PLEASE NOTE: THIS OBITUARY IS BEING PLACED ON OUR WEBSITE AS A COURTESY TO THE FAMILY. THE ARRANGEMENTS ARE BEING HANDLED BY CANNON MORTUARY.
On the late evening of December 15, 2021, Dorothy Mildred (Beck) Rowley, 85, our dear mother, grandmother, sister, friend and greatest confidant took her last breath peacefully at home and finally got her most anticipated wish… to learn what the afterlife is really like.
Dorothy was born November 6, 1936 in St. Louis, Missouri, the first child of Walter Paul Beck and Hildegarde Anna (Lindecke) Beck. Five years later, her brother John joined the family and they grew up together in the St. Louis area, as well as the Carlinville, Illinois area.
Of all the things they did as children, many of Dorothy’s fondest memories were of the times they spent with their cousins, especially her favorite and closest cousin, Lorraine. Another thing she often reminisced about were the experiences they had when her mother decided to take on boarders to help with expenses, being that she at some point became a single mother. There were wonderful people who came to live with them and she loved telling stories about those times.
At the age of 10, in the fifth grade, Dorothy met her best and life-long friend, Sharon Stewart. When the Stewarts moved to another city, she spent the summers with them through seventh and eighth grade, then was invited to join them when they moved back to Midvale, Utah when Sharon’s father retired. She lived with their family through the ninth grade and when she returned home for high school Sharon came with her. It seems they were nearly inseparable at the time and were best friends for over 65 years.
While living in Utah, Dorothy joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and was a faithful and devoted member from then on. Throughout her life, she served in many callings in the Church, her most favorite of which, were being a Visiting Teacher and getting to know other women in her congregations, as well as working in the local temple weekly for 9 years.
In 1954, Sharon was at BYU in Provo, Utah and Dorothy went to visit her there. Before she knew it, Sharon’s mother had made some phone calls and gotten her enrolled there as well. She enjoyed the time she spent there, although it was only about a year. It was there at BYU, where she met her husband, Edward Marion Rowley and they were married in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple on September 15, 1955 – it was her brother John’s 14th birthday and he was there at their reception with his snapshot flash camera and the only pictures they had from their wedding were those he had taken.
The next summer, in 1956, their family started with the birth of their son, David Marion, followed later by daughters Sally Lyn and Christine Anna, another son Paul Edward and finally they were surprised 10 years later with another daughter, Susan Elizabeth.
They lived several places, Roosevelt, Utah while helping Ed’s family during the loss of his mother shortly after they were married and back to Provo, Utah while Ed was finishing his degree. Back to Roosevelt while he taught school and they eventually moved to northern California for a few years and back and forth before finally settling in Roosevelt in 1972, staying there in the same home until 2013, after which she moved to the Salt Lake City area and at the time of her passing, lived with her daughter Christine and granddaughter, Sierra.
One of Dorothy’s greatest skills and joys was cooking and baking. Over the years, she amassed a vast collection of recipes and made them on a regular basis, making a home-cooked meal from scratch nearly every day. Her greatest pride came from teaching all of her children and grandchildren to cook and bake and watching them hone their skills and exceed beyond her teaching. She often said she loved it when her students surpassed her. She always allowed her children unlimited ingredients so they could experiment and try any recipe or make up their own. The only rule was that whatever they made, no matter how good or bad, they had to eat it!
She also enjoyed teaching others who would ask for her help and did many cooking demonstrations in Relief Society Homemaking meetings for her church, particularly her flawless pie crust. She also hosted friends in her home to learn alongside her right in her own beautiful kitchen that Ed had custom built for her in 1982. It was also her policy that whenever someone helped her with something, from a big yard project, to assisting on the side of the road, she would make them one of her delicious pies and deliver to their house.
Along with her piecrusts, she was famous for her perfected fudge recipe, which she eventually turned into a business, High Valley Fudge, which was a great success and she sold it to people from around the world, due to them finding it in the airport and calling to get more (long before the internet made it so easy to reach the masses.)
Throughout her entire life, she also had a love and passion for reading. There was never a time that she wasn’t reading at least one book, with several others waiting in the wings. Because of this, she had an extensive vocabulary and loved to use unusual words among her friends and family, to see if they knew them as well. Although she had many and varying interests, her favorite genres were church-based novels, self-help/alternative medical concepts of every variety and most of all, life-after-death. She was intensely interested and fascinated by the stories she read of those who had passed and been able to return and share their stories. A friend also had a fascinating near-death experience and Dorothy often spoke of that and how neat it would be when she got to learn what it was really like for herself.
All of her other joys were in simple things, such as autumn leaves dancing across the ground in a breeze in the crisp air, a rainy, drizzly day, sky-blue-pink sunsets and conversations with friends and family.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ed Rowley and her son, Paul Rowley, as well as her half brother Terry Sherman, of Ballwin, Missouri and daughter-in-law, Connie Rowley. She is survived by her 4 other children Dave, Payson, Utah, Sally Thomson (David), West Jordan, Utah, Christine Jensen, Cottonwood Heights, Ut and Susan “Liz” Knight, Mesa, Arizona, as well as five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, as well as her brother John Beck, Laie, Hawaii.
A small, private memorial service was held on December 21, 2021. Cremation was arranged by Cannon Mortuary in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. At a future time, her wishes will be fulfilled to return to her home state of Missouri, to look over a beautiful view of the Ozarks.