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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. 12th, 2007 08:50 am (UTC)
Thank you, Anita
I was nervous, new and a little out of my element when I first arrived in Seattle in January and started building a beat for the P-I about the local Web scene. Anita was the first person -- literally the first -- to introduce me to Seattle's blogging community and the wonderful people in it. By the end of the first meetup, I was at home. Everything got easier after that. Her name came up time and time again in my reporting; she reached a lot of people. Thanks for everything, Anita.

- Mónica Guzmán
Dec. 12th, 2007 02:43 pm (UTC)
Our sympathy, love, hugs and condolences to you, Riley, and your family and all who miss her. We Leungs, including the girls, are sad. I'm incredibly grateful for all Anita gave me. I met her four years ago when she linked to my blog, giving me my first link. Her generosity and grace amazed me. She nurtured community and created connections. Many of the benefits I received from blogging began with Anita's friendship. We'll treasure the times we hung out at Crossroads, riding the rides, in Seattle, at Northern Voice, at our home and yours. In my own life, I hope to reflect the love, grace, perseverance, dedication and fun she showed me. Thank you Anita. We miss you.
-Julie Leung
Dec. 12th, 2007 06:20 pm (UTC)
*hangs head ashamedly*

I should have seen this before now. Jack, I'm so sorry. She'll be missed greatly.
Dec. 12th, 2007 06:56 pm (UTC)
I just remembered this old Meetup report I posted from June 2005.

Anita Rowland and Jack William Bell were there with their grandson R—–. Ael and Erin hit it off famously with him, and all the way home, Erin was singing to herself, with the name R—– frequently worked into the lyrics.

When we got home, Erin ran to her room, picked up a couple of her stuffed animals, and informed me that "Binny has a boyfriend, and his name is R—– Rabbit. He’s a green rabbit."
Dec. 12th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
I only knew Anita through the Eastside Weblog meetups but enjoyed the meetings and appreciated her dedication, especially on those months when it was just the four of us. I never did make it to Potlatch but I did learn about several authors from her (and from you, Jack) and now whenever I read one of their books I will think of her. She was always pleasant and kind regardless of what was happening around us or what things she was going through with her cancer over the past few years; she demonstrated the kind of character most of us only read about. Like so many others, I will miss her.
Dec. 12th, 2007 07:59 pm (UTC)
Condolences and grief on my own part.

Thanks for posting, though and for asking...

My memories of Anita include when she met me at the clinic when I was having my knee MRI'ed. We had dinner out together that night, and she was so fun, frank, and so clear on her ideas and feelings. I always loved listening to her and her enthusiasm.

John and Jet and I also had a great time with her and your grandson at the pool a year or so ago. I'm so glad we took the time to meet up with them that time and I really enjoyed emailing, now and again, about our knitting projects.

Eventhough I didn't get to see her that often, what with living in Colorado now, I'll definitely miss her.

Thanks for the charity links. And I hope you and yours take care.
Dec. 12th, 2007 08:35 pm (UTC)
I met Anita at Sonny's Ballroom in Seattle on October 23, 2000. I know this because she wrote about it in her blog. She was the first person I knew who kept a blog, and I was always impressed by the way she used it in online conversations to reference previous thoughts and experiences.

I have fond memories of dancing with her and conversing with her on the old Delphi message board we frequented. We lost touch when I moved away from the Seattle area, and I'm sad that I didn't even know she had been ill.

I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to know her and be exposed to her contagious enthusiasm for life.
Dec. 12th, 2007 09:08 pm (UTC)
Jack, we send you our whole hearted sympathy in the loss of Anita. We will be back in Washington the first of January and hope to be able to attend her memorial service. Linda and Jack Howerton
Dec. 12th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
I put up a post on my blog yesterday [ http://ramsblog.wordpress.com/2007/12/11/anita-rowland/ ] when I read a message on Anita's blog. I have met her (and you Jack) at the crossroads meetup several times. I have always admired the dedication you both had and coming all the way over to crossroads, inspite sometimes we were only 3 or 4 people to stay around on those tuesdays. She always cheered others, welcomed, shared her knowledge about various topics from books to authors to learning new languages to blogging to science to computer programming, etc etc.. one of those conversations also inspired me to learn japanese that i am going through in past few weeks.
Dec. 12th, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC)
My condolences to you and Riley and Anita's extended family.
I met Anita once, but really I know her indirectly: you always light up when talking about her.

-Peter Coleman
Dec. 13th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
I never met Anita in person, just found her blog via Matthew Baldwin several years ago. She struck me as such a warm, vibrant person, with such a variety of interests that I always hoped I'd get a chance to meet her sometime. As her postings became fewer and farther between, I knew that would never happen. My heart goes out to you and to Riley, and the rest of your family as you cope with this enormous loss.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 13th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
From Art Widner
Jack, Art just posted this to the Trufen list:

Dear Jack:

My greatest sympathies to you in this darkest hour. I lost the love of my life back in '71, so I know a little of how you
must be feeling. As Robert Frost said, "the nearest you can go with any one to death comes so far short you might as well
not try to go at all." Thank you for coming to my birthday party with such a cloud hanging over you. You helped to make it
the greatest.

I have fond memories of her untiring work in provisioning the con suite at so many Potlatches. I'm sure that those who
come after her will be inspired to do likewise. c u at Potlatch in Feb.

Dec. 13th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
I am so, so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you.
Dec. 14th, 2007 08:06 am (UTC)
Sorry for being late. Lin and I were off on a vacation to San Diego. I was dreading this day for a long time; I remember last Potlatch where I ran into Jack before I saw Anita, and I was terrified; was she gone and I just hadn't heard? I was overjoyed to find Anita had only gone to take a nap. Potlatch this year is going to be hard; I'm glad we're off to a new hotel -- I find it's hard to me to think of a Seattle Potlatch con suite without Anita there.
Dec. 14th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
Farewell, Anita
If it weren't for Anita, the regular blog meetups probably wouldn't be nearly as regular, and I wouldn't have met a fair number of people I know in this area now. I haven't been to a meetup in quite a while, and now it's just going to feel wrong walking into Ralph's knowing she's not there. But I'll be there next Wednesday.
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