H.Y. Rowe

Photo of H.Y. Rowe
H.Y. Rowe, 86, of El Dorado, Arkansas died peacefully surrounded by family and receiving excellent medical and nursing care on August 19, 2010, at the Medical Center of South Arkansas. He was born on September 30, 1923, in Humnoke, Arkansas. He was predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Jean Bayless Rowe, his parents, Reverend William Cleveland Rowe and Eula Spaight Rowe, and his siblings Reverend Gerald Rowe, Jane Rowe Moises, and Judge Samuel Travis Rowe. Survivors are one son, William Bayless Rowe and daughter-in-law, Kay Smith Rowe of El Dorado and St. Joe, Arkansas; two grandsons, Michael Bayless Rowe and wife Abi of Little Rock, Arkansas, and Benjamin Alan Rowe of Fayetteville, Arkansas; as well as several beloved cousins, nieces and nephews. Rowe graduated from Truman High School in 1941. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1942 after a slight deception regarding the rules of the Selective Service system to secure his parents consent. Assigned to Second Battallon, Third Marines, Third Marine Division he sailed in 1943 to the South Pacific where he served his country in combat at Guadal Canal, Bougainville and Guam. He was wounded in action during the final hours of the operation to liberate Guam. Following his discharge from the Marine Corps after World War II, Rowe returned to his parents home in Dowell, Illinois, where he met his bride to be and attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale on the G.I. Bill. After graduating from S.I.U. in 1948 with a B.A. degree in government and history, he returned to Arkansas and enrolled in School of Law at the University of Arkansas where he received his L.L.B. (Juris Doctorate) in January, 1951. Upon graduation from law school, Rowe moved to El Dorado and began an exciting career with a relatively new company, that later became Murphy Oil Corporation. His duties at Murphy Oil took him literally all across the country and around the world as he developed an expertise in foreign exploration agreement. He greatly valued the friendships made through his association with such luminaries as Charles H. Murphy Jr., Jack W. McNutt, Jerry W. Watkins, Clefton D. Vaughn, B. Harold Monzingo and many other colleagues at Murphy Oil. Following retirement from Murphy Oil in 1984, he briefly practiced law as "Of Counsel" to the Compton, Prewett, Thomas & Hickey law firm of El Dorado. He and his wife travelled extensively, including trips to all 50 states and various countries in all continents, save Antarctica. His other interests included vegetable gardening and bream fishing in his cherished Felsenthal bottom Country. His community activities included membership in the First Baptist Church of El Dorado from 1951, President of the Murmil Heights PTA, President of the Union County Bar Association, service on the Public Lands Law Commission, and a card carrying member of the Ralston Rats. He was proud to have been one of the very first male members of the Union Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, an organization he and his wife served for many years. The family wishes to express its gratitude to the loving caregivers who ably assisted H.Y. during his last three years: Diana Henly, Rita Stewart, Susie Foster, Anita Welsh, Lynn Cameron, Jo McDaniel and Tracy Summerville. A celebration of his life will be held by Dr. Lynn Worthen at the First Baptist Church of the El Dorado at 10 a.m. on Monday, August 23, 2010, under direction of Young's Funeral Directors. Burial will follow at Arlington Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, August 22, 2010, at Young's Funeral Home in El Dorado. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to an organization or charity of the donor's choosing. An online guestbook will be available at

Published August 21, 2010

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