The Passing of Susan Rowe

The Passing of Susan Rowe
Susan Rowe, former chair of the Madera County Democratic Central Committee. Photo by Howard Watkins

The Central Valley lost a political icon on Nov. 16 with the passing of Madera County Democratic Central Committee Chair Susan Rowe. She was also active in the Rural Caucus of the California Democratic Party (CDP).

Rowe became active in Central California’s Democratic progressive grassroots through Howard Dean’s presidential campaign. She was elected chair of the Madera County Democratic Central Committee in 2005 and held that post for the rest of her life. She also represented Madera County as a delegate to CDP conventions.

Rowe championed the Rural Caucus, serving at various times as vice chair and South Central regional chair. The Caucus works to ensure that rural counties get the attention, services and funding they deserve.

Rowe provided political counsel to an army of grassroots volunteers, elected officials and candidates. Described as “inimitable,” “a force” and “irreplaceable,” she was adept at explaining the political landscape. 

Rowe also brought her leadership skills to the Fresno County Democratic Women’s Club, founded in 1932, where she was chair of its Candidate Endorsement Committee for more than eight years. The club’s endorsement is coveted by many candidates.

Hailing from Anderson, Ind., Rowe is survived by her husband, Mike, senior deputy counsel of Fresno County. They met in a thespian class in high school and were lifelong partners.

Rowe was recognized twice as a CDP Regional Volunteer of the Year and received a State Senate Certificate of Recognition for her community service as a “Woman Leader of the Valley.” She will be missed by her multitude of friends.

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