Former General Manager of JFK International Airport Memorialized at the Presbyterian Church of New Rochelle


Photos: Courtesy Ebony Magazine June 1985 issue.

New Rochelle, NY – November 9, 2012 Richard affectionately known locally and internationally as “Dick” Rowe was the General Manager of Kennedy International Airport from 1983 to 1994 at a time when JFK was considered the largest airport in the world. He was the head of administration for Airport operation, maintenance and security for all tenants and customers.

Richard Lloyd Rowe (85) died on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at the Montefiore Hospital of respiratory complications. He was born in September 21, 1926 to Athelda and George Rowe in New York City. Richard attended public schools in New York City including Public School 186, Junior High School 164 and the prestigious Stuyvesant High School in the Bronx.

He was a solid family man. He married Mercedes L. Walker a devoted companion and New York City School Teacher in 1952. The Rowe’s had 3 children together and shared a rich community and church life over the years particularly with the Presbyterian Church of New Rochelle.

Poem for Dick Rowe

 

His footprint is not a small one for a black man or any man

however humble, his beginnings. He launched himself from

Stuyvesant High School to CUNY undergraduate and graduate

studies and from a Port Authority Policeman to General

Manager of Kennedy Airport the most prestigious airport in his time in the world.

Richard Rowe was raised in Caribbean tradition well educated

and under strict supervision. He was cut from the same fabric as

Harry Belafonte and General Colin Powell.

His footprint is not a small one for a black man or any man

however humble, his beginnings. His trajectory was from

Stuyvesant High School to CUNY undergraduate and graduate

studies and from a Port Authority Policeman to General

Manager of Kennedy Airport the most prestigious airport in his

time in the world.

Richard was a loving husband and father and a working family-

man, a great public speaker and well educated writer and

thinker. He was always a Christian man who could stare you

down with his gaze and lift you up with his broad cowboy smile.

He could set up a project for capital development or

2012 international commerce as easily as he could be the life of an

upscale New York party and dance the night away.

Richard traveled the world and was greatly respected by his

peers managing other international ports from Singapore to

China; Europe to the Caribbean.

In his time…Mayor Dinkins has NYC and Richard had the airport.

The Sky…was the limit on their inspiration of others. The Sky…

was the limit as to who would follow these men in America.

Young People remember that his footprint is not a small one for

a black man or any man – however humble your beginnings.

He launched himself from Stuyvesant High School to CUNY

undergraduate and graduate studies and from a Port Authority

Policeman to General Manager of Kennedy Airport the most

prestigious airport in his time in the world.

Let the Sky now be limitless to his inspiration today, and God our Commander

guide him to eternal rest.

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3 Comments

  1. It has been a number of years since I last talked to Dick and I am saddened to learn of his passage. I first met Dick in 1973 when he worked in labor relations for the Port. We became good friends and I assisted him in his election to the head of the Eastern Region of the International Personnel Management Assn. when I was president of the CT chapter of IPMA. We had some wonderful times together and he was always a fun person. He introduced me to Sambuca Romano when we were in the Virgin Islands once, but more importantly in 1978 he aided me in my search for professional advancement by recommending me to Betsy Robinson then AVP at Conrail. That helping hand led to a fulfilling career in labor relations with Conrail from which I retired. In 1983/4 when he went to JFK, he aided my new wife and I on our honeymoon to Aruba with upgrades and VIP treatment at JFK. Dick was truly a wonderful person and a great friend. He will be missed by many, many people including me.

  2. Thanks for your comments Jim. Dick was my father-in-law. I have many stories too :>). I would love to do more substantive stories, case studies etc. [works] on his contributions to the Port and IMPA because of the times that he did things in NYC and our national history. People need to know how significant the man really was and i would like to share these things with my children and grandchildren. Please let me know if you have any ideas. I will of course, share your comments with my kids and his wife, Mercedes — it will certainly make their days especially as we approach the first anniversary of his passing.
    Be well, Calvin

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