James Rowsey Jr.

James “Coach” “Red” Thomas Rowsey Jr., 84, of Lexington died at his home on June 19, 2022, after a long battle with heart disease.

He was born and raised in Rockbridge County. He served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years protecting and defending his country. During his military career, he was stationed on six aircraft carriers that took him around the world. In the last four years of service, he was stationed in Yorktown Naval Station, where he ran the golf course and the intramural sport programs.

Following retirement from the Navy, he worked at Virginia Military Institute until retiring from there as well. While at VMI, he served as the head coach of the baseball team during the 1981 season. He was also the service manager of the PX and Mess Hall.

Mr. Rowsey was an avid sports fanatic and loved all sports. He enjoyed golfing and bowling in his free time. But most important to him was the time he spent coaching Little League sports including football, baseball, and basketball for over 25 years.

Mr. Rowsey was preceded in death by his father, James Thomas Rowsey Sr., and mother, Bertie Entsminger Macheras. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Bonnie, and his children Thomas, Eddie, Charles, Jimmy Lewis, Chris, David and Brian; and daughter Debbie Pruett. He was the grandfather to 17 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Charlie.

The family will receive friends at Harrison’s Funeral Home today, Wednesday, June 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. The funeral will be tomorrow, Thursday, June 23, at 2 p.m. at Harrison’s. Burial will follow at Rockbridge Memorial Gardens.

Arrangements are by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory.


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