Obituary: Thomas Rowan


Thomas Patrick Rowan

If there was an Emmy category for best entertainment attorney, husband, father, and friend, a life achievement award would have certainly gone to Thomas Patrick Rowan.

Tom passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 21, from kidney failure due to cancer. He was surrounded by his cherished family, his wife, actress Marla Pennington Rowan the love of his life, his son Dan and his wife Arisa Sato Rowan, his daughter Kat Rowan and her partner Charlie Bruchez; he was 74 years old. Tom was the son of the late Dan Rowan of the comedy team of Rowan and Martin, whose television show Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In was the number one show for close to 5 years.

Tom eschewed following in his father’s performing footsteps, his tongue-in-cheek reasoning… because I don’t have any talent. After a brief but proud stint as an Army Lieutenant in the early ‘70s, he attended Loyola Marymount University, where he received his Juris Doctorate. Upon graduation, Tom formed the firm Irwin and Rowan with partner and friend John Irwin and represented such clients as Jimmy Fallon, Dave Chapelle, Richard Burton, Kenny Rogers, and Burt Reynolds. He was the founding partner of the law firm Rowan, Maron, and Feil. Tom was a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Beverly Hills Bar Association and served on the board of directors for St. Michaels Catholic School located in South Central Los Angeles; he was a member of several organizations, including the Chevalier Du Tastevin Los Angeles Commanderie and St. Hubertus Southern California and a longtime avid member of the Bohemian Grove.

He married Marla on 8/8/88 at the Bel Air Hotel and quipped that he picked the date so he wouldn’t forget it! And spent 33 years with the love of his life. Tom was an absolute joy to be around; he and Marla would host many parties at their home in Malibu where the food and wine flowed, and the laughs never ceased with such friends as Bob and Ginnie Newhart, Don and Barbara Rickles, Tim and Sharkey Conway, Dick and Dolly Martin, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Mike and Mary Lou Connors, Dick Christie and many others. He had a natural, joyous, kind spirit, indefatigable energy, unfailing loyalty, unshakeable convictions, and infectious laugh; he made each and every life he touched just a little better. To say he will be missed is an understatement.

Rest in Peace, darling Tom.

Services are pending. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Tom can be made to Bosco Technical Institute 1151 San Gabriel Blvd. Rosemead, CA 91770