Monday, November 23, 2009

For My Brother Dan

I rarely put information on this blog about personal matters, but I am posting an obituary from Tuesday's New York Times that captures much of the spirit of Daniel Rowen, my younger brother, who died a week ago after a struggle with a rare cancer that was discovered this spring.

The obituary focuses on his work as an architect. Dan was the family artist and the one who returned to our roots in New York and found great success there.

He left behind a rich legacy in one of the most competitive professional environments anywhere.

A website contains a few images of his work and lists of accomplishments.

I look at these photos and am both amazed and sad: my 'little' brother did all this, and he's gone?

Dan was also the consummate father and husband. He was crazy about his wife and three boys - - so this is where his loss is greatest.

He also had made during the last few years a fascinating transition to a kind of patriarch (in the best sense of the word) to a large extended family and circle of friends and friends of friends in New York, and beyond.

This group is as stunned and devastated as is our immediate family at his sudden and inexplicable death.

Dan did nothing in half-measures.

His presence and impact were immense.

I could not have asked for a better brother.

13 comments:

capper said...

My deepest condolences. Thoughts and prayers go out to you, your family and your brother's family.

Anon said...

My condolences to you and your family. How very sad.

Brutus said...

So sorry for your loss. The portfolio of his work is absolutly stunning!

Cory Liebmann said...

thank you for sharing your brother with those of us that didn't know him. it is an inspiring tribute for what was clearly an amazing person. you will certainly be in my thoughts.

Sam said...

Thanks for posting.

Anon Jim said...

James - my deepest and most heartfelt condolences to you and your family.

Your brother was obviously a very special & accomplished person, who's passing came at a much much too young of age.

Hart said...

You know our feelings: your brother was special. I am sorry seeing you this weekend was not under better circumstances. Dan was so brave at the end, and you were so strong at his side. Dan was your family's artist and an incredibly elegant architect, but to the NY-based extended wing of the family, Dan was our family architect. He made us all better family members, demanding and inspiring a strong connection between us all, and leading by example with his high standard for what it means to be 'family.'

He will be missed, always.

Anonymous said...

I am your old neighbor from across the street on Warwick. I spoke to Danny when you mom was failing---she was really an incredible advocate for me and a great comfort as well. Danny was wise beyond his years. I was shocked and saddened by his sudden death...the only cmfort is that he is with his mom.
Julie Donati

ngott said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Dan. My deepest condolences.

James Rowen said...

I very much appreciated the receipt of these comments.

Anonymous said...

Having experienced the loss of a younger sibling, I know the terrible heartbreak and send you my deepest condolences. My condolences also go to his wife and children and the extended family you mentioned. Go gentle with the wind...
M Flood

Joseph McBride said...

Jim, I am sorry to read about your brother's death. I read the obituary in the Times and found at the end that he was your brother. I was touched to read your comments on his life and legacy.

James Rowen said...

Thank you, Joe.