Francis S. Rowe, 96


Francis Rowe

PORTLAND — Francis S. “Toby” Rowe, 96, passed away peacefully at Mercy Hospital on Friday, April 28, 2017, after a period of declining health.

Toby was born in Portland and lived almost all of his adult life in South Portland. He was the son of the late Francis and Sadie (Coyne) Rowe.

Toby graduated from Portland High School in the class of 1939 and shortly thereafter, joined the United States Army and served in World War II in a medical detachment. After the war, he joined the Army National Guard and then served in the Korean Conflict. Toby was proud of his service, and this past October he had the privilege of visiting Washington, D.C. as a guest of the Honor Flight Maine Organization.

He was employed at the Maine Central Railroad for 18 years and the U.S. Postal Service, as a letter carrier, for 22 years prior to his retirement in 1983. He was a longtime member of the National Letter Carriers Union.

During retirement, Toby enjoyed being at his “camp” in Casco and visiting, fishing, and boating with his family. He enjoyed woodworking, chair caning and bird watching. He was a volunteer and supporter of the Wayside Soup Kitchen.

He was a many-decade communicant of St. John the Evangelist Parish in South Portland until it closed, at which time he joined the parish at St. Maximilian Kolbe in Scarborough. He was a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus.

Toby was predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Sarah (Kane) Rowe in 2009; a brother, Thomas L. Rowe; and two sisters, Kathleen Dowd and Eleanore R. Tomusko.

He is survived by a son, Stephen F. Rowe of Maryland; two daughters, Joanne M. Contois of Biddeford and Patricia A. Littlejohn of South Portland; eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; along with several nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours were held on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Conroy-Tully Walker South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. Prayers were recited at the funeral home on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 9:15 a.m. followed by a 10 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 150 Black Point Road, Scarborough. Burial followed in Calvary Cemetery, Broadway, South Portland.

To view Toby’s memorial page or to share an online condolence, please visit

Those who wish may make contributions in Toby’s memory to: Honor Flight Maine, PO Box 1770, Portland, ME 04104.

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