Clinton Gilreath “Gil” Rowland – former columnist for the Greenville Piedmont and a resident of 35 W. Mountain View Ave. died Sept. 10, 1993: He was 85.
Born in Central, he was a son of the late Clinton Gilreath and Nellie Ramseur Rowland. He was a graduate of Clemson University.
In a journalism career that began in the 1940s, he wrote for The Greenville News and the Greenville Piedmont. During much of the time, he produced a daily column called “Good Afternoon.” He retired in 1973.
Bill Morris, former managing editor for the Greenville Piedmont, described Rowland as energetic, creative and not afraid to express his opinion even if he was in the minority.
“He loved life and he loved people, and all of these went into the columns that he wrote.” Morris said. “He was so involved, so obsessed with his work, that every now and then he forgot to pick up his paycheck. I think that illustrates his involvement with the community.”
Rowland also was active in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church and was one of 12 founding members of the congregation. The Greenville church started as a small discussion group that often met at Rowland’s home.
The Rev. Jennifer Slade said Rowland advocated tolerance of others and delighted in a church that brought together diverse points of view. “Gil had lots of feelings about social justice and making sure everyone had a fair shake,” she said. “He believed in loving your neighbor as yourself — that very simple ethic of being a decent person. He really lived that sense that to be committed to things is what made somebody a happy person.”
Bill Page, president of Insignia Financial Group Inc. and a member of the Greenville County school board during the 1960s, said Rowland was the conscience of the community at a time when it wasn’t the most popular thing to be. “He was one of the first voices to bring matters of poor housing and segregation to the public, and he was able to facilitate understanding among people from different backgrounds in a non-confrontational way,” Page said.
Surviving are Rowland’s wife, Clay Howard Rowland; a daughter, Miriam R. Williamson; a son, Howard C.Rowland; and a sister, Nell R. Boggs.
A memorial service will be conducted Sunday at 4 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church.
The family will receive friends at he Church immediately following he Service. Memorials may be made to Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church, 37 E. Hillcrest Drive, Greenville, S.C. 29609; or to the charity of one’s choice. The Mackey Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements.