Clarence E. Rowland was a serious, hardworking man, but he also knew how to play.
His favorite way to relax - and show off a little - was by dancing. He was a master of the latest moves, and he let his hair down at various dance halls in the city and wherever else he could get out on the floor.
"He was a social butterfly," said his daughter Jennifer Rowland. "He was a hard worker, but he was also fun-loving. He was outgoing and had a great sense of humor."
Clarence Rowland, retired chief instructor for SEPTA, where he worked for 30 years, and a bus driver for the Lower Merion School District for 14 years, died Dec. 16 of cardiac arrest. He was 66 and lived in Wynnefield.
He was born in Philadelphia to Clarence and Florida Roland. He graduated from West Philadelphia High School.
He went to work for the former Philadelphia Transportation Co. (PTC) in the mid-'60s, starting as a bus and trolley operator.
After SEPTA acquired the company in 1968, he became an instructor of drivers and later an instructor of instructors of drivers. In 1974, he was promoted to chief instructor.
"He was good with people," his daughter said. "He grew up in South Philadelphia and he knew the city and suburbs."
He was still working for Lower Merion when he died of cardiac arrest. He worked the Friday before he died.
Besides dancing, Clarence enjoyed traveling. He had been to Hawaii and liked to cruise the Caribbean. He also liked to kick back at his summer home in Brigantine, where he did little more than walk the beach and enjoy the sun.
He was married to the former Gloria A. Powe for 16 years. She died in 2001. He is survived by another daughter, Michele Edwards; a son, Michael Tompkins; two brothers, Samuel Rowlin and Percy Roland; a sister, Henrietta Roland, and one grandson.
Services: 11 a.m. Saturday at Julian V. Hawkins Funeral Home, 5306 Haverford Ave.