Doyle B. Rowley July 10, 1926 ~ June 20, 2023
DOYLE B. ROWLEY PASSES: WWII VET, EDUCATOR, FAMILY MAN
Doyle Benson Rowley, 96, died June 20, 2023 in Farmington, Utah. He was born July 10, 1926 in Parowan, Utah to W. Clair and Roberta Rowley. They taught him to sacrifice for his country; love the beauties of nature; prize education; and live the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Clair and Berta’s Kids” worked together, played together and sang together. Descendants treasure memories of laughter-filled reunions, each capped by a family talent show. It has been observed that “when three or more Rowleys get together, there’s an instant roadshow.”
Doyle grew up during the Great Depression. At the age of 17, he joined the Navy during World War II. He served as an Electrician’s Mate in the European and Pacific theaters of operation on destroyer escort ships.
In 2015, he was thrilled to be part of an Honor Flight program, which takes groups of WWII veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit patriotic sites and receive recognition at an honors banquet.
After the war ended, the GI bill helped Doyle attend college, initially at Cedar City’s Branch Agricultural College (now Southern Utah University). There, his love of swing music and musical theater expanded into a passion for classical music and grand opera. He performed in several productions, including his favorite, “La Bohème.”
Doyle received his Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in 1952 and accepted a job teaching science and mathematics at Monticello High School in Monticello, Utah. Soon after, he was asked to dance with Marilyn Redd in a Gold and Green Ball floorshow. Love bloomed, and remains ever strong.
Doyle and Marilyn were married for eternity in the St. George Temple on Dec. 29, 1954, and spent 67 happy years together in Monticello. His devotion to her was legendary; he was devastated by her passing 18 months ago.
Doyle and Marilyn have four children: Celia, Klaire, Leslie and Eric. Our Dad’s love of adventure and the natural world led to many memorable family explorations of San Juan County’s most remote reaches. He taught us the names of plants, animals and geologic features, and made it fun. His love of canyon vistas and rugged Jeep trails prompted a repeated reminder from Mom: “We’ll watch the scenery. You watch the road.”
Doyle threw his heart into his teaching career and took every opportunity to improve his education. Generations of students at MHS benefited from his efforts to bring top educational opportunities to Monticello.
He received a master’s degree from the University of Utah in 1965 and was awarded numerous post-graduate fellowships for summer studies at universities around the nation; Marilyn kept things running at home during his absences.
The family joined him for two summer stints at California’s Stanford University and one at University of Wisconsin in Madison. These studies kept his MHS classroom on the cutting edge of new developments — such as computer coding, which his students began learning in the early 1970s.
In 1985, Doyle received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching, presented at the White House in Washington, D.C.
He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree from College of Eastern Utah in 1987, the year of his retirement after 33 years of teaching at MHS.
For many years, he has funded a scholarship given annually to MHS’s top senior and junior high math students.
Church and community service were hallmarks of Doyle’s life. He served as a bishop’s counselor in Monticello Second Ward; as executive secretary of Monticello Stake; as an ordinance worker in the Monticello Temple; and in many other capacities.
He and Marilyn worked tirelessly to bring cultural programs to Monticello, first through Community Concert Association and later through Blue Mountain Entertainment. He loved singing tenor in men’s quartets and the Monticello Second Ward Choir.
Family was our Dad’s top priority. He found joy in creating fun for his children and their families. His serious demeanor as a teacher contrasted sharply with his gentle and light-hearted approach to fatherhood, which included a constant stream of silly puns. Each generation of little ones enjoyed hearing bedtime stories told with all the voices and being rocked to sleep by Dad/Granddad as he sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and other favorites.
Granddad was adored for giving Jeep rides; churning homemade ice cream; fixing up bicycles; and conceiving and designing our family’s beloved 6R Cabin at the base of Blue Mountain.
He used his computer to make personalized birthday and special-occasion cards for each member of his 60-plus progeny, a practice he continued until the last few weeks of his life. Each person’s collection of cards is a lasting testament of his love.
During the past year, Doyle enjoyed a rich new life chapter at Legacy House of Park Lane in Farmington, Utah. His proximity to many family members in the area blessed their lives.
Doyle participated joyfully in Legacy House activities and in the church branch there. He found precious friends among people of his own generation who mourn his passing. We are grateful to Legacy House and Inspiration Hospice for the tender care our dad received in his final days.
Doyle is survived by a sister, Claire Dale Welti; a brother, Donald Benson Rowley; children and spouses Celia (Walt) Baker, Klaire (Robert) Dustin, Leslie Buchanan, and Eric (Brenda) Rowley; 13 grandchildren; 35 great-grandchildren; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn R. Rowley; parents, W. Clair and Roberta Rowley; a sister, Afton Topham; brothers Robert, Austin (Rick), Rodney and Douglas Rowley; and two grandsons, Curtis Buchanan and Logan Rowley.
Funeral services will be Saturday July 1 at 11 a.m. in the Monticello North Chapel, 347 N. 200 W. under direction of San Juan Mortuary. Friends may call at the chapel from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on the day of the service. Interment with military honors will follow the service at the Monticello Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Doyle B. Rowley Mathematics Scholarship Fund at Monticello High School.
Checks may be made to the order of SJSD Educational Foundation: DBR Scholarship. Mail them to San Juan School District/DBR Scholarship; 200 N. Main St.; Blanding, UT 84511.