In memory of
Dr. Spencer Andrews Rowland
Dr. Rowland passed away peacefully on Friday October 13, 2017. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, colleagues and patients.
Dr. Rowland was born on January 9, 1928 in Del Norte, Colorado to Dr. and Mrs. Cornelius Terhune Rowland, he attended Alamo Heights High School and TMI, The Texas Military Institute. He played football and was a member of the rifle team and earned his pilot's license at the age of sixteen and had a passion for flying that he maintained throughout his lifetime. Dr. Rowland received his undergraduate degree from Lafayette College and then married the girl next door and love of his life, Marion Engelke Rowland. He completed medical school at Temple University in Philadelphia and was called into service in 1956 and was stationed in New Orleans as the Chief of Surgery at Camp LeRoy Johnson. Always an adventure seeker, he bought his first boat in New Orleans before he secured living arrangements. He completed his orthopaedic training at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. With no other thrills available, he sought adventure by driving his car on the frozen river, much to his wife's horror. He completed a Masters of Science in Orthopaedic Surgery from the University of Minnesota, and a Hand Surgery Fellowship with Dr. Joseph Boyes in Los Angeles after which he promptly returned to San Antonio to begin his practice in orthopaedics, specializing in hand and upper extremity care.
Dr. Rowland joined the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group in 1962 where he practiced for 41 years. He was one of the only hand surgeons in south Texas for years and frequently was called to perform surgery in the smaller communities of south Texas. This lead to the purchase of his first airplane which he enjoyed for years. Dr. Rowland was the Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at Metropolitan Hospital, the Chairman of Orthopaedics at Santa Rosa Hospital, Associate Professor, Clinical Professor, and the Chief of Hand Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He served as the Chairman for the Metropolitan Hospital Surgical Board, the Surgical Policy Committee, and the Medical Executive Committee. He was a consultant in hand surgery to Brooke Army Medical Center and Wilford Hall and was the National Consultant regarding snake bites. With seemingly boundless energy he served on boards and committees both locally and nationwide to improve and advance orthopaedic surgery. He authored, published, and edited many Orthopaedic books, manuals, and magazines. He was dedicated to education and remained at the forefront of his profession for many years.
As much as Dr. Rowland loved to practice medicine, he loved his family more. Spencer and Marion Rowland had five children and many nieces, nephews, and friends that were considered family as well. Above all, Spencer loved his wife Marion, they met in the 5th grade and married in 1950. He often said he never would have made it through medical school without her by his side. He doted on her all the days of his life. Spencer spent his free time with Marion and his children. He enjoyed waterskiing, sailing, and drinking champagne on Lake Travis, hunting with friends, flying his airplane and Ultralight, working on his property in Boerne and reading. Spencer was an ardent believer in physical exercise in the morning, mental exercise in the afternoon, and social engagements in the evening; he loved good food, good wine and good company.
He is preceded in death by his parents Vesta and Cornelius Terhune Rowland, grandson Alexander Martin Rowland, and brother Frederick Rowland. He is survived by his loving wife Marion Engelke Rowland and children: Rebecca Rowland Sanchez and her husband Rudy; Katharine Rowland Grevera and her husband John; Dr. Richard Rowland and his wife Melissa; Sara Rowland Denecke and her husband Johan; Dr. Alexander Rowland and his wife Monica, as well as his niece Emilie Engelke and nine grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers Dr. Rowland expressed his wish that contributions be made to The San Antonio Academy, and The Gladney Center for Adoptions.
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