Francis Herschel “Fritz” Rowden, 96, of Eldon, formerly of Lebanon and Ashland, passed away on Thursday, August 29, 2019 at Eldon Nursing and Rehab. He was born on January 7, 1923 near Brice in Laclede County, Missouri; the oldest child of Lloyd Melvin and Amanda Jane (Smith) Rowden. He was united in marriage to Dorothy Towne on June 5, 1992 in Englewood, Missouri. His first marriage was to Lorea Dame on November 9, 1942, and his two daughters were born to this marriage.

Fritz proudly served in the United States Army. He was in small engine sales for many years in Cedar City and Ashland and owned and operated Ashland School buses for 14 years. He was a member of the Ashland Lions Club, Elks Lodge, and was always an active church member, having accepted Christ early in life. Music was an important part of his life, singing and playing music at nursing homes, churches and senior centers all around central Missouri. He was a fantastic woodworker, especially skilled at creating, with his hands, antique vehicles.

Fritz is survived by his wife of 27 years, Dorothy of Eldon; children: James Sutton (Linda) of Richland, Joan Hart (Milan) of Lebanon and Lois Nichols of Lebanon; siblings: Russell Rowden (Jeanette) of Pleasant Hill, Mary Hohenfeldt of Blue Springs and Dorothy Snow of San Benito, Texas; sister in-law: Mary Ellen Rowden of Pittsburgh, Missouri; three grandchildren, five great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren and many other family and friends. Francis was preceded in death by his parents; brother: Jim Rowden; sister: Pauline West and one infant brother: Billy Ray Rowden.

A memorial service was be held on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at 11 a.m. at First Church of Nazarene in Eldon.