Henry “Harry” Rowbotham of Calgary, Alberta, died peacefully in his sleep at Staywell Manor on Friday, April 29, 2011.
Harry was born at Rosetown, Saskatchewan on September 30, 1920, one of seven children of Cecil and Bertha Rowbotham who farmed near Stranraer, Saskatchewan. In 1940, Harry interrupted his studies at the University of Saskatchewan to enlist in the Royal Canadian Navy, serving with the North Atlantic Command on convoy escorts. He was quickly promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He returned to the University of Saskatchewan, completing a Bachelor of Laws in 1948. Admitted to the Saskatchewan bar the following year, Harry joined the firm of McKercher, McCool and King in Saskatoon. It was there that he met Doreen McPeak, a legal secretary in the adjacent law firm, Hall Maguire and Wedge. They married in 1950, and relocated to Ottawa where Harry was a solicitor with the Department of National Defence. In 1951, Harry and Doreen moved to Calgary, where he was employed by Western Leaseholds and later by the law department of Gulf Oil. He returned to private practice in 1956 when he went into partnership with fellow Saskatchewan graduate, Mel Shannon. Harry was appointed to the District Court of Alberta in 1970 and to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in 1979. He retired from the bench on his seventy-fifth birthday.
Those who knew Harry well will remember him as an avid traveler, enthusiastic reader of history and skilful raconteur. He donated his extensive library to Western Canada High School and to the Military Museums. His intelligence and wit have inspired many, and he passed directly onto his three daughters a passion for learning, travel and fine wine.
Harry is survived by his loving wife, Marie Clarke Rowbotham who he married in 1989; his daughters and sons-in-law Patricia (Douglas Stokes) of Calgary, Elizabeth (Thomas Funk) of Littleton, Colorado, and Victoria (Neil Berman) of Lions Bay, B.C.; grandchildren Charlotte, Anne and Michael Stokes, Kevin and Kristen Funk, and Jonah and Sacha Berman; his brother Peter Rowbotham (Rosetown, Saskatchewan); brother-in-law Keith (Marge) McPeak (Sherwood Park); sister-in-law Georgie Rowbotham (Hamilton, Ontario); stepchildren Gary Clarke, Lisa Clarke (Hugo Potts), Lori Wheeler (Brad), Paul Clarke (Janice) and their families. He was predeceased by his wife Doreen; brothers William, Brian and John; sisters Constance and Pauline; and his stepson Ward Clarke.
The family wishes to express their gratitude for the fine care that Harry received while at Staywell Manor. At Harry’s request, there will be no funeral. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Harry’s memory to the Military Museums or to a charity of your choice. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.
In living memory of Henry Rowbotham, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403)243-8200Print This Obituary & Condolences