Donald Stephen Bowman obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Donald Stephen Bowman

September 28, 1925 - October 1, 2016

Obituary


Rev. Donald Stephen Bowman of Tempe, Arizona, died peacefully early Saturday morning on October 1st, 2016. He was 91.

Don was born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey on September 28, 1925. He grew up in Lakewood, Ohio and, after a family move, attended Buchtel High School in Akron, Ohio.

At age 17, Don graduated from high school to pursue officer training in the U.S. Army. After completing basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia and additional training at Camp Atterbury in Columbus, Indiana, he was shipped to England along with thousands of other soldiers...

Rev. Donald Stephen Bowman of Tempe, Arizona, died peacefully early Saturday morning on October 1st, 2016. He was 91.

Don was born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey on September 28, 1925. He grew up in Lakewood, Ohio and, after a family move, attended Buchtel High School in Akron, Ohio.

At age 17, Don graduated from high school to pursue officer training in the U.S. Army. After completing basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia and additional training at Camp Atterbury in Columbus, Indiana, he was shipped to England along with thousands of other soldiers in the wake of the D-Day invasion at Normandy. A member of the 106th Division, he eventually landed in the Ardennes forest in Belgium, where he was captured by German forces during the Battle of the Bulge on December 19, 1944. Don spent the remainder of the war in Stalag IVB near Halle, Germany. When allied bombing of Germany reached Halle, his POW group was tasked with digging graves and burying the bodies of his fellow prisoners and townspeople who had been killed in the air raids. Liberation by Allied forces came in early May of 1945. His experiences in WWII would come to shape the rest of his life.

After the war, Don attended the University of Michigan, where he earned a degree in civil transportation engineering.

In the summer of 1946, Don met Constance Halderson, while they were both working summer jobs at the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

In June of 1948, Don and Connie were married in the bride's hometown of Medina, Ohio.

Don began a career with the truck leasing division of Shell Oil, which took the family to Little Rock, Arkansas; Louisville, Kentucky; and Indianapolis, Indiana.

In 1956, Don and Connie answered a call to join the ministry while attending Irvington United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. Don enrolled in Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and earned a Master of Divinity degree. His ministry with the United Methodist Church took the family to several churches in the Northern Indiana Conference of the UMC, including Pine Village, Rainesville, Brookston, Flora, Miller (Gary), Yorktown, Culver, and Rochester.

Beginning in 1990, Don and Connie spent their retirement years in Phoenix, Arizona - enjoying the company of their three daughters and grandsons.

Don loved history and travel, was an avid photographer, writer, and was especially fond of all things aviation. Many of the parsonages the family lived in were transformed by his remodeling skills. He loved animals - especially the family dogs and cats, and befriended several squirrels - which would sit on his knee and eat peanuts from his hand.

Don Bowman was a kind and gentle spirit, forged in the horror of war; who spent his life in the pursuit of peace.

He was preceded in death by his father Brice Bowman; mother Esther Wolfe Bowman; brother Brice Maynard Bowman; and wife of 58 years Constance Halderson Bowman.

He is survived by his sister Marcia (Bill) Hermannsfeldt of Los Altos, CA; daughter Bethanne (Jim) Keen of Scottsdale, AZ; daughter Melanie Nicholson (Daniel Berthold) of Rhinebeck, NY; son: Brice (Teresa) Bowman of Indianapolis, IN; daughter: Holly (Steven) Goldstein of Scottsdale, AZ; and four grandsons: Spenser Keen of Los Angeles, CA; Isaac Nicholson of Los Angeles, CA; Zachary Bowman of IN, Indiana; and Griffin Goldstein of Scottsdale, AZ.

Memorials may be made to: The Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org/donate?), The Southern Poverty Law Center (https://donate.splcenter.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=463), or The United Methodist Church (http://www.umcgiving.org/give-now).

Arrangements under the direction of Resthaven / Carr-Tenney Mortuary & Memorial Gardens, Phoenix, AZ.