Donald R. Bowden

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 15, 2007

CARRSVILLE—Donald R. Bowden, 69, died Nov. 13, 2007 after a courageous fight with cancer.

Born October 15, 1938 to Nellie Boyette Bowden and her husband Herman W. Bowden, e began a long and rich life in southern Isle of Wight County.

Mr. Bowden attended Tucker Swamp Baptist Church and was baptized at the age of 12, reading the entire Bible that year.

He grew up entrenched in the lifestyle that rural life affords, swimming and fishing in the Blackwater River, playing with the neighborhood kids and forming rich friendships.

Of special note was Jesse Uzzell who grew up with him in the Zuni area.

Through “thick and thin”, they were lifelong friends.

Beginning with local pick-up ballgames,

He became a well-known athlete, excelling in high school in all three sports. His senior year, he scored the most TD’s in football, had the highest batting average in baseball, and averaged most points per game in basketball.

He forfeited a football scholarship to marry the love of his life, Margaret Keeter Bowden, affectionately known as “Kakie”. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past June.

From that union came two children, Kathy B. Mayville and Phillip H. Bowden, and eventually daughter-in-law Julie G. Bowden and grandchildren Kasey Lee Mayville, Phillip Trent Mayville and Phillip Lee Bowden. He also enjoyed his beloved dog, “Mick”.

His interest in sports never waned as he continued playing softball and coaching Little League baseball.

He used his interest, passion and competitive spirit in sports to enrich the lives of neighborhood children.

He was also very active in the Windsor Jaycees, being a charter member and local president. Under his leadership, the local chapter was voted the Outstanding Chapter and Donald was voted the Outstanding Jaycee of the Year.

His community contributions were greatly appreciated.

He worked at Newport News Shipyard for 43 years, only missing one day and one hour his entire career.

In later years he especially enjoyed the friendship of James Foster, James Robert Cobb, and Billy Umphlette. They were sometimes called the “Four Musketeers”. After retirement, Donald could often be found at Walters Outdoor Power Equipment, where he enjoyed helping out with his friend and co-worker Ted Herrala and his son, Bret.

He loved his home and he loved this area. He appreciated his past, valued his family and friends and felt that he grew up at the “best time in the world”. His presence, his life, and all that he was will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

A celebration of his life will be held today at 2 p.m. at the graveside in Tucker Swamp Baptist Church Cemetery, Zuni, officiated by the Rev. Basil L. Ballard.

The family will receive friends at their residence and following the services today there will be a reception in the Fellowship Hall of Tucker Swamp Baptist Church.

Memorial donations in his memory are suggested to the Paralyzed Veterans of America, 7 Mill Brook Road, Wilton, NH 03086-0921.

J. T. Morriss & Son Funeral Home, Purviance Chapel, Wakefield is handling arrangements.

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