Passing of Roscoe Rowney

It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of retired Division Chief Roscoe Rowney.


As some of you were aware, Roscoe had been diagnosed with a brain tumor just a few short years after his retirement.  He battled that brain tumor and WON!  We all had hoped it would be in his past as he kept on riding his bike a hundred miles in a day.  Unfortunately, as some challenges started to begin again for Roscoe, they found a second tumor and this one was much more aggressive.  Early this morning, Roscoe lost his battle with this brain tumor.


Those of you that knew him, knew him for his quirks and amazing sense of humor.  Staff meetings always lead to laughs with his quick wit.  I think he was one of those characters we all cherish in our careers.  Roscoe’s trip through the fire service was an adventure for sure and it lead to all the stories he told and the interesting places he had been.


You may know him from his Plans Chief days, his Admin Officer days or even his Resource management days, but he actually started this firefighting journey jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.  Roscoe’s rookie year in the fire service was as a Redding Smokejumper in 1975 (you should see the pictures!) and he received his 50th jump pin in 1977, where he was also detailed in Alaska.  After his seasons with the USFS, he moved to State Lands Department until 1980.  Knowing how amazing we all are in CAL FIRE, CDF at the time, I’m sure that compelled him to utilize his resource management training and background for “good” and he became a Forester I in HUU.  For the next 7 years he worked on the coast until promoting to Forester II in BEU.  From 1987-1992 he worked in BEU until transferring to CSR in Fresno.  After spending 5 years in Region, Roscoe made his way home to MMU where he remained in the Resource Management world until he lateralled to Assistant Chief in 2000.  Roscoe worked in numerous programs here within MMU for the next 12 years including Madera Division, Mariposa Admin and Mt. Bullion camp.  He retired in January of 2012.


For the next few years, we still had the pleasure of Roscoe’s chocolate chip cookies, visits to lunch and seeing him walk around here in his bike shorts after a 100+ mile ride, up and back, to the Yosemite National Park.  That was a sight to behold!  Roscoe really was a great man, and he will be so missed by us all, but it does bring a smile to my face when I think of all he has brought to us as friends.


Our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family, his sisters; BeeJee, Nickel, Jill, Teresa and Melissa, his brother Mark, and especially our fellow CAL FIRE family member, his brother Chief Chris Rowney.  Over the next few days the family will be working on service arrangements and I will send out an update as soon as there is information to share. In the meantime, if you wish to send your condolences to his family, please feel free to address them as noted below and we will deliver.


The family of Roscoe Rowney

5366 Highway 49 N

Mariposa, CA 95338


MMU wants to thank everyone that has spent their time with Roscoe over the past few difficult months.  Roscoe appreciated it and I know his family is so proud of the camaraderie we were able to share with him.  His family is large, and we were a big part of that.  If you could please pass this along to Roscoe’s friends in the field, there are many, and they span many units.


The a service will take place at the Amigo Stage at the Mariposa Fairgrounds on Saturday, 9/30 at 1300.  Their will be a BBQ on the lawn behind the stage immediately following the service. They plan to use a CAL FIRE video camera to record the service for family members that are unable to attend.



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