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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 05:32 pm (UTC)
I met Anita on several occasions since moving to Seattle, most notably at BrainDan's holiday party over Uwajimaya, Jish's blogger meetup at Fado, and Mike Whybark's summer gathering on Capitol Hill. She was always gracious and fun, offline and on, even while giving me the business about my dislike for Dick's Drive-In or my incorrectly referring to Jane Austen as "Victorian".

As many others have said, Anita was a part of what makes Seattle great, and seemed as if she had always been here and always would be. That she is now gone does not diminish how much her presence is still felt. My heartfelt condolences to you and to Anita's family. -- Dan Engler
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC)
I first met Anita about a year ago, when she and Jack visited Austria and saw her a few time since. We have not met often but I like to think of the evenings we spent together. She was one of the reasons I was looking forward to this Seattle visit. She was a person to like---someone to connect to. Jack, I am sorry for your loss.

Dec. 11th, 2007 05:56 pm (UTC)
Goodbye, Anita. Too soon!

Dec. 11th, 2007 06:02 pm (UTC)
I never met your wife, but I read about her in Luke's journal and begin to keep up with her story.

My name is also Anita Marie and I beat cancer. It's never clear to me why some people make it and some people don't and her story makes me want to make the most of the completely random bit of luck I was given.

I'm so sorry she's gone. She sounded like a marvelous woman.
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:03 pm (UTC)
I saw it on BoingBoing
This news was like a kick in the stomach. I only knew Anita for a short time, when we were both active in the Seattle Cacophony Society. Since those days, I've just felt a little more supported, thinking that Anita was holding up that corner of the world that she was best with.

It's going to take some time to get used to the idea, but eventually, someday, I'll want to do something very silly in her honor. Until then, I'll just hold out the hope that you and everyone else who knew her can have some dignified moments to catch our collective breath.

Dec. 11th, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC)
What incredibly sad news; you have my condolences, Jack. I didn't know Anita well, but you didn't have to know her long to see how light and open her heart was. Her light was so bright, and therefore cast so far, that across these four pages of comments I'm seeing names that I know from every corner of the web. There are a lot of people who are as ubiquitous as Anita was online, but none so universally regarded with as much fondness as she was. I'm so sorry she didn't have more time on this earth.

Dec. 11th, 2007 06:51 pm (UTC)
Well, this is an emotional kick in the nuts.

I first met Anita during my days with the Seattle Cacophony Society, (so, we're going back to '93, I think). How she put up with crazy guys I have no idea (mostly with lots of eye-rolling), but she was always game for an idea. And great at helping people out. Taught me how to use rubber stamps. Was a blogger before that was a word. Encouraged me to code in raw HTML (something I've only done recently). Put the Cacophony adventures online. Was always amazingly patient.

Dec. 11th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
peace and love from vancouver
we'll miss you
i'll miss your wit and lindying with you

...Roland and Barb in Vancouver
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC)
Anita was always so nice to me, I am so saddened to hear of her passing.
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
Deepest sympathies, Jack, to you and your family. My thoughts are with you.
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
Sympathies back
I am very sorry to hear of your own recent loss Ken. In the final analysis; even if it is someone we know our entire life, we still get too little time with the ones we love...
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
A SIFF friend
I looked forward to attending the Seattle International Film Festival every year because I knew I would get a chance to hang out with my friends. The festival allowed me to catch up with people, many who I would only see at the festival. I met Anita through my friend, Allen Cohn. Allen told me, Anita was the smartest person he knew. Lofty praise coming from a University of Chicago graduate.
For several years,when I lived in Seattle, I was able to see Anita during SIFF and at the holiday gatherings at the Quinns. For a long while, I read her blog daily.
In 2007, three of my long time SIFF passholder friends have passed, Allen Cohn, Bill Kroger and now Anita.
Rest in peace Anita-I'm a better person for having known you. Doug Ing
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:31 pm (UTC)
So sorry to hear the sad news.
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:59 pm (UTC)
So sorry to hear about Anita's passing. She and I started our OLJ's in the same year, and I would see her around diary-l. She was a lovely person, and I'm sorry she's gone.
Dec. 11th, 2007 08:07 pm (UTC)
So sorry.
Anita cajoled me into going to my first con, a Potlatch a number of years ago. As someone who is lousy at talking to people I don't know, I was always a little in awe of how easy Anita made it look.
Dec. 11th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
I have been close with Anita's sister Betsy and her family since I started watching Betsy's sons (and Anita's nephews) back in 1997. Betsy was always proud of her sister and I remember her showing me Anita's website, which I've read since about 2000. Betsy and her family were living in Geneva, Switzerland at the time she showed me Anita's site and Betsy enjoyed being able to check her sister's website to see what she was up to.

My condolences to you and Anita's entire family.

-Aimee Unruh
Dec. 11th, 2007 08:47 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear that Anita is gone. Her name and kind, helpful presence is one of my earliest and longest-lasting online memories.
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