciences student professional organization for 20 years, director of Freshman Seminar for seven years, and faculty advisor to students within her area of specialization, the interiors component of merchandising majors. Awarded for outstanding service, she was a seven-time recipient of the university’s Tower Service Award. She was honored as the recipient of the 2006 Distinguished Emeritus Faculty Award in recognition of outstanding teaching and service contributions at NWMSU.
Her association with Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority began as a collegian, serving as president for two years, and continued as the faculty advisor for 28 years. She was awarded Outstanding Greek Advisor eight times by Panhellenic Council / IFC and was honored in 2001 by ASA national headquarters as outstanding advisor for 25 years of service. As advisor, she was essential to the chapter continuity and development, promoted leadership development, encouraged high academic standards and took a personal interest in members’ academic and career success which extended well past graduation. Upon her retirement a chapter scholarship was funded in her name and is awarded annually.
A longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church in Maryville, Ann enjoyed serving in many capacities over the years, volunteering wherever there was a need. Her most recent role was on the spiritual care committee in which she warmly welcomed church visitors and newcomers and provided support to those experiencing illness or loss.
Ann was a very humble person who easily endeared herself to those she met. It was not unusual for her to learn someone’s life story after spending just a short amount of time with them. She was known for her grace, wit, and love of sports. Her counsel and wisdom were sought throughout her life by countless students, her many friends and her family. She was, and will continue to be, an inspiration to many through the lives she touched and will be greatly missed.
Ann was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Robert Rowlette of 64 years, and brother Chad Cowan. She is survived by three daughters, Cretia (Scott) Meier, Sterling, VA, Kristen (Rob) St. Thomas, and Nicole Rowlette, Kansas City; grandsons Luca and Nico St. Thomas; sister, Connie Oliver, Independence; brother, Jon Cowan, Auburndale, FL; nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A visitation will be held from 10 to 11:30 am, Saturday, February 25, 2023, followed by a memorial service at 11:30 am at the First Presbyterian Church, 211 South Main St, Maryville, MO 64468. A fellowship lunch will follow after the service, also at the church. The procession will leave Maryville approximately 1:30 pm for the committal service at the Maitland cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the First Presbyterian Church in Maryville (reference Ann Rowlette in the memo line), or to Northwest Missouri State University, 800 University Drive, Maryville, MO 64468; checks can be made payable to Northwest Foundation, also note Ann Rowlette in the memo line.