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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. 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.
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:48 am (UTC)
Oh, Jack, I'm so sorry to hear this. Anita will be missed by many.

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.

Wes Kim
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.
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.

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

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
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:20 am (UTC)
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."
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:27 am (UTC)
Here's Anita at the Ramen Museum in Yokohama.

Dec. 11th, 2007 06:32 am (UTC)
I'm sorry.
On a different order of magnitude, I'm sorry that I don't have anything especially memorable or comforting to say. This is a dark enough solstice already.
Now I'll go to the potlatch page and contact the con suite to see if there's anything particularly Chicago I might bring.

Neil in Chicago
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:33 am (UTC)
An old friend
Very sad to hear this news ... I haven't seen Anita for years, but remember her well from Microsoft, movies, and swing dance. She was a skilled and graceful dancer. Wishing you every comfort in this difficult time.
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:44 am (UTC)
My Condolences
My condolences to you, Riley, and the rest of your family.

eric (wiredfool)
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:46 am (UTC)
I'm really at a loss for words, and that's a rare thing for me. I don't know how to capture her in words or memories, only that she was one of the kindest people I knew, and one who always found ways to get people to engage with each other. Rara avis.

My deepest condolences to you and Riley and the rest of the family.

Dylan W.
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:47 am (UTC)
Hang in there
I only met Anita a few times at meetups, but you could instantly tell she was the glue and the warm welcome and the person who made people link together.

She of all people really is a blog queen.

My best to you and her family.

Betsy Aoki
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:48 am (UTC)

trueunicorness and I met her and you via the blog Meetups at Crossroads Mall. Her blog was compelling enough for me to keep up with it and so I got to know her better.

Even though I saw her only a few times I still remember her very well—she made that much of an impact. :)
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