Cover photo for James Varney Rowe's Obituary
James Varney Rowe Profile Photo
1944 James 2024

James Varney Rowe

March 5, 1944 — March 4, 2024

Athol

James Rowe, 79, of Athol, MA, passed away surrounded by his loving family on Monday, March 4, 2024, following a courageous battle with Alzheimer's and dementia.

Born March 5, 1944, James was the cherished only son of three children born to Edmund and Ruth (Goodale) Rowe of Athol, MA.

Throughout his diverse career, James held various positions, notably spending 20 –years at Union Twist Drill (UTD) of Athol, MA, until its closure in 1984. Subsequently, he worked as a Construction Supervisor for Huntington Homes, in Orange, MA, followed by employment at Harrington Richardson gun manufacturer in Gardner, MA, until his retirement.

 In addition to his professional pursuits, James devoted himself to the Athol Fire Department, diligently serving as a call firefighter. His unwavering commitment spanned 31 years of service, culminating in his retirement with the distinguished rank of Lieutenant. Notably, he played a pivotal role as a founding member of the Rescue Squad for the department, underscoring his steadfast commitment to the community's safety.

James is survived by his beloved wife, Margaret “Peggy” (Woodbury), with whom he shared fifty-nine happy years of marriage, filled with countless adventures including hours of driving to locations near and far, camping, and enjoying one another's company. Their union, which began on August 3, 1964, was blessed with the birth and upbringing of two loving children, William Rowe (wife Darlene) of Orange, MA, and Cynthia Rowe (partner Joe Needle) of Athol, MA. He is survived by a legacy of love and laughter, carried on through his six cherished grandchildren: Melissa Rowe of Deerfield, MA; Joel Mitchell of Athol, MA; Stephen Rowe (wife Janna) of Holliston, MA; Leah Mitchell of Savannah, GA; Miranda Rowe of Orange, MA; and Troy Love (spouse Veronica) of Charlton, MA. Additionally, he leaves behind five great-grandchildren: Landon Mitchell, Amari Sewell, Lilly Love, Meila Rowe, and Zev Rowe. He is also survived by two sisters, Nancy Rowe of Athol, Ma, and Sharron (Jack) Mabe of Briggs, TX.

James Rowe's life was defined by his unending dedication to his family, work, and community. He was a loyal friend who will be reunited in heaven with close friends Mike Anderson and David Shepardson. The loss of James will be deeply felt by all fortunate enough to have known him. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Calling hours will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2024, from 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. at Fiske-Murphy & Mack Funeral Home, 110 New Athol Road, Orange, MA 01364. 

Funeral services will follow at 11:00 a.m. in the funeral home. 

A Burial will follow in the Silver Lake Cemetery, Athol, MA 01331. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Athol Fire Fighters Relief Association, 2251 Main Street, Athol, MA 01331

To leave an online condolence, please visit www.mackfamilyfh.com. 

Kevin J. Mack, Walter C. Taylor, and Melissa A. McQuaid, Funeral Directors. 
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Varney Rowe, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, March 9, 2024

9:00 - 10:30 am (Eastern time)

Mack Family Funeral Homes - Fiske Murphy & Mack Chapel

110 New Athol Rd, Orange, MA 01364

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, March 9, 2024

11:00 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Mack Family Funeral Homes - Fiske Murphy & Mack Chapel

110 New Athol Rd, Orange, MA 01364

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Saturday, March 9, 2024

11:45am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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