Lester F. Rowe (1918/11/14)
A Watsonville business school graduate made an unwelcome contract with the flu.
Lester Frank Rowe was born on October 6, 1897, in Redwood City, California, to Frank and Bertie Francis Rowe. The family moved to the Pajaro Valley while Lester was quite young and settled in the Green Valley area. His brother Phillip and his sisters Marie, Hazel, Ora, Florence and Phyllis joined Lester in the Rowe family. Young Rowe attended local schools and enrolled in the commercial department of Watsonville High School from which he was graduated about 1914.
After graduation Lester accepted a job with the Associated Oil Company of Bakersfield, California, and worked as a storekeeper at the company's facility in the small Kern County community of Reward, California.
Lester registered for the draft in Bakersfield on June 15, 1918, and was described as being tall and slender with brown eyes and brown hair. He was inducted in the fifth draft of 1918 and sent to Camp Kearney near San Diego, California. After completing basic training, he was assigned a clerical position in the camp's dental infirmary. During his military service, Lester rose to the position of chief clerk and was promoted to the rank of sergeant.
On October 28, 1918, Rowe contracted Spanish Influenza, which developed into pneumonia. His parents traveled to San Diego to spend time with him during his last few days and on November 14, 1918, Sergeant Lester Rowe died at the age of twenty-one years. Following a funeral service at the Christian Church in Watsonville on November 16, 1918, Lester Rowe was buried in Watsonville Pioneer cemetery.
(CAG; WWIDR; WRP November 15, 1918 1:7; WEP November 15, 1918 1:2)