Robert Karl (Bob) Rowen passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, October 6, 2022, after suffering undiagnosed pain for six years, plus more recently lung cancer. He was 70 years old and known to family as Bobby and some friends as BobbyCakes. He resided in The Villages for four years, having lived most of his adult life in Alexandria and Fairfax, Virginia.
He leaves behind his loving wife, Debra (Debi) Malcomson Rowen, a son, Daniel Ross Rowen, a loving cousin Michele Beale, and a sister Connie Rowen. He is predeceased by his parents, Betty Courtney Rowen and Carlin Rowen, a brother Wayne Rowen, and his beloved uncle Donald Courtney.
Bob was born in Norristown, PA and grew up in North Wales, PA. He was resourceful at an early age. When he wanted to raise money to play baseball, Bob would put on his little league uniform and head down to the local tavern, point to a Phillies game on the television and say to patrons, “Hey mister, can I have a dollar so I can play baseball, too?”
He comes from a family of musicians. His father played the accordion and taught music lessons to students in the studio barn behind their home. One of his pupils was John Oates, who eventually went on to form the rock duo Hall & Oates. While Bob’s mother played the oboe, his sister practiced piano and his brother jammed on the drums, Bob offered to wash the cars of parents waiting to get out of his father’s lessons.
Bob worked just as hard in college to afford opportunities he wanted in life. He worked three jobs to pay for tuition, including washing dishes in the cafeteria for a free breakfast meal. He became president of the student government his freshman year and wrote a 22-page paper on it for class. Somehow, the essay reached Washington D.C., and he had the opportunity to intern for former President Richard Nixon. Unfortunately, he had to turn the job down because it was too expensive to live in Washington, D.C. at the time.
Bob took time off from his junior year in college to raise more tuition money. He worked for his Uncle Don’s factories in Southern Florida. He finally graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1974. He lived in his car for a few months before securing a position as mall mascot, Richie the Pook for the Richland Mall in Johnstown, PA.
After moving to Northern Virginia, Bob’s career spanned across employment with several businesses, but his favorite position was at TIBCO Software, which provides security software internationally. Bob specialized in federal operations for the intelligence community, and he created and executed multiple license agreements with entities such as the National Security Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, among others.
Bob earned numerous awards throughout his career, such as Top Revenue Producer more than 18 times throughout his career. He was most proud of being first in the world for sales through TIBSO Software in 2008. His President Clubs’ awards earned him trips to places like Lanai, Hawaii, Bora Bora and Western Europe.
Bob married his first wife, Catherine in 1981. The marriage produced one son, Daniel Ross Rowen. After 27 years of marriage, they found the partnership wasn’t working and divorced. While Bob has known his second wife, Debi, since seventh grade, they only started dating right before their 40th high school reunion. Bob laughed about recalling spraying a bottle of soda around Debi’s newly refurbished basement during a party in middle school. When Debi reintroduced Bob to her father years later, Bob finally apologized.
Bob, makes us proud up there in Heaven. May you be peaceful and without pain. You will be remembered and loved forever.
Instead of flowers, please send any gifts and donations to the Leesburg Humane Society at www.leesburghumanesociety.com. Thank you.