Memorial service held for 167th Airlift Wing flight doctor

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle
  • 167th Airlift Wing

A memorial service to honor Lt. Col. Barry Rowekamp was held in an aircraft maintenance hangar at the 167th Airlift Wing, Shepherd Field, Martinsburg W.Va., Aug. 19.

Rowekamp, the wing’s chief of aerospace medicine and the West Virginia deputy state air surgeon, passed at his residence in Sharpsburg, Md. on Aug. 6.

“Dr. Barry Rowekamp was a testament to his profession and in his service to this wing,” said Col. Marty Timko, 167th AW commander. “With deeply rooted empathy, he genuinely loved and cared for each Airmen at Martinsburg, most especially his colleagues in the medical group.”

Rowekamp was posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and promoted to the rank of colonel by the state of West Virginia during the service.

Senior Master Sgt. Charlie Moore delivered the eulogy.

“I have the honor to share with you the life of one of the greatest men we will ever have the privilege of knowing, Dr. Barry Lewis Rowekamp,” Moore began.

As Moore detailed Rowekamp’s life story, he interjected humorous accounts of Rowekamp’s upbringing in a military family, his entrance into medical school and then the military and his experiences working for medical practices and eventually starting his own practice.  

Moore concluded by saying, “If doc were here today…he would share with us five rules to live by, leaving us better, just the way he always had a way of doing.”

Those five rules were: never underestimate the power of a smile; take time to listen to one another; know when to speak and when to listen; be an advocate; splurge on your friends, especially if it’s food; always persevere, live your best life and choose happiness.

The base honor guard rendered military honors, during the ceremony, including the folding and presentation of the American flag, the firing of three volleys and playing of taps. Folded American flags were presented to Rowkamp’s sister, Beth Rowekamp, and his brother, William Rowekamp.

The service concluded with a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft flyover to honor Rowekamp who often flew on the 167th’s local training sorties and international cargo missions.

Rowekamp joined the 167th AW in 2010 and logged more than 760 hours in the unit’s aircraft. He previously served as a reservist flight physician supporting the 302nd Tactical Fighter Group at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, for eight years beginning in 1988.