Bowling, Melvin Michael "Big Mike"
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64, of Gilbert, AZ passed away on October 6, 2013. Mike went peacefully to be with the Lord surrounded by those he loved. Mike was born in Florence, AZ, to the late Wayne and Sally Bowling. He attended Agua Fria High School where he lettered in basketball, football, and track. Mike then went to the University of Southern California on a basketball scholarship and later played at Arizona State University. After graduation, Mike and Martha moved to Vienna, Austria where he played professional basketball. Upon returning to Arizona, Mike started a general contracting company where he built and remodeled homes throughout the valley and Flagstaff. Mike loved to golf, fish, and spend time with family and many friends. Mike felt his greatest accomplishments in life were his daughters, grandchildren, and lifelong friends. He had a strong faith in God and believed that his friends and family will all meet again in Heaven. Mike is survived by his beloved family Martha Smith Bowling, Daughters Amanda Souders and Sarah Richardson, Grandchildren Christopher Bowling, Benjamin Souders and Raegan Richardson, sisters Ann Lessard and Barbara Ahlquist. Services will be held on Thursday, October 17, 2013, at 1:00pm at Mission Community Church located at 4450 E. Elliot Rd. Gilbert, AZ 85234. Immediately following will be an ice cream social to share memories and to celebrate Mike's life. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of the Southwest.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Oct. 13, 2013