Mr. Willis Lanier Rowland, age 85, passed away Tuesday, May, 2, 2023. Graveside service was held Friday, May 5, at 11 a.m. at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Augusta. Visitation was Thursday, May 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Crowe-Fields Funeral Home.
Mr. Rowland was an Airman Second Class and awarded an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Air Force, where he received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. Delta Air Lines named him an honorary Flying Colonel for completing over 4 million miles of flight during his military career. Afterward, Mr. Rowland attended Augusta College, graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration, then marrying the love of his life, Miss Sandra Adell Waller. Affectionately known as "B" for "baby brother" by all his siblings' family, and "Papa" by his grandchildren, Will Loved his family deeply. He was the coordinator of reunions and kept everyone connected. Mr. Rowland enjoyed golfing and working at the golf course after his retirement as President of Milco Building Products. He worked for Rusco Hi-lite Products when they began in Millen in the 1960s and was General Manager until its closure. Known as a hard-working businessman, a grill master and a welcoming host, family members share memories of his hospitality and humorous stories. Mr. Rowland was a faithful servant to Rotary Club as its former president. He received the President's Award for Outstanding Service from the Jenkins County Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors. Mr. Rowland also served on Jenkins County Board of Health. Other accolades were the B. Dudley Jervey Award for Most Outstanding Member of Augusta College Circle K and recognition for significant efforts in establishing the Millen Villas Complex. Mr. Rowland is preceded in death by his wife, Sandra Waller Rowland; parents, John Clifton and Idene Webb Rowland; brothers, Henry "Shorty" Rowland, Louie Rowland, Shelton Rowland, Robert "Bud" Rowland, Fred Rowland, and Herbert Rowland; sisters: Genell Mathis, Frances Cartwright, and Johnnie Mae Rowland; grandson, Samuel Jacob Hall; and three nephews.
Survivors include two sons, Brad (Lisa) Rowland and Craig (Leslie) Rowland, both of Swainsboro; sister, Sara Watkins (Lewis) of Appling; grandchildren, John Rylie Rowland, Dawn (Henry) Wilkerson, and Allen (Shannon) Logan, all of Swainsboro; great-grandchildren, R.J. Phillips, Kytle Phillips, Claudia Wilkerson, Ryan Logan, Gauge Hall and Levi Hall; and many nieces, and nephews.
Our family extends special appreciation to the staff of Agape Care Group for their compassionate service.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Hospice Care Foundation, PO Box 151, Drayton, SC 299333 @hpcfoundation.org.
Crowe-Fields Funeral Home of Millen in charge of arrangements.