Rowland and Vira Eagles

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 8, 2010

James Rowland Eagles passed away on May 11, 2009, and Vira Ella Franklin Eagles passed away on November 22, 2009.
Rowland was born on December 30, 1923 in Winnfield, LA to Harry Clayton and Olive Shelton Eagles. He grew up
in Winnfield with his brother H.C. and sisters Olivia and Edith. He graduated from LSU in 1944 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
Vira was born on September 18, 1921 in Leesville, LA to Thomas and Magnolia McManus
Franklin. She grew up in Leesville with her brother Ben and sister Margaret. She graduated from LSU in 1943 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
Rowland and Vira met and fell in love while at LSU. They were married in 1945
in New York City. They had a daughter, Virginia Rose.
Rowland’s career was in the nuclear energy field, including work on the Manhattan Project. He was selected for the Sloan Fellowship program at M.I.T. and graduated with a master’s
degree in industrial engineering. He became the general manager of the specialty metals division for the nuclear energy group of Westinghouse Electric Corporation. He retired in 1983 after 37 years of service.
Vira was a homemaker and
a full time mom to her daughter. She volunteered as a tutor for an adult literacy program.
Rowland was an avid gardener and Vira was a painter. They were active in their church throughout their lives. Later in life, Rowland took up
wood carving.
Rowland and Vira lived in New York City, Boston, Meadville PA, Stratford CT, Gibsonia Pa, and Greensburg PA. They retired to the Carolina Meadows Retirement Community in Chapel Hill, NC.
In their
retirement, they volunteered as tutors at the local elementary school. They had a life long interest in education and created a professorship endowment at the LSU College of Education. They also traveled during their retirement, visiting Europe,
China, and Russia, as well as taking numerous cruises.
Rowland and Vira celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary in February 2009. They were devoted to each other, and their lives were filled with love.
They are
survived by their daughter Virginia and their son-in-law David, along with many nieces and nephews. Memorial services were held at the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, NC. Burial will be at the old Leesville Cemetery in Leesville.