The eldest son of Hal and Dorothy Rowe, Ron was born in Glendale, Calif., in 1941 and grew up in Surfside, Calif. He graduated from Huntington Beach High School in 1959 where he enjoyed water polo and swimming.
Like most of California’s sons, Rowe loved the water and enjoyed surfing the local breaks and sailing the back bays. He was also an avid skier and life-long camper.
His first marriage produced his son Laughn, born while he served his country as a Navy submarine navigator during the Vietnam War.
He received an associate arts degree from Orange Coast College, attended the Fire Academy and was hired by the Laguna Beach Fire Department in 1968. He served the community of Laguna Beach for 33 years, working construction as a side job and building dozens of homes there.
He found the love of his life in Joanie (Collins) Rowe and they made their home in Laguna Beach for 42 wonderful years. They had two daughters, Becky and Jenny, who gave them four adorable grandchildren.
A love of gardening helped them to create a diamond out of the rough hillside of their Bluebird Canyon residence. Together the Rowes planted trees and flowers and built countless rock walls throughout their backyard, turning it into an oasis and inspiring many others to do the same.
His retirement was spent running a Kona coffee farm in Hawaii. There they turned a rundown hillside farm into a beautiful and thriving business.
His gentle personality was reflected in his passion for all things that grow and in his love of his family. Rowe was a kind and peaceful man who could spend a day lazing on his couch watching the breeze with a book as happily as working in the yard in the heat. He was an exceptional husband, father and grandfather, spending as much time as he could with his family who were a constant joy for him.
He was also an amateur genealogist who researched his family’s lineage and took up the bagpipes as a way of honoring his proud Scottish heritage. He always had a project and even in his last two and a half years, Rowe didn’t let his condition slow him from being creative. He was affable, funny, caring, giving, and described as gentle by all who knew him to the end. His family will miss him greatly and were blessed to have known him for so long.
He is survived by his wife Joanie; his children Laughn Rowe, Becky Jameson and Jenny Horstman; four grandchildren; his brother Steve Rowe and his sister Tina Torres.
A service will be held at 1 p.m. on Jan. 12 at the Laguna Presbyterian Church, where he married Joanie in 1970. In lieu of flowers, the family asks suggests a donation to make his beloved ocean cleaner at www.oneworldocean.com or www.surfrider.org