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Rowe, Joseph Y.



  • Existence: July 2, 1922- January 4, 2015

Joe was directly descended from Captain Thomas Graves of Jamestowne and also from Governor William Stone of Paynton Manor in Maryland. In 1952 Joe came to Virginia to accept a position to teach mathematics at Woodberry Forest School. He recieved his Masters in Education from the University of Virginia in 1959. He eventually became chairman of the Woodberry math department. He remained at Woodberry Forest for 24 years. He left Woodberry Forest to become the fourth headmaster of the nearby Grymes School, where he served for eight years. Joe's memberships included Saint Thomas Episcopal Church where he had been a vestryman and Senior Warden. He was also a member of the Orange County Historical Society where he served as president. Mr. Rowe was also a member of the Jamestowne Society and Society of the Cincinnati. In his retirement years his interests turned to writing. He was very proud to admit to writing and publiching eight books. Probably his best known book was "The Greatest Generation of Orange". Joe also served honorably in the U. S. Army in Europe from 1943 to 1946. He remained in Germany after the war and attended the University of Munich.

Rowe was honored with the Orange County Education Foundation’s lifetime contribution award in 2013, at the age of 91. According to an article in the Orange County Review, Rowe started teaching in 1946. He taught for six years at St. James in Maryland, an Episcopal boys school, then for 24 years at Woodberry Forest. He later became headmaster at Grymes Memorial School until his retirement.

Rowe has written eight books. He “enjoys classical and big band music, has served in the administration and leadership at St. Thomas Episcopal Church and is a former president of the Orange County Historical Society. He also has a great love of gardening. His garden has been on display three times—twice as part of a Dolley Madison Garden Club function and most recently as part of the Orange Downtown Alliance’s Artists in the Gardens held in the spring.”