Theodore L. (“Ted”) Rowland, 90, of Portland, Maine, died peacefully at home on September 27, 2018. The cause was congestive heart failure.
Ted grew up on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York and graduated from Erasmus Hall High School when he was 16. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Harvard College in 1948. He moved back to New York City and got a job at People’s Songs – a publication dedicated to the social importance of music, which laid the groundwork for Sing Out! magazine. He developed friendships with musicians including Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie and jazz trumpeter, Frankie Newton.
Ted met and married Eileen Seliger in 1951; both were champions for social justice throughout their lives. They had two children -- Lynn (born in 1952), and Arthur (born in 1955). The family moved to Pittsburgh where Ted became a union organizer, first in the steel mills and later at a glass factory. Ted received two master’s degrees -- in economics from the University of Pittsburgh, and in library science from Columbia University.
The family moved back to New York City in the early 1960s so Ted could help his ailing father manage the Henrose Company, an upholstery business. Ted went on to become the staff economist at the American Importers Association and, later, the Executive Director of the International Footwear Association, while teaching economics at night at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey and editing various trade magazines.
The Rowlands built a second home as part of a collective community on Barlow Farm in Sherman, Connecticut. Ted spent countless hours volunteering at the Sherman Public Library. Ted and Eileen moved to Portland, Maine in 2001, and after a few years, into the retirement community at Seventy-Five State Street in Portland where Ted became an active and beloved member of the Resident Council and several other committees. He was predeceased by Eileen, Lynn, Arthur, his older brother Bud, and 3 weeks prior, by a close friend, Betty Hummer.
Ted’s life was defined by his close relationships and his wide interests. He believed in the power of people to create change and to have a healthy exchange of ideas. He and Eileen loved to travel, and they collected antique clocks, books and memorabilia related to the history of the American Revolution. They were devoted to family. Ted was modest, generous, kind and gregarious – ever a romantic optimist. He maintained his interests in jazz, movies (especially musicals), and ice cream through to the end.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Sherman Library Association, 1 Sherman Center, PO Box 40, Sherman, CT 06784, or to Seventy-Five State Street Library, 75 State Street, Portland, ME 04101.