Harvey John Rowland passed away on January 20, 2017.
He was born on June 21, 1921, to Harry and Lela Rowland in Vassar, Michigan. He was the oldest of four siblings which have all preceded him in death, Harry Jr, Perry, Beulah, and Harvey.
He is survived by his two children, Janet (Jim) Bentley and Jim (Pattie) Rowland; two grandchildren, Amanda (Michael) Beddow and Michael Bentley; three great-grandchildren, Evan and Carter Beddow and Taylor Bentley.
He was raised in Vassar where he grew up working in his dad’s gas station and repair shop. He graduated from high school and was working at an automobile factory when he saw that WW II was coming. He didn’t want to be drafted and possibly be in the Navy or Army, so he enlisted in the Army Air Corps.
He got his papers and was sent to boot camp and then onto Hawaii as a cadet. He was stationed at Wheeler Field and was on guard duty at one of the gates the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. He saw the planes come over and bomb and strafe Wheeler Field. Later, on a dare, he took the test to become a pilot and passed. That sent him back to the states and trained to fly the B17. He got his wings and picked up his crew and was sent to England. When he got there, he was immediately sent on his first mission as a pilot of a B17. His first mission was D-Day! He continued to fly 35 missions over Europe and was sent home.
When he got home, he married the love of his life, whom he wouldn’t marry before the war, for fear of leaving her a widow. He and Beatrice Peterson were married on October 28, 1944. They were sent to Yuma, AZ to finish out his stint in the Army Air Corps. After being there, they came back home and moved into her parents’ house in Grayling. Then in 1949 they built their house on The Ole Dam Road. There they raised their two children, Janet and Jim. They lived there till Beatrice passed away in 2002 and Harvey moved into Senior Living in 2008.
Harvey worked for many years at Grayling Lumber and Supply which his father-in-law owned. He then moved on and got into selling real estate where he worked until he retired.
He and Bea had many years in retirement, traveling in their tricked out van, visiting all of the States. They also made it to Alaska and Hawaii to complete seeing all 50 states. They went to Europe, too, to visit Denmark along with some of the other Scandinavian countries.
Harvey was one of the original stock holders and founding fathers in the Grayling Country Club. I still remember caddying for him when I was little and he would let me hit a few on some of the back holes. That is where I learned to love the game of golf which I still play today because of him. This is just one example of the many things he taught us and helped us in his own way. He was a great father to us. Always there to help us, or support us in whatever we did. Dad so loved to meet and talk to people. He also so enjoyed telling jokes and teasing you. Being his children though, we learned early on to look for the twinkle in his eye and the little crack of a smile at the corner of his mouth. That was the giveaway that he was teasing you!!
Grayling, and the whole world has lost a wonderful man. Dad, we miss you and Mom and love you both so much. At Harvey’s request, there will be no formal funeral. We will have a celebration of his life at a future date and will let you know when. We know this is a big loss for the whole town of Grayling because he touched so many lives with his kindness and humor.
Condolences may be sent to www.sorensonlockwood.com Arrangements by Sorenson-Lockwood Funeral Home.