Patrick J. Rowan, Jr. of Paul VI High School dies

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Patrick J. Rowan Jr. of Oaklyn, a longtime teacher and administrator at Paul VI High School in Haddon Township, died Nov. 23, of a blood disease at his home. He was 64.

From 1971 until he took a leave of absence for health reasons early this year, Mr. Rowan worked at Paul VI.

He taught psychology, biology, and other subjects before taking the job as assistant principal.

Mr. Rowan, who stood an imposing 6-foot-5, was regarded as an effective school disciplinarian, but he is more remembered for his other qualities, particularly his sense of fairness, sense of humor and kindness.

“I’ll always remember Mr. Rowan for combining discipline — that we all needed — with a sense of humor. His wit and kind heart made an impact on countless Paul VI students like myself,” wrote Chris Duffy, Class of ‘01, in an online condolence book.

Len Cava, a former student and teacher at Paul VI, wrote that Mr. Rowan was “a rock, but when times were tough … became the most caring person I ever had the chance to get to know.”

Father Robert Hughes, who went on to serve as president of the school, was a student at the school when he first knew Mr. Rowan.

“I fondly remember him during my time as a student,” Father Hughes recalled in a letter to Mr. Rowan’s family and to the school. “I remember him while teaching at PVI, always counting on his support, and him caring for me while sick in Florida! And I can’t tell you how many times he helped me in my time as president. He was the institutional memory of PVI.”

In 2002 Mr. Rowan was awarded the Bishop’s Medal for meritorious service at a ceremony in the Washington Township Center for the Performing Arts.

The award is “given to [lay] people who exemplify excellence in helping to build and support the Catholic Diocese of Camden,” the award letter said.

Mr. Rowan was an avid fisherman who traveled to Florida in search of marlin and other big fish, and was a member of the Cape May Marlin and Tuna Club.

Born in Gloucester City, Mr. Rowan graduated from Gloucester Catholic High School in 1966. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Villanova University and a master’s degree in education from Glassboro State College.

He is survived by sisters Kathleen M. Rowan and Maryann Hook; a brother, Thomas E.; and a niece.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Nov. 28 at St. Joseph the Worker Parish, St. Vincent Pallotti Church, Haddon Township. Interment was in in New St. Mary’s Cemetery, Bellmawr.

Donations may be made to Paul VI High School, 901 Hopkins Rd., Haddonfield, N.J. 08033.