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Donna Arlene Boyle Rowan was born on March 12, 1928, the oldest of four children, to Stanley M. Boyle and Ila Kearsley Boyle. She lived in the Merced area since 1955 and loved this agricultural valley as her home. She passed away on September 16, 2019 at the age of 91, blessed to leave this world surrounded by her children and those that loved and cared for her with tenderness and honor. Donna was preceded in death by her lifelong sweetheart, (since the 2nd grade), Robert Dale Rowan, and now has rejoined her "Bobby," once again rejoicing in their eternal companionship.
Donna lived an extraordinary life filled with an enthusiasm for each new day and what she could do to serve others. She earned her college degree at the University of Utah and then continued her education, becoming a Registered Nurse. Her pursuit of education, and her love for those that she could help as a nurse was a lifelong achievement. She particularly loved working in the neo-natal unit of the hospital because of her love for babies, including those in special need.
Donna loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was blessed to serve as president in numerous positions of the church, including the Primary and Relief Society, where she enjoyed the close personal bonds formed with the sisters and the children in these organizations. She fulfilled her assignments with gratitude and devotion to those in need, especially those people who struggled with the difficulties of life.
One of the highlights of her life was serving alongside Robert in the Raleigh Durham North Carolina Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as mission president, as they welcomed over 400 young men and women and senior couples to their years of service in North Carolina. A total of 28 missions have been served by Donna and her progeny over the span of the past 70 years. Donna loved to travel and to visit interesting places both in this country and in Europe. She was a voracious reader and taught her children that reading good books would enrich their lives and open their minds to the wonders of the world.
Donna and Robert have loved gathering with their numerous posterity almost daily, as they have welcomed 5 children, 25 grandchildren, 52 great grandchildren into their home. We feel at peace that both Donna and Robert will be watching out for us in their heavenly home, cheering us on and encouraging us to stride forward with confidence as we face each new day.
As children of Donna Rowan we express gratitude to her for gifting us a righteous legacy that we have tried to embrace with honor. How grateful we are to this wonderful woman who taught us the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, stood by us no matter the circumstances, was loyal and true to our family name and who embraced us so completely that we grew to know, deep in our hearts, that we were truly the most important people in her life. She has been, and continues to be our rock, our anchor, our ensign and our example as one who has focused her life on following the Savior, encouraging each of us to do the same. Her love of God's creations, of nature, of flowers, animals, quiet streams, garden paths filled with the fragrances of this sweet earth, blue skies overhead as well as pelting rain, is a reminder of her infectious laughter, smiling face filled with optimism and hope. We will never watch the sun, disappearing over the ocean horizon, without thinking of our mother who loved us unconditionally, and embraced us completely. We had the privilege to witness firsthand as mom quietly became the artist of our lives, masterpieces that only she truly understood or could fully admire. That she considered all of us her life's purpose was both unsettling and reassuring. Her single-minded focus on us burned with such white hot clarity and crystalline clear devotion that we are left to strive to follow her example daily.
Donna is survived by her four sons and one daughter and their spouses, Robert Creed and Ellen, Richard Dale and Debra, Steven Mark and Beverly, Marie Rowan Hyer and Kris Hyer, and Matthew Bart and Molly, as well as her brother Stanley S. Boyle, and sisters Patricia Boyle Christensen and Barbara Boyle Smith. She was preceded in death by her parents, Stanley M. Boyle and Mary Ila Kearsley Boyle.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 27, 2019, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints chapel, 2629 McKee Road, Merced, California, with Bishop Chad Rowan of the McKee ward officiating. The family will greet friends from 9:30 a.m. at the ward building on the morning of the funeral services. Graveside services will be held immediately following the funeral at the Merced Cemetery District (Garden of Flora)
Donna enthusiastically supported all humanitarian organizations that are dedicated to unselfishly care for the poor and the afflicted. Your donations to the following: www.churchofjesuschrist/whatyoucando.org or to your charity of choice are appreciated.