Tom Rowland, 72, passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 19, 2018, at his home near Freeland. He was born in Albion, Idaho. He was preceded in death by his father, Thomas Rowland, his mother, Doris Ann (Sherwood) Rowland, and his stepmother Norine (Steenbergen) Rowland. Tom is survived by his brother Steve Rowland (Mary Eipert) of Burlington, Iowa, and numerous cousins residing primarily in Western Washington.
Tom spent most of his early years in Yakima, where he attended Eisenhower High School. His favorite sports were baseball and tennis and he played the cornet in the high school band. He attended the University of Oregon where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. He taught in Coos Bay and Lake Oswego, Ore. In the mid-1970s, he moved to the family property on Whidbey Island. He taught at Oak Harbor High School for one year.
Tom was an avid bike rider. He decided to pursue his passion for cycling and opened The Pedaler bike shop in Freeland and later relocated his shop to Bayview. He rode with friends on extended cycling trips in Oregon, Washington, Utah and participated several times in RAGBRAI — a bicycle ride across Iowa.
Tom also loved snow skiing, hiking and golf. He enjoyed spending time at his second home outside of Sunriver, Ore., where he could pursue his outdoor interests.
Even though he left the teaching profession, he still was a strong proponent of public education. He volunteered at the Bayview School as a math tutor. He was chosen to speak at the 2013 graduation ceremony.
Tom was also a craftsman. He would fashion beautiful trays, bulletin boards and trivets from wine corks. Many friends and businesses are proud owners of these creations.
Tom was a good and loyal friend. He was never hesitant to offer his help in any way he could. He enjoyed many strong and lasting friendships in the Freeland community and beyond, and gave back to his community through volunteering and helping out wherever he was needed. Those of us who were lucky to know him will miss him greatly.
As Tom’s health declined in the last few years, he was still able to work in his shop, play backgammon and cribbage, and play golf regularly at his home course, Whidbey Golf Club. In fact, the day before his passing, he played one of his best rounds ever!
A celebration of Tom’s life will be held at a later date.
His family asks that remembrances be made to WAIF Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 1108, Coupeville, WA. 98239.
Arrangements entrusted to Wallin Funeral Home, Oak Harbor, WA.