George Rowsom

03/26/2013 12:42 PM |

George Rowsom, former president of S.T. Preston & Son, Inc. in Greenport, died at his home in Orient on Sunday, March 24, after a long illness. He was 77.

He is survived by his wife, Andrea; four sons (and their wives): Christopher and Carey, Michael and Milou, Peter and Monica and Andrew and Heather; six grandsons; one great-granddaughter; and Tigger and Harlequin. A daughter, Melanie, died in 1997.

Rowsom graduated from Friends Academy and Hobart College. He married Andrea Fagan in 1957 and went to work at Preston’s, which his father-in-law, Frank Fagan, had just purchased. He then served in the United States Army (in Texas) for two years before returning to spend the rest of his career at Preston’s. He was instrumental in building Preston’s from a simple local marine hardware store into an internationally known mail-order business, sending marine-themed prints and other artwork, gifts and decorative items worldwide.

He was a director of the North Fork Bank (now Capital One), an honored founding member and treasurer of the East End Seaport Museum and heavily involved in the rebuilding of Bug Light.

Rowsom was an avid bird bander, capturing birds in nets in Moore’s Woods and attaching an aluminum band with a unique number so that their travels could be accurately followed. He was a councilor of the East End Birdbanding Association.

He was a sailor and was a member of the Shelter Island Yacht Club, the Orient Yacht Club, the Chinese Yacht Club and the Eastern Long Island Yachting Association (as it now is). He served as commodore of each of these at one time or another.

He built and flew model airplanes and was a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics and the Society of Antique Modelers.

He played the piano and the banjo and sang with the Whalers’ Chorus.

A memorial service has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 28, at Horton-Mathie Funeral Home, 735 First St., Greenport.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to the North Fork Audubon Society or Eastern Long Island Hospital would be appreciated.

This is a paid notice.