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Memorial: Anita Rowland

At 4:40 PM Monday, December 10, 2007, my wife, Anita Marie Rowland, passed away in Seattle at the age of 51 after a long battle with cancer. She is survived by her two sisters, Martha and Betsy Rowland, and by myself.

Anita will be missed by all. By her sisters. By myself. By the children and grandchildren she took as her own. And by everyone that knew her...

Some people shine so brightly they light the way for others; Anita was such a person. Having that light snuffed out so soon is a loss to the world.

Anita, we love you. We will miss you forever.

If you knew Anita or she touched your life in some way -- something that applies to many, many people -- please leave a comment with some memory of her here.

-- Edited to add:

Many people have asked me about a memorial fund for Anita. In all our discussions about what happens next (yes, Anita and I had them) we managed to miss talking about what charity she would like to have people donate to in her name.

There is a medical fund managed by our friend jkling called anitar_medfund. It's purpose is to help us pay off our (enormous) medical bills. But that isn't quite the same thing. You are welcome to donate there, just follow the link and click the PayPal button.

But what charities would Anita want you to support? The list is as endless and varied as her many interests. Given the circumstances, I suggest Gilda's Club as a place to make a small donation in Anita's name. Or you can follow Anita's lead and go personally to feed the hungry in whatever place you live.

Comments

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joycemocha
Dec. 11th, 2007 03:39 am (UTC)
Oh dear.

Jack, I am so sorry. My regrets to you and your family.
jaobedoza
Mar. 1st, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
Its never easy to lose a loved one. I know it wont matter much after all this time, but I want to give you my sincerest condolences.
scottij
Dec. 11th, 2007 03:39 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that. My condolances to you and your family. I'm sorry I can't be there in person, but we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

She sounds like a wonderful person. I wish I could have known her.
holyoutlaw
Dec. 11th, 2007 03:46 am (UTC)
I remember meeting her at Janecon, in 1991. She'd picked up mail art while caring for her parents, and entered the "Turning 40 Mail Art Show" (which, alas, doesn't exist any more). Jack Palmer, who coordinated the show, told her it was going to be displayed at this gathering of sf fans in Seattle.

Anita came by Friday afternoon and said "This is home."
kalimac
Dec. 11th, 2007 04:07 am (UTC)
All of my sympathies, Jack. She bore her difficult part very well, and so have you.

I've posted my tiny mite here.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 11th, 2007 04:21 am (UTC)
We are crying in Paris
The news just caught up to us while we're in Paris. It's 5:20 a.m. and we're crying. Anita always gave, and gave, and gave. She always showed up to our blogger dinners, even when we could tell she wasn't having a good time due to her treatments. She'll be someone we both treasure in our memories for a long time.

How can we help? Anita was always there for us. Now it's time that we're there for you and her granddaughter.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 11th, 2007 04:34 am (UTC)
Re: We are crying in Paris
By the way, this was written by Robert Scoble. Maryam is here too and we're telling each other Anita stories here in Paris at 5:30 a.m. while Milan is trying to cheer us up. Jack: if there's anything we can do, please let us know.
Re: We are crying in Paris - jackwilliambell - Dec. 11th, 2007 04:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: We are crying in Paris - (Anonymous) - Dec. 11th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC) - Expand
kevindevin.myopenid.com
Dec. 11th, 2007 04:29 am (UTC)
My condolences
I met Anita only once, at a blogger meetup on the east side -- at the Crossroads in Bellevue. It was when Scoble was still at MS and Sam Ruby was in town. Several other Microsofties showed up that evening to include Don Box and Dare Obasanjo. It was quite a turn out that evening. Anita made the rounds from person to person introducing herself and taking the time to meet nearly every person there.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 11th, 2007 04:34 am (UTC)
Sending loving beams
Jack, I am so sorry to hear that Anita has passed. From the first time I met her at a Seattle blogger meetup, I knew I was in the presence of a true community spirit. She was a connector, who noticed the little things that hold us together. At Northern Voice, she always had a a strong curiosity that attracted others like a magnet, but never in a showy way. She was "salt of the earth." Her spirit will be missed.

Sending you lots of loving beams in this time of transition for which none of us is ever prepared.

Nancy White
kate_schaefer
Dec. 11th, 2007 04:40 am (UTC)
My Anita memories are so many: here's a tumbled, random selection.

Anita in her Trolloween costume, with the silly hat that somehow managed to make her look like one of the troll dolls of our childhood (if you squinted a bit, that is). Anita trying to teach Glenn and me to dance before we went to my dad's 70th birthday party (we ended up taking lessons from a place that was her second recommendation, and we danced reasonably well). Anita dancing at her wedding, in the dress I made her (the dress I had to sew her into after finishing it in an all-nighter, and that you had to cut to get her out of later on, Jack). Anita drawing a fish for Riley, and then another fish, and then a shark to eat the fish. Anita at the Cacophony Society's Santa Rampage, asking if I had been naughty or nice.

Oh, that has to be enough to go on with for now. I miss her, too, Jack.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 11th, 2007 04:45 am (UTC)
Condolences
My condolences, Jack. I met Anita only a few times around Seattle blogger events and Northern Voice, and she was just really great. Very sad to hear of here passing. (from Jay Fienberg)
(Anonymous)
Dec. 11th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC)
I am so sorry
I am so sorry for your loss. It's hard to imagine her gone, she had such spirit.

My deepest sympathy.

Shelley Powers (Burningbird)
whumpdotcom
Dec. 11th, 2007 04:48 am (UTC)
Frank Paynter interviewed Anita a few years back, when he was starting out in blogging, http://www.sandhilltech.com/weblog/blogger.html/categories/profilesAndInterviews/2002/08/07.html (thanks http://burningbird.com/, for the reminder.)

I remember how joyous Anita and you were during our trips to Japan. I'm glad that Cynthia and I were able to share that with the both of you.

I miss her. Take care, Jack, my friend.

Edited at 2007-12-11 04:49 am (UTC)
(Anonymous)
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:01 am (UTC)
Last Dance
I re-read my interview with Anita tonight and was reminded what wonderful even-headed engaged person she was. Over the last few years I've listened/read about her struggle with love and concern. I am so sorry she had to leave us. She was an original... introduced me to Cacophony, made me think about blogging, and reminded me that each of us is valuable. When I read Bill's post tonight all the air went out of me. Jack, you and your family have all my sympathy.

Frank Paynter
brandi.org
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:14 am (UTC)
Jack,

I am so sorry to hear this. I never met Anita in person, but have followed her on the net for many years. Her kindness came through loud and clear. I don't blog nearly as much as I used to, but Anita remembers. Just a few weeks ago, she found and friended me on Flickr. I'm shocked to hear that she's gone; she was so young. You have my deepest condolences.
dsgood
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:23 am (UTC)
My condolences to you and the rest of the family.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:34 am (UTC)
So sad. :-(
I'm so very sorry for your loss, Jack, and the loss to all of us who knew her - which, as far as I can tell, is pretty much everyone in the blogger/tech/writer/etc. communities in the Pacific Northwest, not to mention her multitude of fans and friends throughout the virtual universe. To meet her was to love her; she will be missed. ~jeanniecool
randy_byers
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:46 am (UTC)
I'm remembering you guys' wedding at the IOOF Hall, Jack. I still have the fan on top of my bookcase. She was a wonderful human being. Her loss will be deeply felt.
kate_schaefer
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC)
I keep my fan above my computer monitor, and I can't count the number of times I've taken it out and used it on hot summer days. It's a tiny thing, just a cheap paper fan, but utterly practical for a dancing wedding.
scarlettina
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:47 am (UTC)
Mostly what I will always remember is Anita's generosity. She was always inviting, always offering something else, something more, if she knew you were interested in something somehow. It was a gift, that generosity. And I will always remember her big smile.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:48 am (UTC)
Oh, Jack, I'm so sorry to hear this. Anita will be missed by many.

samantha
weskimcom
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:51 am (UTC)
A great loss...
Jack, I can't remember if we've met, but I knew Anita from a few years ago when she and I both chatted on the film fans' discussion list at Microsoft. She was always a pleasure to chat with, and we kept in sporadic touch over the years, most recently via twitter.com. I'm so sorry for your loss...words fail me. I hope it's some small comfort to hear one more voice from out in the world saying, Yes, I had the pleasure of meeting Anita and will celebrate her memory even as we all mourn her loss.

Condolences,
Wes Kim
vorona
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:54 am (UTC)
This is hitting hard. I am so sorry. She sounded so bright at our last few interchanges, I wouldn't have expected this at all. I really thought that I'd see her at the next Vanguard. It seemed... I specifically expected to see her again. Her presence with everyone seemed vivid.

Anita is the person who stepped up and took me back to Vanguard (you drove us) when I was feeling cut off from everyone. I got to reconnect with people I'd known 20 years ago, because of Anita's practical optimism.

For so many reasons, we need more people with Anita's qualities. Not all in one person at once, let's not ask for too much. But a little, here and there, would greatly improve the world. It can't be too much to ask.

Anita helped me in my own struggle with cancer, with the crucial issue of finding the will to go and connect. That one Vanguard we went to was one of my best memories this year, and it changed my attitude. She was a serene catalyst for getting my hope back, and I will remember her as long as I live.
katwomynwa
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:03 am (UTC)
So sorry for your loss
Wow, I'm shocked. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Anita has been a fixture in my NWR/Webgrrls world for so long, I am just blown away.

Peace
(Anonymous)
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:04 am (UTC)
Anita Defined Class-A-List blogging
I met Anita at the Seattle blogger meetups, like most everyone else in Seattle who blogs. She knew everyone and everyone knew her. I'm lousy at keeping in touch with people. I assume that once I'm out of sight, they forget who I am. She never forgot me. Whether leaving me a comment on my blog or my Flickr pictures or sending me a Tweet. I got busy with life and didn't attend many blogger meetups, but I always knew that I'd be welcome there if Anita were there.

Thanks for remembering me and everyone else you touched. We'll always remember you.

Scott Koon
(Anonymous)
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:08 am (UTC)
My Deepest Condolences
Jack,

My deepest condolences to you and your family. While I only knew Anita through her writing, the world has indeed lost an bright and shining star who will be deeply missed.

God bless you and yours.

Anthony Papillion
CEO
OpenEMR HQ
tamiam
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:14 am (UTC)
I'll miss her. My heart goes out to you and Riley. Much love and candlelight.
ladyjestocost
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:20 am (UTC)
Anita
Our condolences, Jack.

I remember Anita happily giving me rides back home after bowling. Now that we're in a position to do so, we try to give rides to folks if they need one, and we'll continue to do that.

She had about the best t-shirt I've seen, riffing off Microsoft ship parties - "So long, and thanks for all the shrimp."
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