Sandra Helene Rowe, 78, resident of Mequon, Wisconsin and formerly of Oskaloosa, Iowa, died Saturday, July 23rd, 2022, at Alexian Village Health Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was born on October 16th, 1943, the only child and daughter of Herman and Helen (De Prenger) Douwstra in Oskaloosa. After Herman’s untimely passing at the age of 37, she and her mother moved to Leighton to live with her maternal grandparents. She began school at Pleasant Ridge Rural School near Leighton, the third generation of her family to attend in that building. Subsequently, she attended Whittier School in Oskaloosa, and ultimately graduated from Oskaloosa High School with the Class of 1961. She attended William Penn College for a short time, studying business and financial management. On December 27th, 1961, she married Larry Rowe at Central Reformed Church in Oskaloosa. They made their home in Oskaloosa for nearly 30 years until Larry died suddenly on December 9th, 1989. As a young widow, Sandy passionately pursued a full-time career in finance for over 25 years at Iowa Trust and Savings Bank, now TruBank. This culminated in her role as Vice President of Banking and Finance in the company, a well-deserved reward for her years of hard work and dedication for her company and the people of Oskaloosa.
She was active in many community activities and organizations, including serving on the boards for the Oskaloosa Chamber of Commerce, MHP Hospice Serenity House, and the Oskaloosa Municipal Housing Board. Through the Gamma Delta Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, she engaged in community outreach projects. She was passionate about the Miss America Pageant program and worked with the local Miss Mahaska Pageant as well as serving as a field director for the Miss Iowa Pageant. Her faith was important to her, and she was a member of the First Christian and Central Reformed Churches for many years, teaching Sunday School and serving on many committees. She was a devoted wife, mother, daughter and balanced the demands and responsibilities of home and the workplace admirably. Her granddaughters were the love of her life, and she was so proud of all of them. She was a lover of music, especially jazz standards by Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole and Julie London. She enjoyed Iowa Hawkeyes football and basketball, as well as trivia, card and board games. Sandy loved the gifts of joyful social interactions, a great story, and lively interactive conversation. She will be mourned and missed by numerous family members and friends.
She is survived by her son, Bruce (Laura) Rowe of Mequon, Wisconsin; Her daughter, Monica Holt of Des Moines, Iowa and her partner David Czarnecki of Logan, Iowa; Four granddaughters, Allison Rowe and fiancé Joseph Clemens of Madison, Wisconsin; Chelsea Rowe of Arlington, Virginia; Julia Rowe of Mequon, Wisconsin, and Claire Holt of Des Moines. She was preceded in death by her parents, Herman and Helen Douwstra, as well as her beloved husband, Larry Rowe.
Per Sandy’s wishes, her body has been cremated. Funeral services will be held at Bates Funeral Chapel in Oskaloosa on Saturday, August 6th, 2022. Visitation will be from 9-11 AM, followed by a brief memorial service. A private internment of the urn will be at Evergreen Cemetery in Leighton. Memorial Gifts may be made to MHP Hospice Serenity House, Oskaloosa, Iowa.