Peter Rowland

Peter Rowland
Peter Rowland

June 6, 1929-May 7, 2023

Peter Rowland, a long-time Port Washington resident and vital member of the community, died on May 7, 2023, a month shy of his 94th birthday, after enjoying a long and fulfilling life.

Born in Pittsburgh, Penn., Peter moved to Great Neck with his family in 1940, and soon after in high school met his future bride, Patricia Paton.

He went on to his much-beloved Amherst College where he graduated with a B.A. in 1952. Peter career flourished as a copywriter on Madison Ave during the “Mad Men” years; he soon became vice president, working at several top ad agencies throughout his tenure.

He created ads for many renowned brands, including Procter & Gamble, U.S. Steel, Jeep, Cunard Cruises, Duncan Hines, Sunoco, Jones Sausage, Ivory Liquid, garnering coveted Addy awards along the way. In the late ‘50s he and his growing family moved to Port Washington, where he lived happily the rest of his life.

Peter loved Port Washington and served the community on many fronts as a Board member and President of the Community Chest, a Board member of the Mertz Foundation and as Warden, Vestry Clerk, Usher, and Eucharistic Minister at St Stephen’s Episcopal Church.

Most summer weekends found Peter and Pat on their sailboat, Iolanthe, moored at North Shore Yacht Club where he served two terms as Commodore. In that role, Peter successfully negotiated the purchase of the land the club was on, thus ensuring the continued survival of the NSYC.

His love of sailing and exploring his favorite ports along the Sound and New England coast sparked a passion in his family for sailing. He also did some ocean sailing to and throughout the Caribbean and to the Azores, tracing part of Columbus’s voyage, in 1992, 500 years after his initial voyage to the New World.

Peter was a loyal friend and family man. He was quick with witty barbs and could be quite entertaining at social gatherings. He and Pat were key producers of their church’s Cabaret Night, where Peter bantered about as MC while Pat helped direct and played piano.

Peter was always up on news and politics, instilling in his children the importance of civic engagement. A generous donor to nonprofits and local causes, he reacted strongly to injustice and believed in human rights for all.

Peter loved music. He particularly embraced jazz, from Dixieland to Miles Davis, which led to an early fascination with the drums in his son, Jeff, which later inspired a career in the music business. He also cherished classical music with season tickets for him and Pat to attend the New York Philharmonic.

Like his own father, Peter loved “Gilbert & Sullivan,” an affection that infused itself into his two children. It remains to be seen if this family tradition endures in the newest generation with a similar passing of the snickersnee to his grandchildren, who may yet realize “it’s a glorious thing to be a Pirate King.”

Peter and Pat moved into the Amsterdam at Harborside in late 2012, and Pat passed away in 2015. Peter was sustained by Jeff’s frequent visits and phone calls and visits from his daughter, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, nephew, nieces and friends.

Peter is survived by his two children Jeff (Amy) and Liz (Barry) and three grandchildren, Elizabeth and Annie Rowland and Theo Barrows.

A private memorial service will be held on a later date. Contributions in Peter’s memory may be made to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Port Washington.

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