Elizabeth Rowe


Elizabeth A. Rowe, 94, of Owensville, passed away Sunday morning, July 7, 2019, in her residence at Peaceful Valley Lake surrounded by her loving family.

Elizabeth was born March 9, 1925, in Leominster, Mass., to Madeleine and Daniel Gillis. She attended St. Anne’s Academy in Marlboro, Mass. After graduating, she married and had a beautiful daughter, Marylou Copeland, who lived in Rosebud and passed away in 2015. 

Elizabeth was the head librarian at the New York Institute of Technology. She had an intense yearning for knowledge and loved to read. She was considered a gourmet chef by anyone who was lucky enough to sit at her table and was especially famous for her recipe for “Mommylou’s Cheesecake.” This cheesecake is still served in the finest restaurants in The Hamptons, made by her grandson, William J. Reilly. 

Elizabeth retired to Peaceful Valley Lake in 1986 after falling in love with the beauty and nature of the area. She became affectionately known as the “Swan Lady” as she generously introduced swans to the lake where they continue to thrive to this day. She enjoyed gardening and designing landscapes and made considerable improvements to her community because she wanted it to be more beautiful for everyone. She designed and planted a memorial flag garden, built a beautiful retaining wall blooming with daisies and daffodils, planted flowering trees along the wall, created and donated a beautifully landscaped lot with a gazebo and brick patio, as well as numerous other improvements. Her ability to see a project in her mind and create it was unsurpassed. 

Her friends and neighbors have said they will miss her fascinating stories of her life and travels across the world, having traveled to Paris, Spain, Ireland, China, Japan and Canada. Some called her feisty, some called her Miss New York, some called her crazy, but she lived her life the way she wanted to and if you asked for her opinion, you had better be ready for the truth! She was an amazing, impeccable woman and we will miss her.

She is survived by her sister, Marylou Fallon of Merrimack, N.H. She is also survived by her stepson Neil McCarthy, of Malibu, Calif. and her three grandchildren, William J. Reilly, Heather Reilly and Erin Reilly.

At her request Elizabeth was cremated and her ashes will be scattered in Paris. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions suggested to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Arrangements entrusted to James & Gahr Mortuary, St. James.


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