Obituary of Fredrick Thomas Rowland
Fredrick Thomas Rowland, 69 Fredrick Thomas Rowland, age 69, of Lafayette, TN passed away Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville, TN. Tom was born in Indianapolis, IN on March 19, 1951 to the late Robert A. Rowland and Elizabeth A. Coridan Rowland. Tom ran track and cross country at Greenfield High School in Greenfield, IN. He married Melissa McFerrin Jones in 1971. Tom started his career in telecommunications as a temporary contract worker for Hancock Rural Telephone Cooperative in 1969 as a recent high school graduate and only 18 years old. “Hancock was changing from a 10-party open wire system to a one-part buried system. I spent the summer laying wire and rewiring many subscribers’ houses for the switch.” After that first summer he spent another 10 years with Hancock, working in installation repair and central office operations, before taking on a managerial role within the cooperative as supervisor of installation and maintenance. This background gave him an important perspective on the daily operations of a telco. In 1979, Tom became the general manager of Davies-Martin County Rural Telephone Cooperative in Montgomery, Indiana. In 1984 Tom was hired as the general manager of North Central Telephone Cooperative in Lafayette, TN where he retired in 2008. He has a long distinguished history in telecommunications. He is a past member and chairman of the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative Board and served for 13 years on the Group Health Program Trustee Committee, a highly technical leadership position that guides NTCA’s health program. In addition to leading NCTC and the NTCA board he was active on numerous state and association boards, including the Tennessee Rural Communications Cooperative Association, the Kentucky Telephone Association and the Tennessee Telecommunications Association, in addition to serving as the president of the Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative he was also president of NTCA and the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative. He dedicated his career to North Central Telephone, the employees and customers to bring NCTC into the 21st century and make it a leading company in the rural telecommunications world. Tom loved to read, collect and restore antique telephones, mow his property, watch old westerns, and most of all, his grandchildren. He would sit at the end of the driveway every day and wait for his grandchildren to get off the school bus. Tom is survived by his wife Melissa Rowland, son and daughter-in-law Aaron & Ashley Rowland, and daughter and son-in-law Alexis & John Boxold; brothers and sisters-in-law Mike and Kay Rowland, Bill and Linda Rowland, Rick Rowland; Sister and husband-in-law Maribeth and Faril Ward; grandchildren Taylor Boxold, Hannah and husband Morgan Leonard, Isabella Boxold, Gryphon Rowland, Sophia Boxold, Karalena Boxold, and Greer Rowland; and great granddaughter Emma Lynn Medrano-Boxold. Funeral Services for Tom are scheduled to be conducted on Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 2 PM from the Holy Family Catholic Church with Father Vic officiating. Visitation with the family will begin at the church of Friday, January 29, 2021 from 3 PM until 8 PM, and on Saturday, January 30, 2021 from 12 PM until service time at 2 PM. The family requests that donations be made to The Cason’s Cause, Autism Tennessee, or American Lung Association. The family requires that anyone that plans to attend the visitation or funeral service to please wear a mask and practice social distancing.