I just learned that J. Ben Rowe, of Florida, passed away last Friday. He had been diagnosed with cancer fairly recently and I wish I’d taken the time to call and talk with him again. It’s been a number of years since I’ve seen Ben.
Many in our business will remember Ben from the times he livened up a national NAMA convention. Particularly notable was the Toronto convention in 1989 . It was here that Ben and a few others (you know who you are) created the Coatsuckers Society. It sounds strange and it was but it was possibly one of the funnier “acts” that was ever performed by Ben and pals.
Many will remember Ben as the publisher of “The Independent Farmer & Rancher.” This was a weekly newspaper ag publication in which Ben wrote some great editorials.
Ben touched the lives of a lot of us in agrimarketing and all for the better. He gave Gary Cooper (my former business partner), and myself, a lot of advice when we were just starting out. He was just a good person to talk with who wasn’t afraid to say what he meant, if you know what I mean.
This isn’t a very good picture of Ben but it’s the only one I could find.
Here’s the details I have on services for Ben:
Viewing is Tuesday night at Milan Funeral Home, 311 South Main Street, Gainesville, FL.
Funeral is Wednesday morning at 11 a m at First Baptist Church, 425 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL.
Here’s the obituary from the Gainesville Sun Newspaper:
J. Ben Rowe Jr. of Micanopy died Friday in Gainesville. He was 64.
Mr. Rowe was born in Lexington, Ky., and moved to the area from New Smyrna Beach in 1973. He owned the Turkey Roost Angus Ranch and served as special assistant to the governor for agricultural affairs. He co-owned and operated “The Record,” a weekly newspaper in Gainesville.
Mr. Rowe attended Marshall University and the University of Kentucky. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves.
Mr. Rowe served as commissioner for the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, two terms as supervisor of the Soil and Water Conservation District in Alachua County and was on the boards of directors for the Florida 4-H Foundation and Florida Leadership Foundation at the University of Florida.
He was a licensed auctioneer and founding president of the Rotary Club of Downtown Gainesville. He attended First Baptist Church of Gainesville and also was a member of Masonic Lodge No. 29 in Micanopy.
Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Connie Davis Rowe of Micanopy; his mother, Florence Young Rowe of Lexington, Ky.; sons James Ben “Jim” Rowe III of Micanopy and Michael Andrew “Mike” Rowe of Gainesville; sisters Lee Rowe Sewell of Richardson, Texas, and Lydia Rowe Wainright of Lexington, Ky.; and four grandchildren.
Ben, I know you’re in a better place now. I pray that you will rest in God’s eternal peace!