Roosevelt Rowry

May 19, 1939November 5, 2018

Roosevelt Rowry, Sr., fondly known as “Rosey,” made his transition to his heavenly home on November 5, 2018. He was born on May 19, 1939 in Leland, Mississippi, to the late Reverend Hubert Rowry and Annie Belle Ivy. His parents and siblings: JC, Moses, Elijah, Peter, Ezra, Jeremiah, Ruth, Pearline and Ida, all preceded him in death. Only one sibling survives, Herbert Rowry of Buena Park, California.

Rosey moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan at eight years of age along with his mother and four siblings. Because of their mutual Pentecostal roots in the Church of God in Christ, they resided with the Frye family of Ypsilanti until his older siblings found the family a home in Ann Arbor. At age fifteen, he met and eventually began dating Dianna Thomas while attending Ann Arbor High School. Rosey would succeed as a football player, as well as participate in other sports, while Dianna cheered him on from the sidelines. The teen romance blossomed, culminating with their marriage on November 17, 1962. They were married for thirty-six years and had four children, three of whom are still living.

After his graduation in 1958, he enrolled at the Michigan Barber School in Detroit Michigan, where he would eventually receive his barber’s certificate and become licensed through the State of Michigan. From 1965 until 1972, he worked for both Johnnie Rush and the late J.D. Hall, before opening Rosey’s Hair Styling Den in 1972. Rosey was a hard worker, and wished to provide well for his family, which included gifting his children with an education. He valued every customer not only for who they were and the relationship that he shared with them, but for what their patronage brought to his family. Rosey exemplified the role embraced by men of his generation and articulated by the apostle Paul, “if you don’t work, you don’t eat” (2 Thess 3:10, CEV).

Rosey was athletic, possessed a competitor’s heart, and was a team player. He was featured in many sport sections of the local newspaper while playing football for Ann Arbor High. With comments such as “Rowry Booms Along” and “the powerful Rowry just kept plugging until he and his harriers wound up in a pile in the end zone!” In the late seventies, when Rosey led the dynamic golf four-some, a.k.a. “Rowry’s Bunch,” they were featured often in the newspaper, for maintaining a substantial lead in the Municipal Golf League. Those who knew him, knew that Rosey fought to win for the love of the game and the reward of the “skins!”

Rosey, was preceded in death by his beloved infant daughter, Teresa Kay Rowry. He leaves to cherish his legacy his brother, Herbert (Doris) Rowry of Buena Park, California, his children, Roosevelt Rowry Jr, of Ann Arbor, MI, Dana Rochelle Rowry, of Ypsilanti, MI and Ricco Thomas (Theresa) Rowry of Farmington Hills, MI; his grandsons, Lathan Thomas Rowry and Eian Peylar Rowry, a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, two sisters-in-law, Mary Helen Rowry and Margaret Rowry, and his very loyal and life-long friends, Dianna Rowry, Claude Baker, Dick Stuber, John Hardin, Ronald Officer and Curtis T. Howard.

Let it be known, that in his last days, Rosey did not lose his battle with cancer, instead, he surrendered his strong will to live to God; the Author and Perfecter of his faith! #2Corinthians12:9-10

A Celebration of Life has been planned for Saturday, November 17, 2018, with the family hour beginning at 10 a.m. until the hour of service at 12 noon. The family hour, service and repast will take place at Second Baptist Church, 850 Red Oak, Ann Arbor, MI, Dr. Steven J. Daniels, officiating. Internment to take place at Forest Hill Cemetery, 415 Observatory St., Ann Arbor, MI.


  • Family Hour Saturday, November 17, 2018
  • Home Going Services Saturday, November 17, 2018

Roosevelt Rowry

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Jonathan Chadiha

November 17, 2018

I have known Rosey since 1972, when I walked in the JD Hall barbershop he was working in on 4th. avenue in Ann Arbor. He became my barber from that day on. Later on, we began playing racquetball at the Y downtown. Then he talked me into playing golf after I had a knee injury and could not play racquetball anymore. We played golf every weekend on Sundays. They took my money for a while, but when I got the knack of the game, I began earning my fair share. We would talk for hours after games. He was a great friend and confidant. I will miss him greatly! My sincere condolences to the family. Rest in peace(RIP), my friend, Roosevelt!

William Robinson

November 15, 2018

Deepest Sympathies,to the Rowryfamily Rosey,was my barber for 43 years,at 3 different locations in Downtown Ann Arbor;His radiant smile is missed!The love of Rosey' life as I knew him was his family!(sports and his trade).Eventhough,I only met Reco,I feel as if I know you all the way he talked about you! Rosey,leaves a void that can't be filled by just finding a new barber! "RIP"Rosey!Bill Robinson Ann Arbor

Ed Klum

November 14, 2018

I remember Rosey for many reason s but this reason best explains the man himself. I was his coach in football at AA high on the JV football team. He was a marvelous prospect, quick, strong and talented. If ever there was a player you could predict big things for it was Rose. We were playing our season opener at Monroe. Rose had already scored a couple touchdowns and he was in for another, turning around to come back out when he was blindsided by a Monroe tackler. His knee was shattered. Our team doctor said he had never seen a worse injury. Before his repair surgery was done the doctor told him he would never play football again. But Rose worked long and hard and for countless days nights, weeks, month s. By his senior year he played again. The doctor said his repaired knee was stronger than the uninjured one. This tells you what a rare person Rosey Rowry was and what he was capable of doing. The hard to do he could do immediately. The impossible might take a little longer. I was proud to be his Coach and even more proud to be his friend. We will miss him so.

Gordon Taylor

November 14, 2018

To the Rowry Family –
Deepest sympathies to all of you. We are lifting you up in prayer during these days of transition. Rosey’s deep and unwavering faith in God has been rewarded, we can all celebrate that fact and rest assured. Beyond that, we want to say thank you. Each one of you were the light of his life and his pride and joy, so all of you had a hand in making Rosey the man he still is to so many of the rest of us. We feel blessed and honored to know “The Godfather of Ann Arbor” first as his customers, then over the years and more importantly as his friends – and yours, too. With love always – The Taylor Family: Roosevelt, Gordon, Lyle and Sheila.

Kenneth Robinson Sr.

November 13, 2018

I would like to leave my condolences to Herbert Rowry, brother of the deceased, sister-in-law Diana, and the rest of the Rowry family for the loss of Roosevelt.
- Kenneth Robinson, Sr.

Louis E. Young, Jr.

November 12, 2018

To the Rowry family, May the sweet assurance of God's love give you perfect peace and happiness now and forever! As my friend and former barber, we'll let the work that you have done and the life that you have lived speak for you ! ! ! Fondly with gratitude and respect for all your work and service for the Ann Arbor community, Louis E. Young, Jr., Retired Principal of Pioneer High School, 2007.

Don L. Simons

November 9, 2018

First and foremost I want to extend my sincere condolence to the Rowry family and to his very close friends. As I recall, Rosey lived at the corner of high and State Street. My family lived in the middle of Fuller between Glen Avel and State Street. This will only mean something to the few of us that lived in that location and are still around.

Though I was a few years younger that Rosey I would hear those older than I expressing what a good athlete he was. I do recall him coming and supporting the Ann Arbor High football teams in the early 60's.

As an adult I on occasion would drop by his shop to fellowship and talk sports. He was an accomplished golfer. At times I felt he could have been part of a sports talk show. Those that knew Rosey recall his infections smile . Especially when he knew his points where spot on!!

Don Simons, Ann Arbor

Brent Embry

November 9, 2018

Sad to hear that my former barber, dear friend, mentor, surrogate father/big brother and Ann Arbor legend “Rosey” Rowry passed away this week. If you lived in Ann Arbor or Ypsi and ever stopped in the shop for a haircut, or just for conversation, you know what the experience was like-it was straight out of a movie or TV show. On any given day you could walk in and see UM athletes, coaches, professors, ESPN broadcasters, local sportswriters, local businessmen and women, old homies from the hood you haven’t seen in ages, you name it! Everyone gathered at Rosey’s to talk politics, sports, religion, race, relationships, etc. And you knew you weren’t getting in that chair, or out of the shop for at least 2 hours, but you didn’t care because Rosey was the ultimate host and ringmaster. He gave me the best haircuts I’ve ever had, and some of the greatest conversations and life lessons that I will always cherish. Condolences to the Rowry family. RIP Rosey.

Ed Klum

November 9, 2018

Rosey was one of the finest young men I ever coached. As a high school sophomore he was severely injured when tackled in the end zone. His left knee was so badly torn he would never play his beloved football again. But Rose said “Yes I will.” And he went on a year long physical therapy session that provided the miracle of his playing again in his senior year of high school. This was Rosey. The impossible took a little longer for him to accomplish.

Aurelia Frazier

November 8, 2018

To the Rowry family, may God wrap His arms around you, and bring you peace, love, and comfort. God loves you and so do I. Blessings from Aurelia, Aaron, and the Frazier family