Dr. Robert O. Rowlette, 89, of Maryville, MO, passed away on Sunday, March 15, 2020 in Kansas City, MO.
Bob was born on the family farm, northwest of Maitland, MO, on July 11, 1930 to Susan and Lloyd Rowlett. He graduated as valedictorian from Maitland High School in 1948. After attending his freshman year at McPherson College, he transferred to Northwest Missouri State University and graduated in 1952 with a degree in English. He joined the Air Force as a cadet and served during the Korean War.
In 1955, Bob married Annie Lou Cowan at the Presbyterian Church in Maitland, MO.
He continued his education at the University of Colorado receiving a Master of Arts in American Literature in 1957. He received a PhD from the University of Kansas in American Literature with a concentration on American humorists, especially the writings of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain).
Bob accepted a three-year appointment at the University of Cincinnati where he discovered his love of teaching. He continued his teaching career at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN where he was voted most popular professor and received two promotions in his first year. He also taught at Kansas University, Pace University in Pleasantville, NY, and Northwest Missouri State University. Besides teaching, he authored many articles published in varied academic journals in addition to his book relating to interpretations of Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson.
A member of the First Presbyterian Church in Maryville, MO, Bob served on the Board of Trustees and a term as church Treasurer. He was an avid reader, dedicated runner and sports enthusiast - particularly for the Missouri Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals. He also had a love and deep appreciation for the beauty of nature and the adventure of travel.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Betty Elam. Survivors include his wife Dr. Ann Rowlette of 64 years; three daughters, Cretia (Scott) Meier, Sterling, VA, Kristen (Rob) St. Thomas, and Nicole Rowlette, Kansas City, MO; grandsons Luca and Nico St. Thomas; sister, Marjorie Lisbona, Kansas City, KS; nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Memorial services will include a visitation from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Thursday, March 19 at Price Funeral Home, Maryville. A graveside service will be at 1:00 PM at the Maitland Cemetery in Maitland, MO followed by a luncheon at the American Legion, also in Maitland. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care House (1500 Meadow Lake Parkway, Suite 200, Kansas City, MO 64114) kchospice.org/donation or the Alzheimer’s Association are suggested.