John Edward Bowman

John (“Johnpa”) Edward Bowman
11/1/1941 – 12/2/2018

A letter from his wife:

“Make the dash count!” The dash between birth and death, that is. Johnny B did that. He lived each day looking at the positive. He tried his best to teach me not to worry so much. I’m not sure how successful he was, but I am aspiring to live by his words.

Anybody who met John soon realized that his gentle presence was non-judgmental; he respected everyone, always gave help when needed, taught us how to care about others and make a difference by listening. He conducted his life with a beautiful mix of honesty and humor. There was always a place at the table and a greeting of “Would you like a beer?” John loved his large and generous family beyond measure, taking time with nieces and nephews, which put him in the “favorite Uncle Johnny” category. His respect and love for his mother, now 101 years old, set a high standard. He adored and played with his three grandchildren with a boyish enthusiasm, never saying no, always “Alrighty!” He had an impish side as well, like his teenage custom of primping in the bathroom while blocking his urgent siblings from coming in, and eating all the ice cream and then hiding the empty containers under his bed. Many speeding tickets and a love for wheels carried into adulthood, when he devoted his talents to restoring vintage cars. John was accomplished at the game of pool, even playing against Willie Mosconi. One of his softer sides was his skill on the organ, playing at different venues and occasions, once being asked to perform for President Eisenhower. His love for music covered many genres, from country to opera. And dance! Oh, Lord, could that man dance! Did I mention he loved his Kansas Jayhawks? My life with him was pure joy and a gift. In our too-short time together we snorkeled in the Caribbean, zip-lined over coffee plantations in Guatemala, visited his ancestral homeland of Norway, and ate and drank good wine with friends in Italy.

John was preceded in death by his father (Edward) and three brothers (Eddy, David and Donald). He is survived by his mother (Mabel), siblings (Kathy, Cheryl, Linda, Charlie, Tom, Becky, and Jerry), son (Jason), step-daughters (Amanda and Katie), grandchildren (Bine, Gus and Oren), nieces and nephews, and me, his wife.
Cremation is planned with a family service later. An open house celebration of his life is scheduled for December 8 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., at his sister Cheryl’s home at 1809 Learnard, Lawrence, KS. As an Air Force veteran, full military honors will be given at this time.

Donations in his honor may be made to Douglas County Visiting Nurses and to ALS research and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

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Make the dash count!


13 Condolences

  1. Larry Dean Gish on December 4, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Having known the Bowman Family most of my life.John was good friend. We would get in trouble sometimes but had a lot of good times. My deepest sorrow for his passing. He will be missed by many of the Pleasant Grove group. Again deepest sorrows. May the Lord give all his comfort and peace.

  2. Carolyn Cook on December 4, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    I met John only once…he was very nice and I’m sure there was much more good/great about him…as he made a co-worker and friend, his wife Ruthie, very happy. I’m sure he will be missed, but remembered in many great ways. Condolences to his friends and family…especially my friend Ruthie. Thoughts and prayers to you! ???? Use those great memories to feel better…Ruthie, he is not gone…he’ll always be in your heart! ???? ????

  3. Devin Schuenemann on December 4, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    I never saw you happier Ruthie. I could tell he was so good to you and you to him. I know he will be missed by all. I am only a few miles away and would be happy to come see you anytime. I would be honored to hear more about him anytime you need an ear. Condolences to all his family and friends. Love you. ????❤️

  4. Edna Roberson- Jenkins on December 4, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Ruth, My love and prayers are with you and your Family. I could see the true liove that the two of you shared. May the love of Christ shower you and comfort you always.

  5. Roberta Becker on December 4, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Ruthie, I know you only had 9 years with John and it is never long enough when you are with a guy like him. He gave you more happiness in those years than you had ever known before. Sometimes it is hard to understand why God takes our loved ones from us but at least he is no longer suffering with that ALS. I am so happy I was able to get acquainted with him and that I was able to see the joy the two of you shared. You are welcome here anytime you choose to do so. Prayers are being sent to you to be strong thru these trying times. Please feel free to call me anytime you need someone to talk to.

  6. Chris Levister on December 4, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    My condolences for your entire family. Love and prays for you and the family. John definitely touched my life and it was a pleasure every time I seen him. I still remember how excited he was to get his white Camaro SS. Ruth you call me if you need anything at all or help with anything. I know how much you love him. Gone but never forgotten!????????

  7. Keith Smith on December 4, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    My prayers to the family, Jobn was good man. Enjoyed talking cars with him, he would walk over and check my cars out and I would walk over and check out his. He will be missed.

  8. Chris Collins on December 5, 2018 at 8:32 am

    My three short visits with John were just that, too short. When he visited Houston with his precious wife and my dear friend, Ruth, he was easy and comfortable to visit with-my heart is so heavy for Ruth and John’s family. I am honored to have known John and so happy he was part of my dash❤️

  9. Shelley Evans on December 5, 2018 at 11:04 am

    I met John through his sister Becky. We live out West in Suquamish, Washington. John came to visit several times and on his first visit, it was plain to see there was trust in those eyes. There was an instant friendship. John was easy to be around. Comfortable with himself as he was with friends and strangers alike. He was a positive, smiling, likable person, willing to participate and give his all! I only met John those few times, but he has left some wonderful memories along the way. Thank you John for passing through my life. I will always feel blessed for our short and sweet friendship we shared.
    Shelley Evans

  10. Tomas mondragon on December 5, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    John’s sense of humor I will always remember. I enjoyed being around John. He was so easy to be around. My prayers for you and his family his wonderful mother Mabel for God’s comfort and blessings be with each of you. My love and deepest sympathy to all. You have been a great friend to me as well and if here is anything I can do, you know I am here for you.

  11. Richard Barstad on December 6, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Will always remember how friendly John was to me and yes, he always started by asking if I’d like a beer. Fondly will always remember one trip back to Lawrence when he took us golfing in his ’56 Chevy and running back to the clubhouse in a Kansas thunderstorm. A lot of people will miss him, me included.

  12. Fred and SueAnn Westover on December 6, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    We would like to express our condolences as a family to Ruth and the Bowman family. Fred knew John for a long time. He was the only person in Loveland he would let detail his vehicles.
    They would talk cars and tease each other. He was always welcomed in our home. He has a wonderful family and you couldn’t have a better support group. He loved them all very much. John was a loving father and Jason’s welfare was always his concern. John and Jason were close probably more so in later years. John and I remained friends and I will always be thankful for that.
    He was a very good person and cared deeply for his loved ones. He will be missed by all who knew him. God Bless all of you and Ruth you did a wonderful job with him. I know it wasn’t easy. May he rest in peace in Gods hands.

  13. Martin Owens on December 7, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    A beautiful tribute to John by his wife who I never had the privilege to meet, but her letter summed up my fond memories of John and his family, many of whom I have
    known since our days at LHS.
    Martin and Kay Owens

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