Leona Merle Bahr Rowley died March 10, 2017 in the home of her daughter, Ramona (Dean) Murray in Gallatin, Missouri. She was born February 19, 1929 in Cederview, Utah to Albert Andrew and Jessie Edith (Butt) Bahr. On February 27, 1952 she married and was sealed to her Eternal Companion, William “Bill” Parley Rowley III.
Leona had a busy life growing up. She learned how to work on the family farms, and loved to ride horses. Leona claims that she was teased a lot by her brothers. At times, they would cover her with quilts to hear her scream, which made her very claustrophobic. Even though they teased her, Leona claims that her brothers always cared for and protected her. Her parents encouraged the children to marry in the temple. She knew that they had a strong testimony.
Leona was very dedicated to her husband, Bill. She supported him in his numerous church callings and other endeavors. Due to his callings, Leona had to wrestle the children most of the time by herself in church meetings. She supported him in his scouting assignments, even traveling to Philmont Boy Scout training with him. Leona also faithfully served in many callings including teaching, librarian, and scouting. She was a devoted visiting teacher. Leona wrestled with serving a mission because she did not want to leave her grandchildren, but did faithfully serve an honorable mission in Jackson, Mississippi with her eternal companion. Many missionaries received support financially and spiritually from mom. This set an example for us all. When Bill had his strokes Leona was always by his side. She cared for him until she reluctantly placed him in a care center. Even while he was there, she spent many hours by his side. We all knew that their love was eternal.
Leona stood beside her husband in the family business, Rowley and Co. a food processing plant. She could really swing a knife and operate chopping equipment in the kitchen. All of her children, and some of the older grandchildren, had the privilege of learning how to work (and sometimes play) by waking real early, chopping, weighing, and crying (not more onions!) under her watchful eye. Even though she tried to hide her Dr. Pepper in the cooler, we all knew where it was.
Leona was dedicated to her children. She seldom missed a school performance if one of her children was in it. This carried over to her grandchildren as well. She provided funds and transportation for numerous piano and violin lessons. She supported baseball and other sports as well. Mom loved to tell us children to do housework, but we all knew that if we ducked out she would grab another to do it, but if she told dad, we did it. Leona loved to brag about her children and grandchildren to anyone who would listen. We were the pride of her life.
Leona cherished each grandchild, and great grandchild. She never forgot a birthday. Grandma would send personalized birthday cards decorated with stickers to all. Sometimes they contained money. When the grandchildren served on missions she sent uplifting cards with money to them. Grandma had a special closet filled with clothes and toys for the grandchildren. She always had Nutty Bars and green mints for anyone who entered her room. She liked to take her grandchildren to Chuck-A-Rama. Numerous pizzas were consumed around her table. Everyone knew that they were loved.
Leona is survived by five children: Ramona Rae (Dean) Murray, Mary Edith (Scotty) Mortensen, Lawrence “Larry” Lavon (Janet) Rowley, Marvin Dee (Shirley) Rowley, and David Owen (Kelene) Rowley; 35 grandchildren; 65 great grandchildren; sister, Rhonda Alice (Edward) Babiracki; and brother, Alma LaVere Bahr. She was preceded in death by her beloved eternal companion William Parley Rowley III; son, Ronald William (Patricia Likes) Rowley; grandson, Mark Richard Murray; her parents; seven brothers; and one sister.
Our beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother will be laid to rest in Redwood Memorial Estates. Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, March 25th at 1510 West Parliament Ave, West Valley. Visitation will be held at the church on Friday March 24th, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM and Saturday, from 9:30 AM -10:45 AM.