February 22, 1931 - September 14, 2013
Richard “Dick” Bowen spent his 82 years being described as so many wonderful things. To some, he was the man who constantly helped and gave to his community. To others, he was the big guy who could fix and drive anything on wheels, from snowmobiles to tractor trailers, and everything in between. To still others, he was a dedicated husband, father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend. But to anyone that ever talked to him for more than a few minutes, the one thing everyone knew about him was that he truly was the ultimate race fan. In true Saturday night racing form, in the late evening hours of September 14, 2013, Dick was finally able to cross his own start/finish line, with checkered flags waving, and everyone who loved him, tearfully cheering him on. Born February 22, 1931, Dick was the son Clifford and Clara McCormack Bowen. Growing up in North Orwell, Dick learned all about farming and auto mechanics from his father, who owned a local garage, and that knowledge was something he carried through his entire professional life. He married Lila Corbin in 1950, and together they had 5 children, making their home predominantly in the North Orwell and Potterville areas until her death in 1967. On Dec 19, 1970, Dick married Anna Cook, and for the past 42 years, they built a life based on family, friendship, giving to the community, and most of all, living that life to the fullest. Dick’s immense mechanical knowledge took him to various places throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. A member since 1957 of the Binghamton Local 410B of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Dick was the master mechanic for D.W. Winkleman as Route 17 was built from Nichols toward Elmira. Later on, he worked for F. S. Lopke on the building of Route 66 in Front Royal, VA. After leaving the road construction business in the early 1980’s, Dick and his son Bob ran a dairy farm in LeRaysville for several years before he and Anna decided to enter the trucking industry, starting R&A Development Corporation, where he worked until his retirement in 1993. No matter where Dick hung his hat, he also spent many hours being an active community member. He and Anna, along with their friends Hugh and Betty Brown, founded the Windham Ambulance Association in the early 1970’s, and Dick became one of the first EMTs in the area. He was also an integral member of the Windham Fire Co., Department 19 for over 40 years. A life-long avid horseman, Dick played a key role in the development and running of the Oak Hill Corral in North Orwell and loved to raise horses. Dick also had an unparalleled zest for life. Upon his retirement, he was very dedicated to working on the race cars of his son Barry and his grandson Brian, and lending a hand to McGuire Racing too. There weren’t many weekends that went by when he wasn’t at a race track somewhere, indulging in his favorite past-time. Dick also loved to dance, and in his younger years, it was hard to keep him from square dancing and going out to polka. Later on, he and Anna spent a lot of time camping in their motorhome and visiting with their camping buddies. A member of the North Orwell Union Church and of Roman F.A. & C Lodge No. 418, he also gave many hours of time and service to these organizations as well. It is his immense family that has blossomed and grown over the past seven decades that was Dick’s greatest source of pride, and he worked daily to teach them about loving one another, extending a hand to people in need, and giving their time selflessly to their community. Those whom Dick leaves behind to carry on that legacy are his wife Anna; children, Barry and Kathy Bowen, Lois and Terry Gray, Gale and Tammy Bowen, all of Windham, Dale Bowen and Missy Schultz of Athens, his daughter-in-law, Terry Bowen of Towanda, Joy and Mike Drake and Rodney Cook of Litchfield, and Rex Cook of Boca Raton, FL, and his 17 grandchildren, Karrie, Brian, Ryan, John, Mindy, Tara, Cheyenne, LeRae, Mark, Kati, Kami, Tyler, Jill, Kasey, Kelly, Tammy, and Ryan, and all of their significant others. “Great-Grandpa” also expects wonderful things from the 33 crazy great grand-kids that blessed his life, many of whom spent a lot of time these last few years climbing all over Great-Grandpa to get hugs and kisses. Dick will also be very missed by his sisters, Judy Horton of Tioga, PA, Jerry Connell of Connecticut and Alida Bowen of Martinsburg, WV, and his brothers-and-sisters-in-law, Betty Bowen of Rome, George and Jean Corbin, Okachobee FL, Jerry and Linda Corbin of Sayre, and Christine and Ira Thetga of Potterville, Eleanor and Charles Watson of Auburn, PA, Walter Jr. and Kay Edsell of Camptown, Kenny and Sandy Edsell of Sayre, and Marie Williams of Wyalusing. Also surviving are his aunt, Dorothy Ackley of Norwich, NY., and special friends Charles VanDokkenburg and Ronald Corter. Multitudes of nieces, nephews, cousins, and other close friends will hold his memory close. It gives great joy to know that while we were not able to celebrate everlasting life with Dick in victory lane, he was greeted there by his son, Robert “Bob” Bowen, his grandson, Matthew Dale Bowen, his son, Ronald Cook, his first wife, Lila, his nephew, Mark Corbin, his sister and brother- in-law, Mary and Albert Raupers and his brother, Arthur Bowen, brother-in-law Jim Connell, his special friends, Hugh Brown, Bill Snyder, Jim Askey, Pete Strope, Pete Chaffee, and Don Boardman, and his forever canine companion, JimBob. To celebrate Dick’s victory lap, the family would like to invite the community to calling hours on Friday, September 20 from 6pm-8pm, and Saturday morning, September 21, from 10 am-11 am at the Sutfin Funeral Chapel, 273 S. Main St., Nichols. Masonic Services will be conducted by Roman Lodge No. 418 F & AM prior to the start of calling hours on Friday evening. Funeral services will be at eleven on Saturday at the Sutfin Funeral Chapel with interment at the North Orwell Cemetery immediately following. Because Dick’s life was the definitive example of selfless giving to his community and true compassion for his neighbors, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The North Orwell Community Hall, c/o Jane Bullock, 1342 Lovett Hill Rd., Rome, PA 18837 or The Skilled Nursing Unit at Memorial Hospital, 91 Hospital Dr., Towanda, PA 18848 in loving memory of Richard “Dick” Bowen. The family wishes to thank Dick’s Pit Crew, the doctors and nurses at the Skilled Nursing Unit at Memorial Hospital, for the work they have done over the past two years to keep Dick’s car on the track. The mark that Dick left on everyone he met will not fade with his passing. Rather, those who were lucky enough to share any time with him should pay forward his example to positively impact generations to come.
Richard “Dick” Bowen spent his 82 years being described as so many wonderful things. To some, he was the man who constantly helped and gave to his community. To others, he was the big guy who could fix and drive anything on wheels,... View Obituary & Service Information
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