Beryl (Foster) Rowe, age 93, passed away while surrounded by her children on Sunday, May 14, at Saint Elizabeth Home, East Greenwich. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and aunt, it was fitting that she entered the Hall of Fame of Mothers on Mother’s Day. We were blessed to have had such a strong woman in our lives for so long.
Born on April 25, 1930, in Providence, she was the daughter of the late William Riley and Doris (Walmsley) Foster. Growing up in Cranston, she herself was one of six children. When the Foster family relocated to the West Coast, Beryl and her late sister Anne (Foster) Palmer remained in Rhode Island where they would raise their families in close proximity. Beryl graduated Cranston High School in 1948 and married the late Alden K. Walker in 1950. They moved to Coventry where she would reside for over 70 years. Beryl remarried in 1977 and was the loving wife of Earle R. Rowe, her soulmate, until his death in 2000.
Beryl was a member of the Washington United Methodist Church in Coventry. Many Sunday mornings, she would corral her six children into her VW bug, deposit us in our church school class and rush off to teach Sunday school. As we grew and made friends she found room in her heart and at our dinner table for our friends as well. She became a second mom to many and ran a neighborhood home day care. For a time Beryl worked at Jolly Jon’s as a cashier where the local teenagers would visit and get her sage advice. She and her lifelong friend, the late Lil Bertram, were avid crafters and their annual Christmas projects were legendary. Later in life she would attend swim classes at Absolute Fitness in East Greenwich where she became the de facto social director, planning birthday and holiday parties for the other members. Beryl was a natural caretaker and a real people person, making her a staff favorite at St. Elizabeth’s.
Mostly, Beryl loved being with her family. Her family and her role as mother were the most important things to her. It is where she drew her strength and left her legacy. Beryl is survived by her loving children: Gail Walker and husband Phil of Framingham, MA, Wendy Walker and her husband Chris of Roxbury, Conn.; Lori Walker and her husband Geoff of Hope Valley, Ken Walker and his wife Dorene of West Greenwich; Ron Walker of Exeter; Roy Walker of Chesterfield, Mass., and a stepson Michael Rowe of Coventry; She is grandmother of 12 grandchildren: Luke, Kim, Katie, Riley, Matt, Eve, Skye, Sierra, Trent, Layne, Harrison, and Ella and two great grandchildren: Mason and Case. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews including Barry Schrimsher of Oregon, the East Coast Palmers and the West Coast Fosters.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 3, at 12 p.m. at East Greenwich United Methodist Church, 1558 South County Trail, East Greenwich. Burial will be private at R.I. Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Exeter.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Beryl’s memory may be sent to: Alzheimer’s Association, Rhode Island Chapter, 245 Waterman St., Suite 306, Providence, RI 02906, http://www.alz.org.
You can leave an online condolence at the Carpenter-Jenks Funeral Home website HERE.
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