Gwendolyn Marie Rowlands
Gwendolyn Marie Rowlands
  • December 9, 1931 - June 13, 2017
  • Lutz, Florida

Share This Obituary

Gwendolyn York Rowlands was born in Bowling Green, Ohio on December 9, 1931 to Michal and James M. York. She was raised on the family farm in Greenfield, Ohio and attended McClain High School. She was a cheerleader throughout high school as well as a member of the school’s marching and concert bands. In her senior year Gwen was elected Homecoming Queen of McClain High School as well as FFA Queen for the state of Ohio.

After graduating high school in 1950, she attended Miami University of Ohio for one year. In 1951 she transferred to Ohio State University and was elected Homecoming Queen that fall. Gwen loved her years at Ohio State. After earning her degree in Dental Hygiene in 1954 she began her dental hygiene career in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was in Cincinnati that she met her husband of 58 years, David T. Rowlands, Jr. Shortly after marrying in 1958, she and her husband moved to Key West, Florida where he served in the Navy. She continued her employment as a hygienist while in Key West and ultimately retired from the profession once she became a mother. As her husband’s career in academics and medicine advanced, she and her family moved around the country residing in Denver, Colorado, New York City, Durham, North Carolina and Wayne, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Philadelphia). In 1982, she and her family moved to Tampa, Florida where her husband was the Chairman of the Department of Pathology at University of South Florida until he retired.

Gwen devoted her life to her two daughters, Julie Marie Rowlands Lewis and Carolyn Jane Rowlands Vegas. Once her children were grown she returned to playing flute and piccolo in the Tampa area. Gwen was a long time member of several community music groups including the New Hope United Methodist Church Orchestra and the Carrollwood Winds.

Throughout her life she was a devoted daughter and mother, an avid sports fan, and lover of music. She never met a stranger and her love of people and of her Ohio State Buckeyes will endure forever.