Vena McKune Rowley


Posted: Tuesday, May 02, 2006


  Vena McKune Rowley

Vena McKune Rowley

Former Kenai resident Vena McKune Rowley died Tuesday, April 25, 2006, in Fountain Valley, Calif. She was 93.

A family memorial was held Sunday, April 30, 2006, in Fountain Valley.

She was born July 19, 1912, in Coulee City, Wash., to Eleanor Mabel McWhorter and Gene Lewis. Her step-father was William McKune.

Vena was raised on a sheep ranch in Wyoming. By age 10 she spent her summers with her camp wagon, a shotgun in hand and her sheepdog Jackie at her side. With the early death of her mother at age 13, she was on her own by age 16.

She married Frank Rowley in 1932 and moved to Alaska in 1938, where she spent the next 42 years. The couple brought the first electric service to Mountain View and the surrounding Anchorage area and later to Kenai.

“Her first thought was always for the care of her five children, In early rough-hewn Alaska this required a commitment seemingly unimaginable today. Essentially self-educated, her library ranged from the works of early Greeks thinkers, extensive volumes on American Indian customs and a wide-ranging collection of contemporary thought. She was a published photographer and an avid short story writer. At the time of her passing, she was completing the final draft on a novel of pioneer life,” her family wrote.

She is survived by her daughters, Effa Mae Rowley of Portland, Ore., Billie A. Amundson of Fountain Valley and Aileen Janet Hopkins of Parkdale, Ore.; sons, Franklin D. Rowley of St. Helens, Ore. and Raymond and his wife, Mary, Rowley of Kenai; grandchildren, Verne Amundson Jr. of Westminster, Calif., Lori A. Houpt of Fountain Valley, Dean A. Amundson of Torrence, Calif., C. Sunday Hopkins of Federal Way, Wash., Dorothy Monday Hopkins of Portland, Douglas Hopkins of Parkdale, Anne Vena Rowley of Chicago, and Claire and Aaron Rowley of Kenai; and great-grandchildren, Bradley D. Houpt, Cori Amundson and Russell Amundson.

Arrangements were made by Accu-Care Cremation Center in California.

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