I went to the Austin area this past week to visit my Dad. He has been on dialysis for a little over four years and his health had been fading progressively over the past month. We visited twice at the hospital but he was in such discomfort that he had a difficult time staying awake. Yesterday (May 31) I came home. That afternoon he was transported to the nursing home but he only lived for about an hour once he arrived.
As a person Dale Rowe was a painfully shy individual and he found it impossible to develop or maintain deeply personal relationships. Void of either a capacity for malice or intimacy, he spent his life mostly alone with few friends and no known enemies.
Having discovered his existence almost four years ago I had hoped for some type of personal relationship but, due to his limitations…and mine I guess,…that wasn’t to be. To his family who knew him he remained a mystery throughout his life, rarely voicing opinions or recriminations. To my mother, he was her first love and the father of her first and second born children. Once she realized her love would not be returned she moved on with her life and married the man with whom she spent the next forty-eight years. In talking with her friends I learned that she had confided an enduring love for her childhood sweetheart despite his having abandoned her at the tender age of sixteen.
Dale Rowe’s lineage goes back to two of the first three hundred families who settled Texas and fought for Independence. His ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War and there has been a Rowe (or in my case aka Brockett) in every war since, up to and including Viet Nam. My Dad was a tank commander in Korea and spent nine months on the front lines, often engaged in combat activities. One of Dale’s brothers was shot down over Austria in a P38 while escorting a bomber squadron. He survived despite being wounded twice during the dogfight and having to bail out of his plane.
Dale’s union with my mother, Martha Brown, produced two children, five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. Additionally, he fathered another boy and girl with his wife, Edith.
On the morning of April 4, 2011 Dale will be laid to rest at Taylor, Texas where he spent most of his life. Although his life’s journey was witnessed by many, his personal perspective shall always remain a mystery.
David Brockett (Edgar Dale Rowe)