Peggy Rowley Remembrance

Peggy Rowley Remembrance

Peggy Rowley, Paul’s spouse, Keith and Mike’s mom, Brenda and Tracy’s mother-in-law, passed away peacefully on December 31, 2019.  



Peggy Ann Rowley was born April 4, 1931, in Bay City, Michigan to Herbert and Ethel (Simmerson) Dahl.  Along with some winters in Naples, Florida, Peg lived in Bay County, Michigan, her entire life.  She passed away peacefully on December 31, 2019.  


Peg married Paul Arthur Rowley June 23, 1951.  Together they celebrated 68 anniversaries and were blessed with 4 children, 9 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild.



Their children are Mitzi (Robert) Dimitroff, Kathleen (Jon) Staudacher, Keith (Brenda) Rowley, Michael (Tracy) Rowley. 


Grandchildren: Deborah (John) Baumann, Joshleen Denham, Daniel (Sara) Dimitroff, Zachary Rowley (Jessica Schuhrke), Chelsearae (Doug) Beckman, Seth Rowley (Brittany Shoemaker), Carleigh Rowley (Michael Gollin), and Camren Rowley.


Great-grandchildren: Taylor Rezmer, Grace, Charlie, Samantha and Emma Dimitroff, Aiden Baumann, Madalynn Dow and Ethan Denham.


Great-great-grandchild: Nicholas Dimitroff.


Peg was pre-deceased by her parents Herbert and Ethel, her in-laws Arthur and Erma (Nickel) Rowley, and grandchild David Dimitroff.


She was a great wife, mom, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother, and community volunteer.


Peg’s lifelong love of music began at age 5 when she started playing violin.  An early music scholarship enabled Peg to attend Interlochen.  She valued people believing in her and, as a result, she wanted to give back to the community.  She played in concert and pit orchestras, and with a string quartet, the rest of her life.


Peg graduated from Central High School in 1949 and Bay City Junior College in 1951.  She worked with her husband, Paul, and her in-laws for a family business; Rowley Brothers. 


Peg was an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Bay City, Michigan, and Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church of Naples, Florida.  She directed a church choir for over ten years and a hand bell choir for over twenty years.


Peg was driven by a love of her community and had a passion for volunteer community service.  She was skillful in giving other people the “opportunity” to donate and be part of wonderful projects.  She rarely heard “no” for an answer, as she was passionate, loving, caring, and had knack for getting other people involved; to enable projects to endure long after her involvement.



With the help of other dedicated individuals, Peg founded the Bay Music Foundation, Bay Arts Council, and school skating and visiting artists programs.  She co-founded Bay Concert Band and the Bay City Fireworks Festival, and supervised the establishment of the Bay Area Community Foundation. 



Peg was an active volunteer fundraiser for the World Friendship Shell, the Ring of Friendship Fountain, Jennison Nature Center, Tobico Marsh Interpretive Area, The Friends of Bay City State Recreation Area, the Saginaw Bay Visitors Center, The Arts Center / Studio 23, the Skatepark, the historic State Theatre, Riverwalk, the Riverwalk Pier, Railtrail, the Loop Trail, the Riverwalk crooked bridge (which Peg liked to call the Cridge), and for the recent First Presbyterian Church Soar & More campaign.


Peg was also active with the Saginaw Valley State College (now University) Board of Fellows, and served on the Michigan Governor’s Art Awards Committee and the Squires Foundation Board, which focused on grants to benefit persons with disabilities.


Peg was honored by inclusion in the Bay City Central High School Hall of Fame and to represent Bay City in 1981 at the All-American City Competition.  She was the recipient of many awards and recognition including: Junior of the Year by the Bay City Junior Women’s Club (1974), the President’s Award from Downtown Bay City, Inc. (1980), devotion to others by The Bay City Times (1980), community enrichment by Mayor Hachtel (1981), Appreciation of Superior Service from Bay Area Chamber of Commerce (1981), Woman of the Year from Beta Sigma Phi (1983), Peggy Rowley Day in Bay City by Mayor Salogar (Oct. 18, 1983), citations for community leadership and service from Michigan House and Senate (1983), Bay County Great American Family Award (1984), Princess Wenonah Award from YWCA (1985), Volunteer Leadership Award from Governor Blanchard (1985), United Way Carl Weber Volunteer Award (1986), Salvation Army Community Service Award (1986), Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Golden Frog Award (1987), Arts Foundation of Michigan Patrons Award (1988), NAACP Human Service Award (1989), Daughters of the American Revolution Medal of Honor (1990), Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame (1991), Garden Club Civic Improvement Award (1991), Mid-Michigan NSFRE Outstanding Volunteer Award (1991), Northwood University’s Distinguished Woman Award (1992), a Mitten Bay Girl Scout Award (1998), the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Brick Award (1999) and Athena Award (2005), and an Outstanding Philanthropists Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (2005).


In 1996, the Bay Area Community Foundation established the Peggy Rowley Community Service Award in recognition of those who have shown commitment to assuring our community’s future.  Peg was given the first award.


Peg’s family extends our appreciation and gratitude to the staff of Sheffield Bay Assisted Living and Bay Shores Senior Care, where Peg spent some recent time, for their compassion and professionalism.  At Peg’s request, and because she felt blessed to have been in remission from cancer for 30 years, her body has been offered for medical research.


A memorial service will take place at the State Theatre in Bay City, Michigan, on Sunday, January 5, 2020, at 4:00 p.m.  In lieu of flowers, the family has designated the Bay Area Community Foundation for memorial contributions.

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