AFRICOM employee, Little League president loses battle with cancer

Albert Rowe, 60, an employee of the U.S. Africa Command Office of the Inspector General, died on March 2 in Sindelfingen after a battle with cancer.

As the chief of IG assessments at the command since its inception, Rowe established the first IG assessment program. This was his third IG assignment within the Stuttgart military community, having served as the Stuttgart garrison command IG and as an IG with U.S. European Command.

“Al Rowe was the gold standard as an IG and a beloved friend to us all,” said AFRICOM IG Air Force Col. Ron Baldinger.

Active in the community, Rowe served as president of the Stuttgart American Little League for the past three years.

Friends said his fundraising and personal contributions aided equipment purchases for 42 boys’ baseball teams and 15 girls’ softball teams.  During this time, league participation grew by 20 percent.

“We were an unorganized group before Al took over,” said Kelley Measells, vice president for juniors.  “He raised more than $55,000 in three years that supported more than 1,000 youths. They received bats and gloves, and traveled to Poland and Italy, thanks to Al. He was incredible.”

Rowe’s wife, Deborah, said people were amazed at his involvement since they were “empty nesters,” but her husband loved baseball and wanted to make sure the community’s children had the opportunity to participate and develop as young athletes.

Rowe served on active duty in the U.S. Army from October 1968 to October 1988, retiring as a chief warrant officer 3. Rowe’s four tours in Germany totaled 19 years, covering parts of each decade since the 1960s.

He is survived by his wife, who is a member of the EUCOM staff; four adult children — daughter Jennifer Smith, and sons John Rowe, James Rowe, and Jason Gatton; four grandchildren — Hannah, James, Lucy, and Santiago; his mother, Thressa Rowe; and brothers Frank and Keith Rowe.

Funeral services were held on March 15 at the South Broadway Christian Church, Denver, Colo., followed by a burial at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.  Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Stuttgart American Little League.