Dr. Janice Christine Robinson Rowe died at her home in Boone, N.C., in the arms of her family on September 8, 2021.
She was preceded in death by her father, Roy Blaine Robinson; her mother, Estelle Marie Nefores Robinson Fulp; and her sister, Linda Marie Robinson Creedon. Janice is survived by her husband of 49 years, Dr. Evan Keith Rowe, Jr. of Boone; her son, Evan Keith Rowe, III of Durham, NC, along with his wife Nicole Elizabeth Triche and their daughter Cecilia Wren Triche-Rowe; her daughter, Elizabeth Ann Rowe McKinney of Boone, NC, along with her daughter Mattie Grace McKinney and her twin sons Alexander Keith McKinney and Calvin Roy McKinney; and her sister Carole Anne Robinson Rhodes and her husband Peter Rhodes; as well as a large and well-loved number of cousins, in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
Janice was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and throughout her life maintained a strong bond with the city and surrounding area and its rugged beauty. She attended St. Anselm’s Catholic School until her first year of high school; moved to Uniontown for her sophomore and junior years; and in 1966, she moved to Chapel Hill, NC to complete high school as her mother entered graduate school in public health. She quickly returned to Pennsylvania however to attend Slippery Rock State University, receiving her B.A. in biology as well as meeting the love of her life in a fellow student, Evan K. Rowe, Jr. She graduated in 1971, spent the summer with her sister Linda working in Cape Cod, and the next year Janice and Evan were married on August 19th in College Park, MD. They embarked on a midwestern adventure and moved to East Lansing, MI, where Janice worked as a scanner in a high energy physics laboratory and drove what would be her favorite car, a metal flake green Volkswagen Bug while Evan pursued his master’s degree at Michigan State University. They welcomed their son Evan Keith III in 1975 and soon headed west for St. Cloud, MN, during Evan’s research for his Ph.D. Upon his graduation in the spring of 1980, the family made their way to Boone and made the small mountain town the home where they would raise their family, soon to include daughter Elizabeth Ann.
In Boone Janice began what would be a nearly 40-year career of preparing taxes with H&R Block achieving the status of Enrolled Agent, where she enjoyed the camaraderie and friendships she found in the office as much as she loved “the puzzle--finding the way to make all the numbers add up right.” She also discovered a love of teaching that would see her obtain her Red Cross Instructor certification and begin as an adjunct instructor in Emergency Response at Appalachian State University, making her way through the ranks of academia while simultaneously completing a master’s degree followed by her doctoral work in Leadership and Higher Education, receiving her Ed.D in 2005. This journey of learning and sharing knowledge of over 35 years was her absolute passion, and capped a lifetime of curiosity, wide-ranging interests, and hard work, always undertaken with the goal of giving back.
Janice fought cancer for several years, undergoing the difficult and painful treatments with her trademark sense of humor and optimism, saying often that she was “far too stubborn” for cancer to win. In the end she won; bravely pursuing treatment on her terms and never letting the disease take charge of her life. She spent a week in August with her huge extended family at an oceanfront house in Wrightsville Beach, reading on the beach and feeling the sand on her bare feet, her family at her side and the ocean before her: her favorite place. She had a very short period of gentle and generous hospice care at her home, her family surrounding her with love as she found rest when she was ready.
Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.