The Transylvania Times -

J.C. (Jimmy) Rowe


Last updated 10/26/2020 at 4:59pm

On Oct. 9, 2020, J.C. (Jimmy) Rowe passed away while under Hospice Care at Brookdale Carriage Club in Charlotte, N.C. He was 93.

He was born in Walton County, Ga., the first of four children of Richard and Sarah (Hood) Rowe. He learned the value of a hard day’s work helping on his grandfather’s farm. He worked many jobs growing up, a favorite being the projection operator at the local movie theater in Monroe, Ga. Born in 1927, he knew the hardship of the Depression and developed a financial shrewdness, which served him well in his later work.

Following high school, he served in the Army Air Corps from 1945-1947.

He married his sweetheart, Katie Burrell, in 1948. She lovingly supported all his endeavors until her death in 2001.

His career in law enforcement spanned 42 years, beginning in Forest Park, Ga., in 1952. In 1960, he joined the police department in Brevard, serving as chief from 1965-1975. In 1962, he co-founded the Transylvania County Rescue Squad and was later elected president of the Western N.C. Rescue Squad Association. From 1975-1978, he was employed in dual roles as chief of police and fire in Timmonsville, S.C. He and Katie moved to Forest Acres, S.C., where he served as police chief from 1978-1994. While there he worked tirelessly to expand the S.C. Police Chiefs’ Association, becoming its first executive director in 1994. He received the Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor given to a South Carolina citizen, in 2001. In 2017 he was inducted into the S.C. Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame for Meritorious Service.

Following retirement, he was twice elected Mayor of Forest Acres. God provided him wonderful opportunities and surrounded him with outstanding support, notably Chief Gene Sealy and Tina Johnson, of the Forest Acres Police Department. For that he was truly grateful.

He was known for his out-going, friendly nature and the big smile he shared with everyone. He enjoyed woodworking and was most recently known as the “birdhouse man,” donating proceeds of his sales to local causes.

His parents, Richard and Sarah, and his wife, Katie Burrell Rowe, preceded him in death.

He is survived by his daughter, Vicky Rowe Hovis (John); grandchildren, Ben Hovis (Megan), Penelope Bridgeman (Alex), and great-grandchildren, William, Emerson, and Campbell Bridgeman and Chase Hovis. He is also survived by his sister, Martha Knight, and brothers, Gary Rowe, (Linda) and Randell Rowe (Janice).

A family service was held at Sardis Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, N.C., and a memorial service will be held in Forest Acres, S.C. at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), P.O. Box 3199, Camdenton, MO 65020, or at:



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