John Willie Bowen, Jr.
April 13, 1931 - February 26, 2018
JOHN WILLIE BOWEN, JR.
John “Johnny” Willie Bowen, Jr. passed away February 26, 2018 at his home with his family.
Mr. Bowen was born in Grenada County April 13, 1931 where he graduated valedictorian from Gore Springs High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Camp Atterbury, Indiana where he met and married the love of his life, Marilyn Rayl. He served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 31st Dixie Division of the United States Army during the Korean War.
Returning to Mississippi, they began their family of five children. He received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Mississippi State University in 1954. He and his family moved to Vicksburg in August of 1956 where he became a real estate appraiser for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District. He retired in 1986 from the Mississippi River Commission. Mr. Bowen farmed nearly his entire life. Upon retiring, he spent most of his time on his family property fishing and caring for his cattle.
He is preceded in death by his wife Marilyn, his daughter Deborah Bowen Stewart, his son Aubrey David Bowen, his son-in-law George Swan, his parents John and Hattie Bowen, brothers James and Jeff Bowen, and sisters Mary Bowen, Ouida Bowen, Bent Hemphill, Bette Branscome, and Faye James.
Mr. Bowen is survived by his sister Christine Hales (Lyn) and his brother Harold Ray Bowen; son John Bowen III (Joan), daughters Cindy Lyons (Joe), Merry Swan, and daughter-in-law Kathy Bowen; 13 grandchildren Brandi Nester (Todd), Kim Ashley, Tommy Stewart (Tammy), Zack Stewart, Emily Rut (Brandon), John Bowen IV (April), Jennifer Cash (Landon), Joey Lyons (Shannon), Laura Beth Strickland (Michael), Ashley Bordelon (Daniel), Katie Swan, and Aubrey Bowen; and 20 great-grandchildren Tyler Hale, Baylee and Annie Nester, Mason, Bowen and Jackson Winans, Kate, Gage, and Parker Ashley, Caleb and Annsley Rut, Madison Bowen, Reese and Joseph Lyons, May and Michael Lanier Strickland, and Mari Bowen Bordelon; and special friend Virginia Monsour. He also leaves many nieces, nephews, and wonderful friends.
The funeral service will be Thursday March 1 at 1 p.m. at Glenwood Funeral Home in Vicksburg, Miss. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Garden Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday February 28 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday March 1 at 11 a.m.
Pall bearers are Aubrey Bowen, John Bowen IV, Joey Lyons, Tommy Stewart, Zack Stewart, Brandon Rut, Todd Nester, Michael Strickland, Daniel Bordelon, and Landon Cash. Honorary pall bearers are Dr. Lyn Hales, Jerry Stewart, Tom Bowen, Hal Ray Tyner, Jack Rose, Jimmy Harrison, Jimmy Bingham, Dr. George Hammitt, George Cronia, T.K. Grant, Ken Mosley, Mikey Allen, Edward McKnight, Billy Page, Will Elkins, Jeff Portwood, Eddie Smith, Wendi Rush, and Kimball Bufkin. The family would like to thank the staff at Camellia Hospice for their excellent, compassionate care as well as special caregivers Yvonne Dee, Charlotte Miller, Stacey Waites, Jackie Walker, Kayla Lyons, and Tracy Ragus.
He loved the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and shared his faith with everyone. Even at 86, his Bible was always within reach and he was always discovering new truths from His Word. He loved his church family at Open Door Bible Church, attending his grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s sporting events, working out at the YMCA, and cheering on the Mississippi State University Bulldogs. His greatest pride and joy was his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Open Door Bible Church, 1306 Riverbend Cove, Vicksburg, MS 39183 or First Baptist Church 1607 Cherry Street Vicksburg, MS 39180, or Hope Outdoor, P.O. Box 1421, Chatom, AL 36518.