Susan Mary Goff was born on February 2, 1941 on a small farm southeast of Knoxville, Iowa. Her parents were Jim and Juanita Goff. She was the second of seven children.
She grew up on a 360 acre working farm with dairy cows, hogs and sheep. Susan attended a one-room country school through eighth grade and it literally was uphill both ways. They had to walk down a hill and then up a hill to school and then repeat the process on the way home. She was active in 4-H, showing livestock and loved to enter cooking and sewing items in the annual county fair. She won the organization's highest distinction, the Danforth Award, which honors extraordinary young people for their character and leadership.
There was a 15-year difference between Susan and her youngest sibling Joyce. The three younger kids all agreed that Susan was more like a second mother to them than a sister. She had the same values and ethics as her mother and tried to instill them in her unruly younger siblings.
Upon graduation from Knoxville High School in 1959, Susan received a letter from her congressman, Neal Smith. It stated that genuine success is not measured in dollars or titles and is not automatically bestowed upon anyone. To enjoy success and happiness...requires hard work...and living by the highest ideals. These are words that Susan took to heart and summarize how she lived the rest of her life. And more importantly, these were the values that she worked tirelessly to instill in her children and grandchildren.
In the early 60s, she began dating her long-time neighbor, Richard Rowland. On their first date they went to the Sports & Vacation Show at Vets Auditorium in Des Moines and it would be the first of many, many sporting events they would attend together. In fact, he proposed to her while sitting in her driveway after attending a football game in Pleasantville. They were united in marriage on June 11, 1961 at Zion United Methodist Church in Pershing, Iowa.
Susan and Dick had three daughters, Debbie, Carol and Amy. Family was everything to Susan. She dedicated her life to teaching her daughters how to be strong, caring, thoughtful individuals. Susan taught them to have mutual respect to those they came in contact with during their lives and versed them in the Bible's Golden Rule, "To do unto others as you would have others do unto you."
Susan worked at Iowa State Savings Bank for 32 years, serving in a number of different positions. She was active in the Liberty Garden Club, recreation league volleyball and softball, and numerous card parties where she was a killer pitch partner.
Faith was a constant throughout Susan's life. As a teen she made sure her brothers and sisters attended services at Zion. She was a Sunday school teacher for over 50 years teaching countless kids that Jesus loves them, that he has the whole world in his hands and no matter what, to let their little light shine.
In 1988, Susan's hard work as a mother was rewarded with her first grandchild. Now the fun could begin. At grandma's house games were always better than TV. Annie-Annie over, hand baseball, forts, flubber, sequence and every card game ever invented filled the days and nights. Nothing made her happier than her entire family packed in a room laughing, eating and talking.
And that's how her life ended. Over the past twelve days, Susan's life was filled with prayers, laughter and most importantly family. Her life philosophy and loving nature was the platform upon which was built a caring and nurturing family. That family endures today, and will ensure that all she taught them, will be woven into the future descendants of Susan Mary Rowland.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Marion and two nephews, Bryan Goff and Jamie Rankin.
Left to honor her memory are her husband, Richard; three daughters: Debbie Cook (Jeff) of Pleasantville, Iowa, Carol Rowland (Tom Beard) of Murfreesboro, TN; Amy Zoutte (Alan) of Knoxville, Iowa. Five grandchildren: Britney Flaws (Jordan), Tassi Cook, Carter Cook, Anthony Zoutte and Aidan Zoutte and a great granddaughter, Jovey Flaws.
She is also survived by her sisters: Linda Agan (Arnie), Jane Berry (Corwin), Martha Reed (John), and Joyce Goff; brother, Richard Goff (Karen) and many other family and friends.
A Memorial Service for Susan Goff Rowland was held Monday, May 1, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at Zion United Methodist Church in Pershing, Iowa. Susan has been cremated and burial will follow in the Zion Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Zion United Methodist Church in Pershing, Iowa or the Marion County Friends of 4-H. Online condolences may be left at www.BertrandFuneralHomes.com.
Published on May 2, 2017