Wendall Lee Rowe

Wendall Lee Rowe

April 3, 1925-April 9, 2022

Wendall Lee Rowe of Omaha passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 9, 2022, at his daughter’s home in Ojai, California, six days after celebrating his 97th birthday.

Lee was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Ferne Condit Rowe; brother, Donald; sister, Dorothy Olson (Stan); first wife, Joan Archer Rowe; son, Douglas Todd Rowe.

He is survived by his wife, Carol, of Omaha, NE; daughter, Pamela Smith (Richard); stepchildren: Elizabeth Jones (Joe), John Meier (Michelle), and Molly Brady (Rick); grandchildren: Brittany Vance (Ryan), Linsey Grunes (Daniel), Jeremy Gowin, Justin Gowin (Sara); step-grand-children: Sydney and Haley Jones, Max and Tom Meier, and Alec Brady (Kate), Jeffrey Brady (Madie) and Mallory Coleman (Brooks); niece, Carol Hathaway (Ted); nephews: Lyle Archer (Roxanne), Jim Archer (Patty) and Bill Archer (Suzanne); in-laws: Kim Gowin (Frank) and Hayley Kraakevik (Josh); 8 great-grandchildren.

Lee was born in Champaign, Illinois, on April 3, 1925. His home was in Ludlow, Illinois, and he attended school there and in Paxton, Illinois, where he graduated in 1943. As with many youngsters who grew up in small towns, he was on all the athletic teams. Lee enlisted in the Army Air Corps immediately after high school and became a fighter pilot in World War II. At the end of the war, he enrolled in the civil engineering program at the University of Illinois at Champaign. He was President of the Student Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

He married Joan Archer of Paxton on June 1, 1947, and she helped him graduate with honors in 1949. Lee immediately went to work for Peter Kiewit Sons’ Co. and he and Joan moved to the Garrison Dam project on the upper Missouri River in North Dakota.

During his long career with Kiewit, Lee worked on construction projects in various places around the world including Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, and Afghanistan. He and his family moved to Omaha in 1961. He became a Vice-President and member of the Kiewit Board of Directors. After retiring in 1987, he split his time between Omaha and The Big Island of Hawaii. He and his family have supported numerous charitable, religious, and civic organizations wherever they have lived. Lee is a life member of the Masonic Lodge and American Legion.

Family, the Kiewit Corporation, the beauty of nature, daily walks, and golf were the priority loves of Lee’s life. In golf, he had 8 holes-in-one, the last one at the age of 89, and he shot his age 42 times beginning at age 67 with the last time at age 88. He continually set goals for himself in life which were attainable through dedication.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Methodist Hospital Foundation in Omaha, 8701 W Dodge Rd Suite 450, Omaha, NE, 68114, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, (notation line: in memory of Lee Rowe Hawaii Island), Attention: Chelsea 923 Nuuanu Avenue, Honolulu, HI, 96817, 808-537-4508; hawaii@tnc.org.

VISITATION: Friday, April 22nd from 4pm to 6pm at the West Center Chapel.  Family Interment: Evergreen Memorial Park.



  • Sherida Schuman Posted April 13, 2022 10:08 am

    My sympathy to the family of Lee Rowe. As an employee of The Harry Koch insurance company, I serviced the personal insurance of Lee. I spoke with him by phone numerous times and had the pleasure of meeting him in our office as well. He was a genuine gentleman., not pretentious and had a good sense of humor. I know he led a wonderful life and will be so missed by family and friends, Rest In Peace Lee.

  • Kristi Stanley Posted April 30, 2022 4:04 pm

    Sorry to hear about Lee. My dad, Bill Griswold, and he were cousins and grew up together. They were a lot alike.
    With deepest sympathy,

Sign Guestbook

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *