Maybelle C. "Billie" Rowley, longtime resident of Port Washington, and widow of Louis N. Rowley, Jr., passed away on June 27, 2006 in Derby, CT, after a short illness in her 98th year. The Rowleys lived on Orchard Farm Road from 1941 to 1999, when they moved to an assisted living facility in Shelton, CT.
Born on Dec. 19, 1908 in Havana, Cuba, where her father was in the fur trading business, Mrs. Rowley moved to Brooklyn at age 3 where she was raised, attending Erasmus Hall High School and receiving a bachelor's degree from Adelphi University. She also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, adding fluency in French to her English and Spanish.
After moving to Port Washington, Mrs. Rowley became exceptionally active in the First Methodist Church, serving as Sunday School teacher and superintendent, Women's Society president on two occasions (the second when she was in her late eighties) and sang in the church choir for 44 years. She also held district and conference level offices in the United Methodist Women and was known as "Mrs. Methodist" around Long Island.
An accomplished pianist, Billie was a longtime member of the Music Study Club of Port Washington who voted her to an honorary life membership when she moved to Connecticut. She continued to enjoy playing the piano until a few weeks before her death.
Mrs. Rowley is survived by three sons, Louis E. of Drexel Hill, PA, Robert S. of Danbury, CT, and David C. of Swarthmore, PA; seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by granddaughter Elizabeth and great-grandchildren Robert, Hannah, and Jack.
A memorial service was held on July 14 at Crosby Commons in Shelton, CT, where Mrs. Rowley resided for the last 7 years. A service of Christian burial will be held in Port Washington at Nassau Knolls Cemetery on Saturday, Aug. 19, at 11 a.m.