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Friday, May 6, 2016

Loys Dwight (Skeeter) Rowen

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

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Loys Dwight (Skeeter) Rowen was born Nov. 23, 1925, the son of Prospro LeRoy (Skeet) and Ora Belle (Couch) Rowen at Newell, Iowa. He passed away Friday, August 31, 2012 at Silveridge Assisted Living, Denison, at age 86 from complications of pulmonary fibrosis and congestive heart failure.

Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, September 4, 2012, at First United Methodist Church, Denison, Iowa, with the Rev. Alberta Ervin officiating. Military Honors were provided by the American Legion Post 8, Denison, with Father Paul Kelly playing "Taps." Graveside rites and burial were held at 3 p.m., Tuesday, The Pfannebecker Funeral Home, www.pfannebecker.com, Denison, Iowa, was in charge of arrangements where a Masonic Service, conducted by Ronald Frahm and Sylvan Lodge No. 507, A.F. & A.M., Denison, was held at 6 p.m., Monday, Sept. 3.

Loys married Marjorie Martin August 17, 1947 at the Congregational Church, Newell. They had a fantastic 65th anniversary celebration. They were blessed with three children before Marjorie contracted polio in 1952, two days before their fifth anniversary. She was hospitalized fifteen months at Sioux City and Warm Springs, Ga.

Loys enlisted in the US Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet in October, 1943 and began service after graduation from high school at Newell in May of 1944. He entered Aerial Gunner School at Las Vegas, Nevada and trained as a Ball Turret gunner on a B17 at Ardmore, Oklahoma. In March, 1945 he went to B29 Gunner School, Ardmore, Okla. He saw the first atomic explosion on July 16, 1945 at White Sands, N.M. He took pictures of the Enola Gay at Roswell, N.M. He was discharged from the Army Air Corps June, 1946 at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Loys attended the Electronic Television and Radio School in Omaha to learn telegraphy. He did his student training for the Illinois Central Railroad with his dad in Newell. He worked on the extra board relieving operators, agents and then tower men at East Dubuque, Illinois. After one and one half years at Wren Tower near Hinton, Loys worked in Cherokee, from April, 1950 to October, 1974 as ticket clerk, telegrapher and called the conductors and brakemen for the cabooses. He was the Iowa District Chairman for the Order of Railway Telegraphers (ORT). When elected General Secretary Treasurer of Brotherhood of Railway and Airline Clerks (BRAC) in Chicago to represent 800 railroad agents and clerks, he moved to Bourbonnais, Illinois.

Loys retired June, 1986 and moved to Denison on July 19, 1989.

While in Cherokee, he became a 33rd degree Mason and is a past Master of Speculative Lodge 307. He was active with the Little League and Boy Scouts. He was also a member of the Sylvan Lodge 507 in Denison, belonged to the ABU BEKR Shrine in Sioux City and wore Clem the dog suit for the animal unit. He helped with Denison Cub Scouts and the Donna Reed Festival set decorations when the grandchildren were involved.

His favorite hobbies were gardening, and giving away green beans, cucumbers and tomatoes; woodworking, including making frames for Marjorie's needlework, making toys and making comical gadgets to give away. He was known for his pot roast and whipped potatoes and giving peanut brittle and peppernuts away for Christmas. He would tape the church service to take to shut-ins. He enjoyed traveling during retirement, wintering in Texas, Arizona, and California. He and Marjorie also spent time on three cruises which traveled the Caribbean, Panama Canal and Alaska.

He was a member of Golden K and president for one year. He was the president of the Morse Telegraph Club Fremont Chapter for several years. When Samuel Morris sent "What hath God wrought" in 1850, it was the original text message. Loys and Marjorie enjoyed giving telegraph demonstrations at the restored depot at Cherokee and Woodbine and the Thresherman's show at Albert City.

Loys is preceded in death by his parents, little brother Addy, brother, Nathan, sister-in-law Pauline, sister Delia and brother-in-law Rothe Witter.

He is survived by his wife Marjorie, son Philip and Candy Rowen of Great Falls, Mont., daughters Marla and Rick Franck of Denison and Barbara and Ken Chen of Great Falls, Va., eight grandchildren, five great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.