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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.


( 167 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 14th, 2007 10:31 pm (UTC)
I remember meeting Anita when I stopped in Seattle one time - visiting Anna Vargo (another I miss) and her generosity with her fanzine and her information. Introductions to friends I didn't know yet. Thanks for the stories about visiting Japan.

Dec. 15th, 2007 08:44 am (UTC)
My condolences and warmest wishes to your family.
I worked with Anita several years ago and lost touch. We did cacophony together back then and I'd hoped to reconnect with her when I found my way back. I'm so sorry to know I won't get that chance, but am even more sorry to know those closer to her won't get that chance either.

Anita was an amazing woman who made a positive impact on the lives of others. I will continue to remember her fondly.

Take care,

Dec. 17th, 2007 07:54 am (UTC)
Early Memories
Jack, I am not a blogger and just this evening found out Anita was. I have read many of the comments left and am not surprised at how many people she touched. My memories are of her and her family down the block from mine. I was their babysitter, though her parents didn't go out much in the evening. I used to be what was called "a mother's helper". I would go help keep the kids busy cleaning up their toys while Anita's mother got things ready for dinner.

I think she was born with her laugh, smile and friendliness. I don't remember her being any problem.

I remember your wedding and thought that it fit her perfectly. She never was exactly conventional.

The world has lost one of the great ones.

There is a group at widownet.com that you are welcome to come to whenever you feel the need. They helped me (and are still helping me) after I lost my husband 3 years ago. You will be welcomed with open arms. It was started by a man who wanted to fill a need that he had himself.

Maybe I'll see you there, mourning a wonderful woman
Dec. 17th, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC)
I met Anita only once at a Blogger meet up in Belltown and she was so friendly and genuine. The world is just a little worse off without her.
Dec. 17th, 2007 08:31 pm (UTC)
So sorry...
Hi Jack,

I used to work with Anita at StockCharts. I was so sad to hear that she lost her battle. We had just been discussing her love of dancing last week too. Our thoughts are with all of you right now.

Dec. 20th, 2007 01:25 am (UTC)
so sad
I met Anita 10 years ago at MS when I first arrived in Seattle and she opened many doors for me. So sad to hear she's gone. Tom L.
Dec. 20th, 2007 08:51 am (UTC)
She will be fondly remembered
Hi Jack, Like many others, I first met Anita at a blogger meetup (back in Oct 2002). She was the first person to welcome me, introduce me around, and include me in conversation. In fact, we started discussing her crafting and my nonprofit and on the spot she offered me a giant donation of goods for our youth programs. I was stunned at her generosity and was so happy to meet up again later that same week! What a beautiful stranger Anita turned out to be! I've been thankful to get to know her over the years, at meetups and outside of them (one year she even loaned me a costume piece for my Brides of March outfit!). Her welcoming spirit, generosity, and sense of community will be sorely missed. You're in my thoughts...
Dec. 21st, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
Hello, Jack. I'm so so sorry. I just found out, via Chris Pirillo. We've been in the Bahamas with lousy internet connectivity.


Dec. 24th, 2007 03:06 am (UTC)
Jack, everyone who knew and loved Anita, I'm so sorry for Anita's passing. If ever there was a human who welcomed newcomers with such open arms, I hadn't met such a person until I attended my first Seattle bloggers meetup and was welcomed by Anita. She was such a persistent individual - persistent that we share times with each other, persistent that we look forward and find the positive element in our lives and share it.

In many ways I will remember Anita because she snuck into one's life in many ways. This town is a better place because she cared for the people here. I'll miss her but will always have a smile when I think of her. Every time I'm downtown and anywhere near Ralph's I pause to think of the times I'd spent there with lots of worthy individuals. Young, old, boy, girl, hip or dull, Anita had a spot for them all and made the rest of us find a similar spot for them. What a talent. I always thought her real skill was in the connections she found in all of us and that she was plugging us into each other.

Thank you Anita. I've made many new friends here in Seattle because of you - including you - and as a human I give you the highest compliment I can think of - you were one hellofa human and helped define for me the traits worthy of our species. Thank you again, Anita, it was and will always be a pleasure to have met you, been with you and think of you. May you rest in peace, you did a great job here on Earth.

Chas Redmond
Dec. 24th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC)
I'm very sad to hear this; Anita has always been an inspiration to me, as the ultimate "get-people-together"-er. I've loved my conversations about science fiction and future possibilities, and she's always been so kind to me, just immediately. All active geeks in Seattle are impacted.
Dec. 25th, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss.
Dec. 26th, 2007 01:31 pm (UTC)
Jack, I am also very sorry.
I met Anita in Graz (Austria), you worked together with us and Anita joined you on this visit. It was not the best time of the year (it was cold and cloudy) but I had the impression that she enjoyed the sigh seeing of church's and museum's. She was also a very big fan of opera, so she was also able to go to several performances in Vienna.
My regrets to you and your family.

Dec. 29th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
This extremely limited and belated note here (http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com/2007/12/insufficient-attention-is-what-ive-been.html).

I'm deeply sorry for your loss. Anita done good, and we've all lost, but yours truly sucks. I'm so sorry.

(Crap LJ: I'm not anonymous in the slightest, being Gary Farber, at gary_farber@yahoo.com, http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com, all of which LJ provides no fields for, darnit.)
Dec. 30th, 2007 04:48 am (UTC)

Chrissie and I (Bruce Bower) are very sorry for your loss. While Anita's visit to Lansing was brief, we saw how devoted you were to each other here and how much you loved her and how proud you were of her. Her good deeds, her love, and how there is never enough time for saying goodbye is the lesson I've learned from reading your messages and the comments. People like Anita continue to teach even after they are gone in body.

Take care Jack and I'm glad you're laughing as you have a great laugh that should never be silent because it brings joy and laughter to others.

:: Bruce
Dec. 30th, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC)
For Anita
I never actually met Anita, but she was quite supportive of me via email when I had a pretty serious cancer scare of my own.

So warm, so generous, so supportive.

I wish you strength in recovery from your loss.
Jan. 15th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
I met Anita via a personal website not long before she met Jack. We dated once, but parted amicably when we realized we weren't a match. We exchanged emails occasionally, but eventually both moved on down our separate paths. The last time I saw her was at a reprise of the film "Space Odyssey" a few years ago. I was already seated when I saw her and Jack arrive and take their places several rows in front.

Today, just on a whim, I decided to check out her old website for the first time in years. Needless to say, I was shocked to hear of her recent passing. My condolences to Jack, Anita's sisters, and her friends.

During my brief acquaintance with Anita, it was obvious she had a love for life - especially film, music, and dancing - and an independent yet convivial spirit. Undoubtedly she will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
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