Cover photo for Thomas Rowland's Obituary
Thomas Rowland Profile Photo

Thomas Rowland

July 8, 1945 — March 22, 2023

Thomas Elsworth Rowland was born on July 7, 1945 in Memphis, Tennessee to Thomas E. Dillard and Lola Mae Young. James Rowland adopted Thomas through marriage to Lola in August 1948. He was the older brother of Michael and Sharon “Glenn” Rowland.

Thomas graduated from Mitchell High School in 1964 where he was the quarterback on the football team. Thomas moved to Flint, Michigan and began working as a physical therapy assistant at Hurley Medical Center. He enrolled at Charles Stewart Mott Community College where he received an Associates Degree in Applied Science/Registered Nursing in 1974. On the side, he played semi-pro football with the Flint Wildcats. He served as a Registered Nurse for Hurley Medical Center, St. Joseph Hospital, Flint Housing Commission and Genessee County Community Mental Health Services, and Genesee Medical Corporation. In 1976, he joined Kelly Healthcare Inc., as a branch manager and worked his way up to Manager of National Field Services within seven years. Following that, he had a long career with Methodist Hospitals in various roles including charge nurse, patient advocate and Executive Director.

Thomas was well respected as an engaged community leader. He frequently served the Memphis area through providing alcohol and substance abuse education in churches, schools and other organizations. He received several awards & recognition for his service including Certificates of Appreciation for Community Service from Shelby County and the City of Memphis. In 1996, he received a Silver Star News Achievement Award for founding a youth mentor smoking cessation program and an Athletic Mentor Alcohol Awareness Program at Lemoyne-Owen College. He served on Methodist Healthcare Systems’ Humanitarian Fund and Diversity Committees, as well as on the board of directors for Methodist-LeBonheur Center for Children.

He met the love of his life Elizabeth while working in Flint and after a brief courtship, Thomas and Elizabeth committed their lives to each other in marriage on November 11, 1967. Their union was blessed with three beautiful children he often affectionately referred to as his “Cookie Monsters,” Ryan, Nikki and Leslie.

Thomas was profoundly devoted in his love for Christ. He was steadfast in prayer, constant in his study of God’s word and always in service and witness to others, all testament of his faith. He positively impacted the lives of so many throughout his life.

Thomas will be deeply missed by his devoted wife, Elizabeth of 56 years, his son, Ryan (Mischa) of Nashville, TN; his daughters Nikki (Eric) Rogers of Fishers, IN; Leslie Rowland of Memphis, TN; brother, Michael Rowland of Memphis, TN and sister, Yolanda Denise “Sweetie” Dillard of Memphis, TN; Grandchildren Sinclaire, Kai, and Cameron; Niece Jocelyn Rowland of Gallatin, TN; Grandpup, Milo; and a host of other dear relatives and friends. Thomas was preceded in death by his father, Thomas Dillard; step-father, James Rowland; sister, Sharon “Glenn” Rowland; and mother, Lola Rowland.

Please keep the Rowland family in your thoughts and prayers.

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