Local Soldier Laid to Rest in Brookville

| July 17, 2018

JEFFERSON CO., Pa. (EYT) – Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Emmett “Blake” Rowan was laid to rest on Monday afternoon in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Rose Township, Jefferson County.

Emmett “Blake” Rowan died unexpectedly at the age of 28. He was stationed at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California.

His family was notified on Monday, July 2, 2018.

The funeral procession for Corpsman Rowan followed a Funeral Mass of Christian Burial at the Immaculate Conception Church in Brookville late Monday morning and proceeded down Graham Avenue to South Pickering Street, then along Main Street, passing the Courthouse on its way to South White Street. From there, it traveled to State Route 36, entering Rose Township on its way to the Saint Mary’s Cemetery near the Rose Township Building.

John Pacsai, who was involved in the procession, is a member of Clarion ABATE, Friends of the Flag, Bikers for a Cause, and Friends of Christian, all organizations who contributed riders to pay tribute.

“We’re lucky to be in a small town. The bike community as a whole tries to do what we can, especially for veterans. We do our best to get as many people as we can even though it was a weekday,” Pascai said.

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Pascai also noted that Jefferson County Emergency Management coordinated the route for the procession.

“We just came to show our support. The Brookville Police and Fire Department always help us. It’s really nice having a community where everyone tries to do their part,” he said.

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Blake was born on October 20, 1989, in Brookville, Pa. He graduated from Brookville Area High School in 2008.

While at Brookville Area High School, Blake competed on the Raiders varsity swim team and was a member of the marching band, serving as Drum Major during his senior year. Blake also performed in multiple musicals in high school and at the Sawmill Theater, including “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Grease,” and “Guys and Dolls.” He also worked as a lifeguard at Walter Dick Memorial Park. In one instance, Blake helped save multiple children in distress in high water, despite being off-duty.

He graduated from Edinboro University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in English-Writing. Following graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy in June of 2013. Blake completed basic training at the Navy’s Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois. He transferred to technical training in Respiratory Therapy at the Navy Medicine Training Support Command, San Antonio, Texas. He worked as a nationally-certified respiratory therapist at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego from August 2014 until the time of his death.


He worked with and helped children at Balboa Naval Hospital, where he was one of the first newly certified Navy Corpsmen to work as a respiratory therapist in the NICU. He had plans to begin premedical coursework this fall at UNC-Asheville.

Blake’s family and friends remember him as a trustworthy young man who lived life to the fullest, while always caring for those around him. His positive attitude, beautiful smile, and sense of humor brought joy to all who knew him. With his infectious laugh and kind compassion, he had the ability to lift people out of dark places. He was more of a brother than an uncle to his niece Elle.

Blake is survived by his parents, Stephen and Ruth Rowan, of Brookville; his sister Stephanie Rowan and husband Philip Reede and their daughter, Elle, of San Antonio, TX; and his brother Aaron and his wife Jennifer and their daughter, Maddalena, of Huntersville, NC.

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