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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 08:51 pm (UTC)
I've been slow to post because I have been a little unsure what to say.

I've known Anita since I met Jack ten or so years ago. For years, I wondered what she thought of me. She always seemed a bit distant towards me, and for awhile I wondered if she disliked me. I eventually understood that it was nothing of the sort -- probably just the chemistry between us. I came to a deep affection and admiration for her, especially her courage in the face of illness.

Comments by McJulie and mareklamo really resonated with me:

McJulie said: "I think maybe the person who received the most from her grace is Riley. As a child, he needed her more than anyone else could, and she seemed to give him exactly what he needed -- a steady presence, gentle discipline, and palpable love. It was a joy to watch them together."

Mareklamo said: "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."

I see Riley as one of Anita's most important legacies, and having provided some care for Riley in the past couple of years, I feel very vested in that.

So, I will cajole and pester and support Jack, and mareklamo and I will provide more Riley care as needed. It will be our way of honoring Anita's memory.
Dec. 11th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC)
Oops. That was me.
Dec. 11th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)
I only really knew Anita through NWR, but she was an amazingly generous, loving spirit. I am deeply sad to hear of her passing, and my love and thoughts to you and all her family.
Dec. 11th, 2007 09:29 pm (UTC)
Much sympathy ...
Dec. 11th, 2007 10:20 pm (UTC)
Anita was one of the few truly nice people, and the world was better for her being in it. My condolences to you and your family for your loss.
Dec. 11th, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
sad to see her go..
She was good person and she will be sorely missed.

This morning I put a memorial to her in a commented section of code that will be used for a long time to come.

We will not forget her and neither will the machines.

John A.
Dec. 12th, 2007 12:07 am (UTC)
Re: sad to see her go..
Ah, the 'Ghost in the Machine', eh? Anita would like that.
Dec. 11th, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
I am so very sad to hear this. I'd rather lost touch with her in recent years, but she was one of the first people to make me feel welcome in Seattle when I moved here in 1990 via the Clarion West and science-fiction community. She will be missed by many.
Dec. 11th, 2007 11:30 pm (UTC)
Sad News ...
Just a quick note ... Anita's sister Betsy sent an e-mail earlier today to many of the "Kelley Cousins" (the Whatfords - my family, the Powers, the Orlins and the Clays) informing us of the sad news of Anita's passing. Our family sends our deepest sorrow and prayers and thoughts to you, Jack, and the rest of the family.

I am the eldest of the "Kelley cousins" (turned 60 this March) ... my mother Frances was a younger sister to Anita's Mom Pat ... who shared a St. Patrick's Day birthday with me and was my godmother.

The last time I actually saw Anita in oerson was at her Mom's funeral in late '89.

Please know that you are very much in our thoughts.

Love, Cousin Bob (Robert Patrick Whatford)
Dec. 11th, 2007 11:45 pm (UTC)
Your family is in my prayers.
Anita will be missed--as a mentor, an example, a woman of grace and generosity, as a human being. In sorrow, Zoe
Dec. 11th, 2007 11:46 pm (UTC)
Jack, my heart goes out to you and your family. I will miss Anita terribly and will remember her always. -- Freddie Baer
Dec. 12th, 2007 12:17 am (UTC)
I feel like a bolt just went though my heart
I used to kid her that she was the Pamela Harriman/Leticia Balridge of the Seattle blogging set. She always took that in stride and with such great humor.

She was the first person who ever linked to me.

This is such a loss.

Dec. 12th, 2007 12:27 am (UTC)
I can't imagine the Web without Anita.

Goodbye to a beautiful soul.

Dec. 12th, 2007 01:16 am (UTC)
a generous mentor to many - kindness personified to all
I heartily agree with so many previous comments - the world will miss her spirit, generosity and innovation. But I will also remember that she was funny! And creative. And damn (almost scary) smart. I am very grateful for her contributions to Webgrrls, DigitalEve and NWR over the years - she was supportive and insightful. One hell of a gal. You are all in my heart. honora wade
Dec. 12th, 2007 01:54 am (UTC)
On Behalf of Chris Pirillo..
Please watch this kind message from Chris Pirillo on youtube.


Dec. 12th, 2007 02:22 am (UTC)
I am so sorry. I only met Anita once, at the Toronto Worldcon, but have enjoyed the clarity of her online writing for years.
Dec. 12th, 2007 02:49 am (UTC)
I'll remember Anita as the most enthusiastic and generous of online journalists, oldSkool TM.

E.M. Forster wrote:

"Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height."

I think this describes Anita's attitude pretty well.

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