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Richard G. Bowers, 94, of Keokuk, Iowa, passed away Thursday, July 17, 2014.
Richard George Bowers was born on March 9, 1920, in LeMars, Iowa, the oldest son of Alice and Russell Bowers. He graduated from LeMars Central High School and the State University of Iowa, where he met his lifelong love, Alice Rohm. They married on January 9,1943, and spent 67 wonderful years together until she passed away in 2009.
Richard (Dick) served as a first lieutenant in the 41st Armored Infantry Regiment in World War II, entering Europe with the Normandy invasion at Omaha Beach. Wounded at St.Lo, France, in August 1944, he received a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and other commendations for his service to his country.
After the war, Richard joined his father in the men's clothing business in LeMars, then moved to Keokuk in 1946, to establish several stores in southeastern Iowa. In 1953, he entered the life insurance business with New York Life, where he had a long and illustrious career. During the next 50 years, he was the leading agent nationally for New York Life and was President of the NYLIC Top Club, the Million Dollar Round Table, the MDRT Foundation, and the Board of Trustees of the American College.
Richard and his wife Alice shared a commitment to their life in Keokuk and to the state of Iowa. He took an active leadership role in community organizations, including St.John's Church, the Hoerner YMCA, the Keokuk Hospital Board, and the Keokuk School Board. He was a life-long member of the Alumni Association of SUI and a faithful Iowa Hawkeye football fan, holding season tickets on the 50-yard line for as long as he could climb the steps.
Richard Bowers was a graceful human being with a keen sense of humor, a loving son and brother, devoted husband, caring father, fun grandfather and a generous friend. He was an honorable man who lived his life the best he could.
Richard is survived by his three children, Rick Bowers of Boston, MA, Catherine Bowers Rocca (Bart) of Evanston, IL, and Sarah Bowers of Evanston, IL; 10 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and 12 nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his brother Don Bowers and wife, Sally, in Van Buren, AK, and his brother-in-law Joe Granger, in Anaheim, CA.
Predeceasing him were his wife; his parents; his mother-in-law, Hazel Rohm, his brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Julie Bowers; his brother-in-law Jean Rohm and sister-in-law Beverly Rohm Granger; a daughter-in-law, Margaret Bowers; and nephews, Don Bowers Jr. and John Bowers.
A private graveside service was held on Monday, July 21. There will be a memorial service at a later date at St. John's Church. Details to be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Keokuk Art Center, St. John's Episcopal Church, or the Hoerner YMCA in Keokuk.
Published in Des Moines Register on July 27, 2014