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Thanksgiving reminds us to give thanks for all we have, such as family, friends, life experiences and more. It is also time to get together with our loved ones and enjoy a good meal and other family traditions. Thanksgiving is about more than just food, and that’s why J.C. Rowe, 90-year-old resident of Waltonwood Cotswold, recommends one of his family’s traditions around the holiday. He suggests going around the table and discussing why each person is thankful. Rowe, who spent over 42 years in law enforcement and eight years as the mayor of Forest Acres, S.C., devoted his life to helping others. A former police chief, Rowe was recently inducted into the SC Law Enforcement Hall of Fame Meritorious. He is originally from Georgia, and has two brothers and a sister who still live there. He lived for some time in Brevard, N.C., where he started a first rescue squad, the Transylvania County Rescue Squad, to help hikers in the mountains. With Thanksgiving around the corner, Rowe shares some of his family’s traditions to inspire people of all age to give thanks all year long.

“I love Thanksgiving because all of our family gets together, and it is a fun time,” said Rowe. “I am not a turkey person, but I still enjoy the food, especially fried pies that I used to eat when I was growing up which my daughter is learning how to make for me. We decorate the Christmas tree, tell stories and enjoy the time we have together. I am such a proud father, grandfather and great-grandfather, and we remind each other to be thankful for what we have and for the love we have for one another. Every day I am grateful for the career I had because it gave me a lot of great opportunities. I am thankful for everyone who helped me throughout my life, especially my family.”

Rowe was married to his wife, Kate, for 52 years, and she was his biggest cheerleader, supporting him in everything he did. He has one child, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren who all live in North Carolina. In his free time he enjoys wood crafting, and he even sold some of his work to other residents, local families and staff members at Waltonwood Cotswold during the community’s recent fall festival. All the proceeds went to the Alzheimer’s Association. He has always enjoyed helping others in every way possible. Rowe says he has many reasons to be thankful, including one of his brothers who calls him every Wednesday and Sunday to check on him. People who know Rowe describe him as a happy and grateful person. He always advises others to work hard and use common sense in everything they do. Today, Rowe is asking younger generations to pause and remember to show their appreciation for others on a daily basis.

“Everyone has reasons to be thankful, sometimes we just have to be reminded of them,” said Rowe. “It is important to remember the people who helped us over time and show appreciation to them. Be thankful for your parents and those who love you and always try to surround yourself with good people.”

“I think showing appreciation and acknowledging our blessings should be part of our daily lives,” said Leah Nash, executive director of Waltonwood Cotswold. “We are grateful for having J.C. at our community because he is such a kind and generous person, and he reminds us of the importance of expressing gratitude every day.”

Singh currently owns and operates 10 other Waltonwood Senior Communities in Michigan and North Carolina and has several other communities in development and under construction in North Carolina and the Washington, D.C. metro area market.  

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