William Lewis Rowe, III


William "Bill" Lewis Rowe III, born May 7th, 1931, in Montclair, N.J., passed peacefully on Monday, May 28th, 2019, at the age of 88, with his loving family by his side.
Bill, the son of William Lewis Rowe II and Eleanor Zabriskie Rowe, is survived by his loving wife, Katharine Daley "Bunny," a.k.a. "Darling!"; his two daughters, Kimberly Rowe Manion and Heather Rowe Ambrose, who he couldn't have been more proud of; his two "luggage-carrying and picture-taking" sons-in-law, Tim Ambrose and Dennis Manion; his two spirited granddaughters, Elizabeth "Ella" and Anna "Annie" Manion; his sister and brother-in-law, Frances "Toby" and Floyd "George" Hohenstein; and his nieces Anne Wilkinson and Cynthia Davis and their families.
Bill proudly served in the U.S. Army in Germany during the Korean War. After college he moved to Plattsburgh in the early 1960s to open Rowe Buick with his father. It's in Plattsburgh where he met his beautiful wife, Bunny. This led to a 57 year marriage filled with adventure after adventure and more love than you can imagine.
When the car business wasn't any fun anymore, Bill got out. With Bunny at his side, they built a successful boat business, Rowe Boats International. They ran their business as a team, something only few married couples can successfully accomplish. In addition to the boat business, they turned the car dealership into a commercial property currently known as Adirondack Plaza.
Bill loved to ski every winter weekend with his family at Whiteface. During the summer months, he spent his weekends on Lake Champlain on a variety of boats called "Crisis" (just imagine how they came up with that name), "Spirit of Valcour" and "Ghost of Valcour," and always with his family. On the sailboat race course, he was a fierce competitor.
Bill loved to tell stories about the history of Lake Champlain, especially the Battle of Valcour, which took place in front of his house. His fascination with the Battle and Benedict Arnold, led him to name his boats "Benedict Arnold" and then "Dark Eagle," Arnold's code name.
Serving the community was important to Bill. He was an Honorary Commander with the Plattsburgh Air Force Base, Commander in the Lake Champlain Coast Guard Auxiliary, a member of the Board of Directors of the Clinton County Historical Association, and a lifetime member of the Valcour Sailing Club. With 56 years of distinguished service with Rotary, and having received Rotary's highest honors, he was active with Rotary until the very end. Bill was extremely proud of his service to the community.
While he was the consummate gentleman and a stickler for manners, Bill ran with a posse of "bad actors," his loyal and long-term friends, who helped him create a lifetime of stories. Anyone who knew him has at least one great story to tell. It's these memories that will help remember a man who was larger than life.
A Celebration of His Life will be held on Sunday, June 9th from 1 to 4 p.m. Friends of Bill and his family are welcome. Go to www.mauinorth.net/billrowe/ for more information.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill's memory may be made to the Clinton County Historical Association or Rotary.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Brown Funeral Home, Plattsburgh.
Online condolences may be offered at www.brownfuneralhomeinc.com
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Published on May 29, 2019
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14 posts

Sean Moynihan
Jul 10, 2019
Kim and Heather: I remember we had a field trip from Campus School to your dad's car dealership. He opened up a hood and explained what all the parts of an engine did. I thought it--and he--was fascinating. Please accept my sincerest condolences... Sean Moynihan, Denver CO
Ray O'Mara, Major General, USAF, Retired
Jun 13, 2019
I first met Bill and Bunny during my first of three tours at Plattsburgh AFB in the early 70s. They were among the most enthusiastic supporters of the men and women assigned to Plattsburgh. From participation is social events to financial support of projects to improve the morale of our men and women, Bill and Bunny were in the front of the line. I'm sorry that Bill is no longer among us but his legacy will remain in the hearts of those who knew him while serving at Plattsburgh AFB.
Rasha Samir Elsaid
Jun 09, 2019
Extending my most heartfelt sympathy to Mr Dennis, Mrs Kim, Mrs Kathrine, Ella, Annie, family and friends . the loss of someone dear to us is never easy, but those we love don't go a way, they walk besaide us every day, I will prayers for him
I had the Honor to meet Mr William Rowe , twice when he viste Egypt_Mansoura. Until now, I remember him as a great man and the most gentleman I ever met. When some one you love become a memory the memory becomes a treasure, There is a memory of conversation between Mr. Bill and my father The two were in the armed forces Each one of them tells his memories the conversation becom interesting Mr. Bill gave credit to my father I remember he said to him y
...ou are best of the best. I salute you Mr Bill you are also the best of the best. I was very proud and honored to met you Sir.Read more
Helmut Besser
Jun 09, 2019
I am very sad to hear about the passing of Bill Rowe. There are so many memories, being fierce competitors racing our boats on Lake Champlain, and the famous after race parties at his beautiful house, which was always open to guests when needed. He was a true gentleman, and the best friend you could have. He will be very much missed. My condolences to Bunny, Kim, Heather and families.
Maria Saleh
Jun 07, 2019
My heartfelt condolences to family and friends, especially to Kim Rowe Manion, Ella, Annie and Dennis Manion.
I had the Honor and Pleasure, to meet William Rowe and Kathrine Daley , for a one day sightseeing trip in the Nile Delta/Egypt. Until now, I remember him as the perfect gentleman, and the most appreciate "sight seer", I have shown around my little corner of Egypt. Having met him only for a day, and feeling really sad to hear of his passing, I can't even imagine, how much he will be missed by his family and friends.
Trish OBrien
Jun 07, 2019
Bill and Bunny and their daughter daughter Kim and her husband Dennis have had such an incredible impact on my life!! From leaf peeping to sailboat races, readying the cannon, visits to the famous car ...I think ‘big red?’, boating in Turkey complete with Turkish military and wooden boat races and flooding wooden boats, rum and cokes, north for the fourth, weddings (2!!), camping, Bill-isms, the list is never ending. Bill was an amazing presence, the most lively personality, genuinely happy, and an absolute fun person to be with. Accepting and loving and always ready for a party. His enormous presence and bigger than life self will be forever missed and never forgotten. ❤️❤️❤...❤️Read more
Judy Murphy-Gorman and Russ Niquette
May 31, 2019
We are so sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. We were close neighbors since 1978. The Rowes are a wonderful family. Russ will attend the memorial, however, I will be out of town until late Sunday afternoon. Best wishes to Bunny, Kim, Heather and families. He will be missed.
Jon Cooper
May 30, 2019
I met Bill when I moved to Plattsburgh and worked for Champlain Bank. He was a pleasure to deal with. He also helped me with Rotary when we ran the bed races. At the last minute when it looked like we were going to have mechanical problems, Bill stepped right in and got the beds fixed and ready to race. He took me on boat rides and I will never forget the ride he, bunny and my wife enjoyed cruising in my boat around Lake Placid.
Bill was a true gentlemen and someone I felt blessed in knowing.
Jim Buran
May 30, 2019
I have such fond memories of Bill coming to my parent's house when had holiday parties around Christmas time. He was an unforgettable character. My whole family will miss him. My condolences to his family.
The Kabeli Family
May 30, 2019
Kim and Heather,
So sorry for the loss of your father. The wonderful memories you share will hopefully comfort you during this time.
Betsy Mason Hedlund
May 30, 2019
Bill was a dear friend of the Mason family for over 50 years and a wonderful nextdoor neighbor for 10 of those years. We will never forget you, Bill.
Sue Getman
May 30, 2019
So sad to learn of Bill’s passing. Great guy. Good friend of my Bill too.
David A Boucher
May 30, 2019
Kim, I am very sorry for your loss. UPS Dave.
Rev. Dr. Alan C. Rhodes
May 29, 2019
Please accept our sincere condolences at this difficult time. My late father bought several cars from Bill and his father over the years, one of which I learned to drive on. May God bless and comfort you all.