Local 4-H leader killed in crash
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on June 17, 2008 1:46 PM
The Wayne County 4-H program and county Livestock Association suffered a great loss this past weekend with the death of W. Thomas Rowe.
Rowe, 50, was involved in a fatal accident Saturday about 5 p.m. near Valdese, just off I-40 at the 112 exit, the Burke County Highway Patrol confirmed.
A truck he was driving overturned after striking a guardrail while traveling east.
He was helping the family of the new Wayne County 4-H agent, Wallace Simmons, move their household belongings from Canton to Goldsboro.
Wayne County Extension Director Howard Scott said Rowe was a giver.
"The big thing about Thomas was that he was tremendous at giving," he said. "He was just that nice of a guy. He really enjoyed being around people and helping people."
Scott said Rowe, who lived on U.S. 117 Alternate in Dudley, was a big supporter of the 4-H program as a volunteer leader.
Rowe was also a supporter of the Wayne County Livestock Association. His daughter showed goats at the junior livestock show and sale and horses and goats at the county fair. The Rowe family also had horses and goats on display in the barn at the county fair each year.
Livestock Association President Curtis Shivar said that although Rowe was very low key, he was there to help and do whatever needed to be done. He helped during the livestock show and sale and assisted in any way he could.
"He was one of those people you could depend on to show up and do what he could to make the event successful," said Shivar.
That included the junior livestock shows. Rowe was always willing to lend a helping hand at many of the shows, especially those that involved youths, according to extension livestock agent Eileen Coite.
"Many times he was at events to support his daughter, but when he was around, you might not even need to ask for help and he was there to give it," she said. "Whether it was feeding an animal, setting up an arena fence or unloading supplies, if Thomas were there, you could count on his help."
Ms. Coite said Rowe was also a member of the County Animal Response Team, which was established to assist animals and their owners in emergency situations.
Rowe is survived by his wife, Vivian, and daughter, Elizabeth.
The funeral will be Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Shumate-Faulk Funeral Home. Burial will be in Wayne Memorial Park.
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