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John Rowe, 61, of West Bend, passed away peacefully on May 3.
Due to an accident at birth, John lived with brain damage and cerebral palsy, but that never interfered with his life’s work as a “people-person.” John freely shared his gifts of a firm handshake, a hug and a big, beautiful smile with anyone and everyone he encountered. He loved chocolate milkshakes, his dad’s boogie-woogie piano music, and his own music made with plastic cups.
In his youth, John participated in an intensive in-home therapy program. Friends, neighbors and relatives, school, church and scouting groups came to the house three times a day to assist. A heartfelt thank you to so many in West Bend who freely gave of their time to help with therapy.
John spent his adult years in the care of the warm and compassionate staff at Samaritan Health Center. His caregivers became a beloved part of his family, along with other Samaritan residents who became his best friends. The family is eternally grateful for the expert and loving care John received throughout many years at the Samaritan.
John also was part of the Threshold family, gaining strength and skills through their top-notch physical and occupational therapy programs. Many thanks to the talented and professional therapy staff.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Jerry and Joyce of West Bend, and a niece, Emily Goetzinger. He is survived by sisters Pat (Jim Goetzinger) and Lisa, nieces Elena and Jamie Goetzinger, and many relatives and friends.
Visitation will be Saturday, May 11 at 11:00 a.m. followed by Mass at 12 noon at St. Frances Cabrini, 1025 S. 7th Ave, West Bend. All who attend are welcome to wear bright colors in celebration of the sunshine John brought to the world. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Samaritan Resident Activities Fund, 531 E Washington St, West Bend, WI 53095, are welcome.
The Myrhum Patten Miller & Kietzer Funeral Homes have been entrusted with John’s arrangements. Additional information and guest book may be found at www.myrhum-patten.com