On October 3rd, Rolf H. Towe died peacefully in Jacksonville, FL after battling an acute illness. He was born on October 12, 1938 and raised in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. He was a graduate of Deerfield Academy, Duke University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale Law School. He married Neely Paul, the love of his life, in Jacksonville in 1963. Together they raised three children, Anne Towe Egan (George), Paul Kenneth Towe and Christopher Wellington Towe (Vanessa), all of whom he adored.
Rolf began his legal career at the Union Carbide Corporation where he quickly transitioned into leadership positions in management, serving four years as regional director of South East Asia Operations in Hong Kong, and later as Vice President and Treasurer. After leaving Union Carbide, he cofounded The Clipper Group as an independent firm to manage the private equity investment business of Credit Suisse First Boston. Working behind the scenes, he managed distressed companies as part of a wide range of investments managed by Clipper.
Despite his contributions to business, he may be best remembered for his mentorship and service. He was sought out for his ability to understand complex problems quickly and offer solutions with humor, love, integrity and wisdom. He served on the boards of American Heritage Life, Jack Morton Productions, the Trinity Forum, Boy and Girls Club of Greenwich, and the Hong Kong International School. He also was the “silent half” of his wife’s role as Pastor of the Stanwich Congregational Church, providing steadfast and selfless support to her myriad ministries.
Although in his youth he was an avid golfer, his hobbies upon retiring to Jacksonville in 2007 focused on enjoying the Jacksonville Symphony and the World Affairs Council, cheering on the Duke Blue Devils, and delighting in time spent with The No Purpose Lunch Group. While he traveled to 87 countries throughout his lifetime, the place he loved most was Lake Meddybemps, Maine. Even though he loved entertaining friends and family with his signature hors d’oeuvres and dinners, he and Neely loved sharing the beauty of God’s creation there. From exquisite sunsets that he often photographed to nurturing hummingbirds and eaglets, Lake Meddybemps provided a precious haven for an extroverted introvert.
Rolf cherished his family as they cherished him. He sent birthday reminders to four generations of the Reinhold Family and forwarded news items and videos that he knew would bring a smile. He is survived by his wife, Neely, his two children and their spouses, his two brothers, Kenneth Towe (Harriet) and Teri Towe, and his six grandchildren who affectionately called him “Boot”, Paul Egan, Ben Egan, Neely Egan, Grace Egan, Adrienne Towe and Keller Towe. He is predeceased by his son Paul Towe.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on October 15 at St. John’s Cathedral, 256 East Church Street, Jacksonville and will also be available by livestream at https://www.jaxcathedral.org/st-johns-live/ . Friends are invited to a reception in Taliaferro Hall following the service.
Another memorial service will be held at 3:00pm on October 22 at Stanwich Congregational Church, 202 Taconic Road, Greenwich, Connecticut.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorial gifts be directed to the Lake Meddybemps Land Trust (PO Box 298, Calais, Maine 04619, https://donorbox.org/meddybemps-lake-land-trust ).
Arrangements by Evergreen Funeral Home & Crematory (904) 353-3649 (www.evergreenjax.com)