Our prayers go to Nancy and Bishop Rowley's family. He was well known to many in Pittsburgh.

The Rt. Rev. Robert D. Rowley, Jr., 68, formerly of Erie, died at 6:11 a.m. Monday at York (Pa.) Hospital. He was the husband of Nancy (Roland) Rowley.

Born July 6, 1941, in Cumberland, Md., a son of the late Robert D. and Alyce M. (Wilson) Rowley, he retired in 2006 as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania. He was a 1959 graduate of Saint Vincent College Preparatory School in Latrobe. He received his Bachelor's of Arts Degree and Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and Master of Laws in International Law from George Washington University. In 1977 he earned his Masters of Divinity from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest.

He was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1965, the Court of Military Appeals in 1966 and the U.S. Supreme Court in 1970. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1966 until 1974, and the U.S. Naval Reserve until 1992 when he retired as a Captain for the Judge Advocate General Corps. Bishop Rowley was ordained as a Deacon in 1977 and as a Priest in 1978. He taught at Chaminade University of Hawaii, Saint Andrews Priory School in Honolulu and Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. He also served parishes in Honolulu, and Aiea, Hawaii and as Canon to the Bishop in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

In 1989 he was elected as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania. He has served on the Presiding Bishop's Council of Advise, the Committee for Dialogue on ordination of Women, the Episcopal Church House of Bishops Rules of Order Committee, the Episcopal Church Standing Commission on Ministry Development and the Episcopal Church Title IV Review Committee. He was also past Chairman and member of the Board of Directors of Ecclesia Center in Girard, Pennsylvania; member of Advisor Board for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts of Saint Vincent College; past president of the Erie Philharmonic, and a member of the Board of Corporators of Saint Vincent Hospital and Hamot Hospital.

He was also a past member of the Erie County Bar Association, the Christian Lawyers Group of the Erie County Bar Association, and the Northwestern Pennsylvania American Inn of Court.

In addition to his wife, Bishop Rowley is survived by a daughter, Karen R. Butler and her husband, David of York; a son, Dean Rowley, and his wife Colleen, of Garnet Valley; five grandchildren, David Butler, Kellie Butler, Kendis Butler, Christopher Rowley and Jessica Rowley; two brothers, John Rowley, and his wife, Alice, of Franklin, North Carolina, and James Rowley, and his wife Mary Shea, of Atlanta, Georgia; and two nieces, Hannah and Kate Rowley.

Funeral services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday at the Episcopal Church of Saint John the Baptist, 140 N. Beaver St., York, with The Rt. Rev. Dr. Nathan Baxter, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, and The Rev. Dr. David Robson, Rector of Saint Andrews Episcopal Church, York, officiating.

Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Kuhner Associates Funeral Directors, 863 S. George St., York (the former Hahn Home). Private entombment will be in Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Saint Vincent Archabbey, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, PA 15650.

Published in the York Daily Record & York Dispatch on 1/19/2010

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