Rowland W. Straka was born in Janesville, Wis., the son of Alma and Joseph Straka.
He graduated from the Evansville, Wis., school system, attended the University of Wisconsin and graduated from the Elgin Watchmakers College in Elgin, Ill.
He received an associate degree from the Madison Business College in Madison, Wis.
Rowland was a master watchmaker, certified gemologist and member of the Gemological Institute of America.
He served in the Korean War for four years in the USAF, 6147th Tactical Control Group which was nicknamed the “Mosquitoes.”
He took over Straka Jewelry in Evansville from his father in 1955 which he operated until 1988.
Rowland and his wife, Terry, were married in Rockton, Ill., in 1968.
Closing the Evansville store in 1988, he and Terry purchased Salick’s Jewelry in Watertown, Wis., retiring from the business in 1995.
Rowland was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post #35 and past master of the F&AM Union Lodge #32 in Evansville.
He was a member of Rotary International in Watertown, Wis., and active member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Evansville, Immanuel Lutheran Church in Watertown and St. John Lutheran Church in Summerfield, Fla.
He and Terry retired to Florida in 1999 where they enjoyed a very active life in the retirement community of Spruce Creek South and had time to enjoy traveling both in the U.S. and abroad.
They moved to Woodinville, Wash., in May of 2009 to be closer to their immediate family.
Surviving are his wife, Terry; son, Scott; daughter-in-law, Deborah; grandchildren Erik and Elliana of Washington and cousin Janis DiLullo of New Jersey.
Rowland was a kind, gentle man with a keen sense of humor and will be greatly missed by family and friends. Graveside services will be held at the Tahoma Veteran’s Cemetery in Kent, Wash., on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, at 1 p.m.
If you care to send a memorial, please share with the charity or church of your choice, or the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place Memphis, TN 38105.