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Suzan Priscilla Rowley (Eastland), born in Rock Island, Illinois in 1943, daughter of Grace Barbara and Richard Harry Eastland passed into heaven on Friday, November 3, 2023, in the presence of her beloved family and friends.
Suzan attended Denkman grade school and Washington Junior High School followed by Rock Island High School, graduating in 1961. She was active in ballet, the radio club, Y-Teens, the Crimson Crier, and cheerleading.
She wed Joseph W. Rowley in 1964 in Moline, Illinois. Soon after, the couple moved to DeKalb to pursue higher education at Northern Illinois University. Suzan achieved her bachelor’s degree in education and was a member of Kappa Delta sorority. The couple moved to Chicago where Suzan became an educator in the Chicago school system through the 70s.
She was a lover of blues and jazz music all her life and was a big part of her husband’s photographic arts studio in Chicago. Suzie also dabbled in catering while living in Chicago thanks to her and Joe’s great culinary skills.
After separating from her husband in the late 70s, Suzie returned to the Illinois Quad Cities taking a position with the Davenport Area Educational Administration. Suzan soon completed her master’s degree to further her career. She had a passion for helping children learn and served as a special education counselor which allowed her to help numerous students successfully complete their educational goals and requirements. Many students felt her positive impact on their lives. She remained with the AEA until her retirement in 2006.
Suzie was a lifelong Iowa Hawkeye, Chicago Bears and Chicago Cubs fan taking her nieces and nephews to numerous games. Some of their fondest memories are tailgating and then watching the game or sitting in the outfield bleachers with their aunt Suzie.
She was an avid gardener and pet lover her entire life. Suzie was a member of the African Violet Society for many years and passed her love of plants to her nieces. She loved historic homes and purchased an Italianate home built in the 1850’s by Christoper Atkinson and later succeeded in having the home declared a historic landmark by the Preservation Society. She had several other hobbies including antique collecting, stained-glass, and making handmade beaded jewelry in her later years. She was a contributor to the charities that help pets that are in distress and post-retirement, was philanthropic in many ways. Most recently she was a caregiver for her father and mother in their later years.
Suzie adored her brothers John and Larry and sister Patti, spending time with all of them over the years. She had many nieces and nephews and found great joy seeing them and her grandnieces and grandnephews. She was an active member in the lives of all her nieces and nephews attending family vacations, kids ball games and tournaments, birthdays, and even staying overnight with them on Christmas Eve and passing along the family holiday tradition of ornament making, something she, Patti and her nieces would do together for many years.
Preferring to be at home in her twilight years, Suzie was lovingly cared for by her brothers John and Larry and wife Mary, sister Patti and husband Drake, her nieces Dawn and Dena, and life-long neighbor and dear friend Paul Inman. Her nieces and nephews often came just to visit or help work in her yard. Her face lit up with her stunning smile when anyone stopped by, and she was grateful to everyone who looked after her and spent time with her.
Suzie will be deeply missed by us all. Her gentle and loving smile, comforting words, intelligent probing conversations, and quick wit are irreplaceable. She professed love for Jesus Christ before her passing and we will see her again in heaven.
Suzan wished to be cremated and there will be a private family ceremony with an open house for friends and family on Saturday, January 6th, 2024, from 3:00 to 7:00 pm at the Hauberg Estate in Rock Island. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Rock Island County Historical Society, 822 11th Ave., 61265, Moline, IL (309-764-8590) or the Riverbend Foodbank, 4010 Kimmel Dr., Davenport, IA 52802 (563-345-6490) in her memory.
Suzie leaves behind her beloved brother John Eastland, sister Patti DeVore and husband Drake, brother Larry Eastland and wife Mary; sister in law Cindy Bliss Eastland, nieces and nephews: Donyelle DeVore-Kemp and husband Matt, Dawn Gabryshak and husband Peter, Dena Priscilla DeVore, Drake DeVore and wife Emily, Drew DeVore and wife Kendall, Becki Schroeder and husband Ian, Erica Eastland, and Eric Eastland; grand nieces and nephews: Patriece and Pierce Gabryshak; Gavin, Dawson, and Tydon DeVore; Ella, Reed and Evan DeVore, along with many special friends and extended family.
Her parents Grace and Dick Eastland preceded her in death. The family extends thanks to the nurses at Trinity who compassionately cared for her and the hospice team that was so helpful in her final hours. A special thanks to Paul Inman and Chris Dowler, close neighbors always there for Suzie, and special friend and former neighbor Steve Abbott for taking care of yard work and upkeep of the house exterior for so many years.
Online condolences may be shared at www.wheelanpressly.com.