Robert H. Rowlands
Robert H. Rowlands of Waukesha died peacefully Wednesday, December 27, 2017, at his home at Avalon Square at age 91, of recently diagnosed heart complications. He was born in Waukesha on December 8, 1926, the son of Owen W. and Edith H. (nee Williams) Rowlands.
He was a 1944 graduate of Waukesha High School and the University of Wisconsin School of Agriculture in 1950. Bob proudly served his country in the United States Army Reserve. On August 9, 1952 (between hay and corn harvesting), he married Marilyn L. Jones from Palmyra, who he often referred to as the prettiest girl in the county. They honeymooned in Minnesota where Dad was so proud to take pictures of his bride with his new camera but, famously, he forgot to load it with film until the last few days.
In 1954, Bob assumed the management of Keystone Farms from his father.
Keystone Farms, the large white barns located west of Waukesha at the corner of Sunset Drive and Highway DT, produced, bottled and distributed certified raw milk to many customers in southeastern Wisconsin and Chicago.
Keystone was the third largest producer of certified raw milk in the United States. Keystone was also known for its natural ice cream with a variety of delicious flavors. Bob loved his farmland and was proud to be a fourth generation Welshman who was related to many of the other farm families in the area.
Bob’s dad once asked him if he would want to go to medical school like his older brother and Bob said, “And give up all this?” Keystone Farms was a favorite field trip destination for both Waukesha and Milwaukee Public Schools, where every child ended the farm tour sitting under the beautiful trees enjoying a Dixie cup of ice cream.
Bob sold his herd and farm buildings in the early 1970s and turned to his other passion, working with area farmers to develop their land into subdivisions which preserved the beauty and natural features of the area. Bob Rowlands Realty, with its beautifully painted For Sale signs, served the Waukesha community until his retirement in 2011 at the age of 84.
Bob belonged to Bethesda Presbyterian Church his whole life where he and Marilyn occupied the same pew, on the right and in the back, where he could quietly slip in unnoticed if farming chores delayed him. He was the youngest president of the Waukesha Rotary Club and proudly spooned the strawberries over every dish of Keystone Quality Ice Cream at the Annual Rotary Strawberry Festival. Bob was once voted Waukesha Man of the Year. Bob was known for his outgoing personality, and his love for his family, fitness and the Packers.
Bob will be missed by his beloved wife of 66 years, Marilyn of Waukesha, and their children Rick (Marilynn) Rowlands of Scottsdale, Arizona, Rhonda (Doug) Ingle of Littleton, Colorado, Rusty (Diane) Rowlands of Campbell Hall, New York, and Megan (Jon) Stowe of Waukesha. He is also survived by his grandchildren Tyler Rowlands, Tanner (Kayli) Rowlands, Kelsey (Daniel) Laughland, Carly Ingle, Owen Rowlands and Mason Rowlands, great-granddaughter Rowan Rowlands, nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his sisters Mildred Nelson and Ann Rowlands, and his brother Dr. O.B. Rowlands.
Memorials may be made to the National Stroke Association (stroke.org) or Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (mymsaa.org).
Visitation will be held at the Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral Home, 1110 S. Grand Ave., Waukesha, starting at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 4, with the service beginning at 11:30 a.m., officiated by the Rev. Cathleen Morris. A celebration of life luncheon will be held at 1 p.m. at The Legend at Merrill Hills Country Club, W270-S3425 Merrill Hills Road — come with your story to tell about Bob.
Burial will be at 3:30 p.m. at the Salem Cemetery on Highway 83 in Wales.
Dad, we know you were proud of us but we are even more proud to be your children. We love you.
Funeral Home, Crematory and Preplanning Service is honored to serve the
family. For further information, please call the funeral home at
262-5474035 or visit us online at www.randledable.com
for directions or to leave the family an online tribute message.