This memorial website was created in memory of our beloved Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Aunt, Friend, and Humanitarian, Rowena McCrae Masse who blessed this Earth on March 25, 1937 and transitioned back to Spirit on May 30, 2019. 

It was an honor to have her in our lives, and she will be greatly missed!! Forever she will be in our hearts!

Internment & Celebration of Life for family and close friends: Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Internment ceremonies to be held at Gate of Heaven, 13801 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20906 @ 1:00 p.m. 

A Celebration of Life will be @ 2:00 The Limerick Pub,11301 Elkin St, Wheaton, MD 20902 ~ there are multiple metered parking lots and a garage 1 block away (cash, coins & mobile app).

Heavy hors d'oeuvres, beer, wine, and soda/water will be served, along with Rowena's favorite music and a Scottish bagpipe tribute to honor our beloved Matriarch.

We all know that Rowena valued family & friends above all else, so In lieu of flowers, please contribute a fond memory, anecdote, photo, song, or story you have about Rowena on this website. It was very important to her that we stay connected, and our precious memories of her will create that beautiful bond that she treasured so dearly.

If so desired, monetary contributions in her name should be made to either:

The ARC of Montgomery County


The American Cancer Society

Posted by Jim McCrae on March 25, 2020
Imagining you with many saints gathering today for your birthday. We are there with you in spirit and you are here with us in spirit. Love, Little Brother
Posted by Margaret Saffell on March 25, 2020
Today is your 83rd birthday date and
You're not with us anymore to celebrate.
But that's okay since our memories are great
Because the love you left will never abate!
Miss you my dear 'big' sister.
Posted by Cathie Cain on March 25, 2020
Happy Heavenly Birthday, Mom <3 I know you aren't far away - you're right here in out hearts - but damn it, I miss your voice, your words of encouragement, your wonderful hugs, and your sassy sense of humor. I miss sharing wine with you. I miss our deep philosophical conversations. I miss your taco salad. I miss dancing with you. I miss laughing with you. I just miss you!!! I love you, Mom...see you on the other side, Love ~ Your Zeepie <3
Posted by Laurie Basham on March 25, 2020
happy birthday my Moomie.

Boy do I miss you! At least I can talk to you whenever I want! I will be watch your movie later so I can relive all our wonderful times together and celebrate the beauty of your life. I love you Mom.
Posted by Kathryn Kolenda on June 11, 2019
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To my big sister who I will always miss. Your funeral and party were perfect! Rick, Laurie, and Cathie did an amazing job and it is just what you would have wanted. Lots of hugs, kisses, and memories were shared by all. See you later and we'll do lunch.
Posted by Laurie Basham on June 10, 2019
Best Mom Ever! 
My Hero, My Inspiration! You were always my bridge over troubled waters. My heart hurts like it never has before and the tears feel like they are coming from my heart- they are the overflow of love I have for you and always will. But I didn't loose you at all. I feel you right here and know your loving energy is guiding my and all those you love. Thank you for teaching me how important family is and what it means to love unconditionally. You were beautiful on the outside and now your inside, your soul, is at peace and shining so very strong. I LOVE YOU TO PIECES MOM! I will see you on the other side.
Posted by Kim Gjerde on June 5, 2019
My husband and I had the honor of knowing Ro through her children Laurie, Rick, and Cathie. Even though her life had thrown her curve balls, Ro radiated joy. I loved her spunk and her zest for life. She and her husband Jerry had always been so welcoming to us, making us feel like we are part of her extended family. She will be deeply missed.
With love,
Kim and Olav Gjerde
Posted by Cathie Cain on June 5, 2019
I just thinking about your Mom and Mrs. Renke hanging outside, Your mom gardening, and I think it was she that brought out Dixie cups with frozen lemonade and popsicle sticks to us little girls once? oh, so long ago...
I really never had the chance to truly know her.. but she sure did produced some amazingly talented, *(Chuck) fine, strong children. And Most Especially - you two women/sisters who I love today!
X/O Mary D'Amato Emmert
Posted by Paula Donnell on June 5, 2019
In loving memory of Rowena.
Rowena has been a special part of my life for more than 25 years. She was the dear mother in law to my brother, Charlie. And mom to my sweet sister in law, Laurie. I will forever cherish the memories of our family get togethers at Charlie and Laurie’s during holidays and various other occasions. Rowena had a kind and gentle spirit which she passed on to Laurie, Cathie and Rick - they are three beautiful souls that Rowena was undoubtedly proud. To the family, we are holding you close in our hearts and we grieve with you. ❤️ Love and hugs from the Donnell family.
Posted by Mary Saffell on June 5, 2019
Rowena was always upbeat. She always had a smile on her face and loved her family dearly. She and her husband Jerry were such a wonderful couple who doted on one another. Rowena's sunny disposition will be missed by us all. I hope she did not suffer. Farewell dear friend and find peace among the angels. We will try to cope with your loss. My husband Peter and send our condolences to her sisters, Margaret and Kathryn and to Jerry and to her children and grandchildren. With love from Mary Saffell and Peter Boyce
Posted by Lauren Stepek on June 5, 2019
Nanny was one of the sweetest women I've ever met. She welcomed me with open arms when I officially joined the family. She always greeted me with a big hug and kiss on the cheek. She has touched so many lives including mine and she will always hold a special place in my heart. RIP Nanny, we will miss you dearly.
Posted by James McCrae on June 3, 2019
Rowena was the best big sister a little brother ever had. Love you forever and will never forget you and all that you did to make me a better person by your loving example.
Posted by Chris Gamble on June 3, 2019
Rowena was one of the sweetest, kindest, selfless, most giving people I've ever had the honor to know. She made me feel like family years before that was legally true and never hesitated to treat me as one of her own when I was struggling through some of my most challenging times. I am forever grateful for her kindness and will love and miss her because of that for the rest of my days. Rowena showed me that altruism is the most rewarding of life's goals as I continue that endeavor long after our ways have parted. I will always hold her spirit of giving as an example of the best that humanity has to offer. Rowena was the best that humanity has to offer. Love you "Moo". Rest in peace.
Posted by John Cummings on June 3, 2019
Hi, Ro was my Mother-in-law while I was married to Laurie, her oldest daughter. She opened her heart to me while my Mom was suffering from Alzheimers Disease. I will always remember her as a kind, wonderful woman.
She leaves quite a legacy with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Sincerely, John "Jay" Cummings.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Jim McCrae on March 25, 2020
Imagining you with many saints gathering today for your birthday. We are there with you in spirit and you are here with us in spirit. Love, Little Brother
Posted by Margaret Saffell on March 25, 2020
Today is your 83rd birthday date and
You're not with us anymore to celebrate.
But that's okay since our memories are great
Because the love you left will never abate!
Miss you my dear 'big' sister.
Posted by Cathie Cain on March 25, 2020
Happy Heavenly Birthday, Mom <3 I know you aren't far away - you're right here in out hearts - but damn it, I miss your voice, your words of encouragement, your wonderful hugs, and your sassy sense of humor. I miss sharing wine with you. I miss our deep philosophical conversations. I miss your taco salad. I miss dancing with you. I miss laughing with you. I just miss you!!! I love you, Mom...see you on the other side, Love ~ Your Zeepie <3
her Life

​Honoring my Mother, Rowena McCrae Masse

How does one even begin eulogizing the most important and influential person in one’s life? The person that taught some of the most valuable skills a Human Being can ever possess…the person who carried you in her womb and bravely brought you into this world. How on Earth do you begin eulogizing your Mom??? Greetings everyone…my name is Cathie, and I am the youngest of Rowena’s 4 children…

The day of my mother’s transition back to Spirit, my siblings bestowed upon me the greatest honor I’ll probably ever have in my life ~ to speak to all you now, on behalf of our beautiful and amazing Mother…ROWENA MCCRAE MASSE

It took me until about 24 hours ago to finally rise above my excruciating heartache & tears and connect with the higher vibration that Mom is residing in now to even be able to compose this eulogy…and when I finally did, I asked her directly… “Mom, how I do begin?’…and she promptly responded with, “Cathie, Go to your cards!!”…

So, for those of you who may not know, I have a love of the intuitive arts…I have a talent for interpreting messages from Spirit through either Tarot cards or through oracle cards…

I’ve been practicing my skills in the intuitive arts since I was a teenager…with many thanks to my Mother’s encouragement.

And maybe about 20 years ago, a very good friend of mine gave me this beautiful deck of oracle cards called Angelic Messenger Cards, and I was guided to use them as a catalyst for helping me to compose this eulogy, honoring our beloved Moo Moo, as I always called her…

Each card has just one word and a picture of a flower that resonates with the word…but I’m going to focus on just the word on the cards, and I decided to pull 8 cards…I’ve always loved the number 8, because when you lay it on its side it becomes the infinity symbol…

So, as I randomly pulled each card, I could feel the collaboration of the ethereal world with the physical world, and the incredible energy of Rowena McCrae Masse emerged in all her glory…(post script; as I read this aloud at Mom's internment on 6/11/19, there was a traffic incident at the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Georgia Avenue next to Gate of Heaven and emergency vehicles were blaring loudly)

And to assist me with my oracle cards is Rowena’s beautiful Granddaughter, Bonne <3

So, the first card that presented itself was COURAGE:

It took a lot of courage to be the eldest child in a dysfunctional household, to be the Big Sister who was forced to be “the adult” when sometimes the adults in her environment weren’t always capable of it. It took courage to look after her siblings in the midst of unpredictable chaos, and then to leave her home environment and her academic aspirations when she was barely 20 to marry a man she hardly knew to start her own family.

It took a lot of courage to push through post-partum depression after her first child was born, and to trust that she had what it takes to be a great Mom. It took a lot of courage to be the comforting, grounding Angel when her loved ones were at some of the lowest, darkest points in their lives…it took a lot of courage for her to be a pillar of strength and to throw out that lifeline, that probably most of us here has had the honor of receiving from her at some point in our lives.

It took a lot of courage to transform herself & her entire life after experiencing the greatest heartache a parent can ever endure, and then a year later the greatest heartache a child can endure, then JUST the year after that, the greatest heartache a spouse can endure…it took a lot of courage to move through all of that grief…the kind of grief that would flatten most people, but not Rowena…not my Mom…she rose up like a beautiful Phoenix, and stepped into her power, accomplished her aspirations, and created a life that she loved…She attracted to her, like a magnet, the love of her life ~ her beloved husband, Jerry…My mother’s courage was beyond inspirational, it was outright magical!!

The second card to show itself: AWARENESS

My mother was acutely aware of other people’s feelings…in fact, you could call it her Super Power…

Her compassion, her patience, her ability to nurture made her exceptional at making anyone feel at home, to feel comforted, to be at peace…she had the most amazing way of helping you see all sides of a situation in order to come to your own resolution…she didn’t interject how she thought you should feel, she gave the space and the foundation to come to healing on your own, but to not be alone, right? She was in fact, the proverbial “bridge over troubled water”…

Card No. 3…so appropriate for a Mother: TENDERNESS

It takes an extraordinary person to go through so many unimaginable struggles and to still be so completely tapped into her tenderness….whether it’s for her family, her friends, the young person struggling with life’s hardships, the participants at the ARC of Montgomery County, or the cancer patient who didn’t have a ride to their chemotherapy appointment…my Mom demonstrated a kind of tenderness in her selfless actions that put her in a category all her own…

Somehow those words of encouragement, the acts of kindness, the gifts from the heart, the holding of space to heal and grow were always streaming effortlessly from my Mom…she had the innate ability to make you feel extra special…because the truth is… you are…and she knew it…and she made sure that you knew it too!!

The next card pulled is very sacred & special: DIVINE GUIDANCE

Although she kept a rather low profile as a "typical suburban housewife", my mother was totally tapped in her Divine Guidance…so much so that she introduced the family to transcendental meditation in the mid-70’s, and I can recall having many, many fascinating spiritual & metaphysical conversations with my mom & my siblings throughout my whole life. She turned to her Divine Guidance to help her through her toughest moments in life, and she imparted that spiritual strength to her children to give us a strong foundation that has served us very well, and will most certainly continue to do so.

Which brings up to Card No. 5: EXPANSIVENESS

Mom had the incredible ability to send love in such an expansive way, that I have no doubt that she’s touched the lives of so many people that she doesn’t even know in very profound and far-reaching ways…

And when you expand the energy of Love in that selfless way, it creates even more love…and this Love grows, and thrives…and makes the world a better place. Ya know, maybe she never dressed like it, but my Mom was a groovy flower child of the Universe who spread love abundantly everywhere she went….but she just did it in her own conservative way.

And speaking of ABUNDANCE that would be Card 6:

 My Mom was abundantly beautiful…in every way… inside and out – period!!!…She had an abundant Spirit, and seemed to have a reserve storage of abundant energy, that even if her life was in turmoil, she could still find abundant love within herself to give to someone who was in need of it…and to be able to give abundant love like that, even when your own life is in tatters, well that’s the stuff Angels are made of…and that was my Mom…she was an Earth Angel!!!


My Mom was committed to living her best life, she was committed to contributing to Society in meaningful ways, and she was committed lovingly to her family, to her friends, and to the people she included in her life. She was committed to making sure that we knew how wonderful we are, how loved we are, and how important we are to her.

She had an amazing way of making you feel so special and for helping you to recognize your own beauty. She was committed to standing by her family, especially during our darkest hours…she was our anchor, our sail, our oasis… She was our Florence Nightingale when we needed healing, our Gracie Allen when we needed a laugh, and our Ginger Rogers when we wanted to dance…she was our biggest cheerleader, she was our sounding board, our support system, our best friend and our Matriarch…

She nursed us through our mistakes & our sorrows and she joyfully helped us celebrate our hard won victories and our milestones….

She was committed to making sure that we always stayed connected…and that beautiful connection will never be broken!!!

Which is why card No. 8 is the most precious of all: BLESSING

My Dear Mother, you are such a blessing in all of our lives…Yes, your physical body is returning to the Earth now, but your inspiring, persevering courage, your intelligent, compassionate awareness, your loving, patient tenderness, your Divinely guided intuition & support, your expansive, abundant heart, and your unwavering commitment to your family and friends has been a blessing to us all, and has left an indelible mark on all our lives…

We feel you are closer in our hearts than ever before, and we are grateful for the blessings you will continue to bring to us as we stay connected to your beautiful Energy.

Mere words cannot express the enormous love that we feel for you…and although we grieve that you are not on the physical plane with us anymore, we can take comfort in knowing that Your Spirit is most certainly shining on, and will continue to be a blessing to us forever more.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mom for gracing us with your incredible beauty, and for showing us the true meaning of LOVE.

Dear, Rowena, you are forever in our hearts…and we will see you on the other side….

Thank you, everyone…God Bless, & Amen <3

Sisters Forever

My dear sister, Rowena (Nu1) was a true treasure in my life like no other.  When my first husband died she took me in and gave up her bedroom so I could rest.  Then she did the most comforting gesture and called a priest to sit with me.  He is the priest who counseled and married me and Tom.  She was always there through all life's ups and downs and I called on her incredible strength and beautiful joy to celebrate both.  She cried with me after my son died and I felt her complete understanding of the courage it takes to get through the loss of a child.  I'll miss you sweet Nu1 my 'big' sister and friend -- I will see you later.  Love Me 

Recent stories
Shared by Judy Sowell on June 6, 2019

Where does one begin to describe one's feelings when you have known someone like Rowena and she will no longer be on this earth. She was such a strong vibrant person quite independent for the times. I have known her for most of my life, that giggle she had and the way she'd say Myrne to my Mom. Always ready for anything Ro was a tough little cookie! We were so lucky to have her be a part of our lives. Will miss her dearly, prayers for your family love always Jude

Mama Ro

Shared by Jane Broomall on June 5, 2019

What Can I say?  She helped raise me.  I practically lived at their house growing up.  I remember that she always made me feel good and was happy to see me.  She was extremely patient and understanding.  She would stay with us everyday when we would swim in the pool.  I don't ever remember her saying "No " to us, but she did love tanning by the pool with her romance novels!

  I could go to her for anything and nothing shocked her!  She let Laurie come to Germany to stay with me and that was the best gift ever.

  She was delightful to be around and a really good Mom.  I will miss her terribly as she was such a big part of my life.

  Have a laugh with  my Mutte and rest in peace.

We love you! 


In Honor Of Rowena

Shared by Charles Basham SR. on June 5, 2019

Rowena will surely be missed by a lot of people. We got to know and enjoy her company by attending some of their & our family get togethers at Charlie & Laurie's home. We also attended some live dinner theaters with her & Jerry.

We love & will miss this kind and loving dear lady very much. 

Charlie Sr & Edna