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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 06:58 am (UTC)
I hadn't seen Anita in years (back in her travel-to-dance days) but am sad that that won't be remedied. My thoughts are with you.
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:01 am (UTC)
Anita will be missed,
Not only for her smile but for her good attitude.

My condolences jack.
John A.
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:01 am (UTC)
I am so sorry for your loss Jack, it's been years since I've seen Anita, but she is a fixture in my memories of the early days of Seattle's swing scene. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Dec. 11th, 2007 07:10 am (UTC)
My condolences on your loss. I read Anita from time to time, was always touched by what she had to say. There are no adequate words, just that hollow sense of loss that although it may feel yours alone, is shared by many of us.

I'm sorry that I'm not able to be there to celebrate her life with you, but rest assured I'll be there in spirit.
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:11 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry to hear this, Jack. I was glad to see her a few times this summer. Hang in there, and my condolences.
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:18 am (UTC)
I met Anita only a few times and can't begin to imagine the enormity of this loss. My condolences to you and your family.
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:21 am (UTC)
I only met her once, but I felt like I'd met a celebrity. Anita was a pioneer in the blogging/tech/online space, and she will be sorely missed. My deepest condolences to you and your family.
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:24 am (UTC)
It's impossible for me to think of Anita without also thinking of your grandson R. The Jesuits say "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man." R is only five, but I think it is safe to say that Anita's positive influence on him will be lifelong.
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:28 am (UTC)
My heart goes out to you, Jack. She was an extraordinary soul and will never be forgotten by anyone lucky enough to have known her.

I've shared a few memories of Anita on my LJ.
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:28 am (UTC)
There is a temptation...
...at times such as these to say that there is a little less light in the world today. But the plain facts of the matter are that there is considerably more light in today's world, because Anita brought it out in so many other people. We never "met", but I am ever-so-pleased to have known her through her words for so long a time.

My thoughts are with you, Jack, and with all those who filled Anita's book of days.
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:29 am (UTC)
Jack - Reading these comments, I am reminded of all the communities that Anita was a vibrant part of. There is no one in Seattle that I would see in so many different contexts: at the opera, at the Film Festival, at Webgrrls and Digital Eve, at Microsoft, at SF conventions, at Clarion West readings, on the Web, in mail art (thanks for reminding me, Luke), at Cacaphony Society events, and of course at Vanguard parties -- she was everywhere, and everywhere she was, she was known for her goodness and humor.

The only place I never saw her was swingdancing, and that's only because I never went swingdancing.

I will expect to see her everywhere. And I will find her on the web.

My condolences to you and Riley and her family.

Eileen Gunn
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:46 am (UTC)
goodbye, my friend
i first met anita (and also you, jack - i was there with lucy huntzinger, and you brought the scotch, i believe) at worldcon in san jose. she was a wonderful dancer, an amazing person, a joyous being, and one of the first people to read my angsty little webpage. she always had something lovely, supportive, thought-provoking, and interesting to say, and i will always remember her. my condolences to you, your family, and to all who never got the chance to meet her.

- trish
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:48 am (UTC)
My condolences, Jack. I'm so sad to read this.

Anita and I met through online journaling and had many a fine chat in our journals, at lunches at Orycons, and organized a Seattle journalers' meetup sometime around 1999. She had just started getting involved in swing dancing. I loved how much she loved dancing.

--Lucy Huntzinger

Edited at 2007-12-11 04:40 pm (UTC)
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:50 am (UTC)
She was always unfailing cheerful and full of reassurances for anyone who needed them when she posted at TUS. I'll miss seeing her username and knowing that reassurance and a calming energy would be in that post.
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:50 am (UTC)
Anita was a role model for me
I loved the way she could be feisty and opinionated without ever being in the least ungracious. She brought out the best in everyone and created social environments in which many of us made life-changing connections. She will always be an inspiration.

Jack, my deepest sympathies to you and your family.

—Karen G. Anderson
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