Jan. 12, 1928 – Jan. 30, 2017
A. Paddy Rowell Sr., of Orchard Park, longtime owner of Flexlume Sign Co., died Monday in Buffalo General Medical Center after a short illness. He was 89.
Born in Buffalo, he grew up in Hamburg, was active in the Boy Scouts and graduated from Manlius Military Academy, near Syracuse. He served in the Army National Guard as a mess sergeant during the Korean War.
In 1948, he went to work for his father, F. A. “Al” Rowell, an electrician who had operated his own electric sign company before he purchased the bankrupt Flexlume at auction in 1944.
Flexlume designed, built and refurbished many memorable signs for local theaters, banks, auto dealers and other businesses, including the marquee at the North Park Theatre and the many incarnations of the marquee at Shea’s Performing Arts Center.
Flexlume also maintained the signs and the Statue of Liberty lights atop the Liberty Bank building in downtown Buffalo and installed the original scoreboard at the former Rich Stadium.
Mr. Rowell succeeded his father as president of the company in 1970 and retired in 2013.
The Rowell family sold the business in 2015.
He was a member of Western Star Lodge 1185, Free & Accepted Masons and the Ismailia Shrine, where he was a member of the directors’ staff.
He also was a past president of the Western New York Winnebago Club, a member of World Sign Associates and a volunteer member of the Orchard Park Civil Defense Team.
His wife of 67 years, the former Shirley Jean Kuehne, died on June 17.
Survivors include three sons, A. Paddy Jr., Paul R. and Bruce D.; two daughters, Linda J. Ernst and Gail M. Wheeler; 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Masonic and military services will be held at 7 p.m. Friday in F. E. Brown Sons Funeral Home, 6575 E. Quaker St., Orchard Park.
A private funeral service will be held Saturday.