1933 ~ 2015
Ralph Alcorn Rowley died on December 8, 2015 in Provo, Utah, where he had been suffering a lengthy illness. He will be remembered for his family, academic and military achievements and as the Director for Independent Study at Brigham Young University. His firm testimony, congenial personality, dedicated work ethic and allegiance to the United States for which he risked his life for freedom to this nation and other freedom loving countries.
Ralph was born April 14, 1933, in Harlem, Blaine County, Montana, to Lillian Alcorn and David William Rowley. As a child he worked on the family farm of sugar beets and grain and attended schools in Montana until the family moved to Gridley, California where he graduated from Gridley High School in 1950. He attended Brigham Young University and then served a mission to the East Central States for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1953-1955. After his mission he returned to BYU, and completed his Bachelors of Science degree. During his military career he attended the University of New Mexico, earning the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in history.
His Air Force years began at BYU, as a Wing Commander and after graduating from college served in the United States Airforce for 21 years, a career that took him and his family to many places in the world. Because he was on the crew of B-52’s during the Vietnam War and because of his history degrees he spent six years researching the Vietnam War records at the Pentagon and wrote the history that now is in the Library of Congress along with many of his other writings. He and his family were transferred to Germany from 1975 to 1979, where he negotiated treaties in Spain and Germany for NATO forces, then returned to live in Utah.
Following his military career of 21 years, Lt. Colonel Rowley retired and went to work in private business for a short time. In 1980, he was hired by BYU Continuing Education where he worked until he retired.
During his life he served in many callings in the church including being a teacher, a bishop, a high councilman, an MTC Branch President, served a mission to Nauvoo, then taught Visitor’s Center missionaries at the MTC followed by being a Multi-Stake Church Service Missionary coordinator in the Provo area.
Ralph is survived by his wife, Elaine, his two daughters, Kristine (Adrian) Carbine and Janiel (Bruce) Miller, his sons, Kurtis (Paula) Rowley, Lynn (Mark) Andersen and step-sons, Rex, Reed, Kevan, Keith and Quinn Haddock, and also 45 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren. His daughter, Lorrain (Kelvin) Nilsen died in May of this year.
Funeral Services will be Monday December 21, with a viewing at 12 p.m., just before the funeral at 1 p.m. at the Rock Canyon Ward, 3050 Mojave Lane, Provo, under the direction of Bishop Lin Sherman. Interment will be at the City of Orem Cemetery, 1520 North 800 East, Orem, Utah under the direction of Walker Sanderson Funeral Home. Condolences may be offered to the family online at www.walkersanderson.com