Obituary | Joseph “Joe” Rowson

Jun 30th, 2011 | By | Category: June 30, Obituaries

Joseph “Joe” Rowson, 71, Lincoln, died June 9 in his home. Rowson was senior fellow for the University of Nebraska’s P-16 Initiative.

Rowson was born Feb. 8, 1940 in Des Moines, Iowa, to Joseph Frederick and Anna Catherine (Swift) Rowson. He graduated from Marquette University, Milwaukee, in 1962 with a bachelor’s in journalism. He received a master in journalism and mass communications from Iowa State University in 1969.

Rowson was commissioned in the United States Navy in 1962 and was honorably discharged in 1972 with the rank of lieutenant commander.

His career was devoted to providing public access to information about the public education system. He worked for the Lincoln Public Schools’ superintendent office for communication services from 1983 to 1985. In 1985, he was named director of public affairs for the University of Nebraska.

Rowson was assistant vice president for external affairs and director of communications for the NU system from 1999 to 2004. He was named senior fellow in the NU provost’s office in 2007, where he coordinated the P-16 initiative, a statewide effort to improve academic success for Nebraska students across all grade levels.

Survivors include wife, Sandy; daughters, sons-in-law: Ann Rowson and Eric Love, Davenport, Iowa, Elizabeth Rowson and John Zahorjan, Seattle; grandchildren: Abby Love Peters, John-Joseph, Margaret, and Lucian Zahorjan; sister, Mary Manhart, Omaha, and nieces and nephews.

Memorials requested to the P-16 Initiative, c/o Shannon Malousek, 3835 Holdrege St. Lincoln, NE 68503; Salvation Army, 2625 Potter Street, Lincoln, NE 68503; and Tabitha Hospice, 4720 Randolph St., Lincoln, NE 68510.

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