Fort Worth -- Joseph Cy Rowell died Monday, November 8, after a fall on September 11, from which he was unable to recover. A service celebrating his life will be at 10 a.m. Friday at University Christian Church, 2720 University Drive, Fort Worth. Memorials: Gifts in his memory are suggested to Brite Divinity School, Ralph E. Stone Fund, TCU Box 298130, Fort Worth, TX 76129, or Texas Christian University, Clay and Kristen Hicks First Nighters Scholarship Fund, TCU Box 298240, Fort Worth, TX 76129. Reflecting on their 54 years of marriage, Cy and his wife, Vera, framed their life memories as chapters in a journey. Cy's early life chapters included the growing-up years in Illinois and Indiana, and colleges in Kentucky. Next came his ministerial work and teaching in theological seminaries, followed by earning a Princeton Theological Seminary theological doctorate and serving as Assistant Dean and professor, and then Director of Christian Education at Brite Divinity School from 1971-1999. Cy authored To Be a Person; and The Church’s Educational Space: Creating Environments for Teaching and Learning; co-authored The Choice is Yours; and published many articles in peer-reviewed journals. The early years of living in Fort Worth saw an emphasis on parenting two boys through grade and high school and worrying about them during college days and their transition to young adulthood. The later Fort Worth years included serving on several boards, serving as volunteer guardian for several people, volunteer docent at Fort Worth Modern Art Museum, and volunteer and host for the Cliburn Foundation and Cliburn Competition. Throughout his Fort Worth days, he enjoyed the arts, supporting live theater, going to symphony concerts, and visiting art museums. All forms of music -- classical symphony, instrumental and choral, piano and jazz -- were appreciated by him. He had a fascination in studying church hymnal music, worship and the language of obituaries. His love of mentoring younger adults gave him great meaning and joy throughout the years. Undergirding the adult chapters of his journey was the always-present commitment to family and church. His sons and their families were prominent in daily thoughts and prayers. He found unbounded joy and pleasure when being with and dreaming about his beloved grandson, Kia. The second theme was the joy and meaning he found in his congregation where he served in multiple capacities as leader, teacher, elder, mentor and encourager of others, as one open to change and the new. Church, for him, was the context that nourished his faith in God and ministry to others. In addition to his sons, David Rowell and Steven Rowell and his wife, Jamila, Cy is survived by their son, Kia, his only grandchild, and other family members.
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