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John Stephens Bowdidge

1929 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
John Stephens Bowdidge Obituary
John Stephens Bowdidge

John Stephens Bowdidge passed peacefully from this life on April 3, 2014, in Springfield, Missouri, after a short illness. Dr. Bowdidge was born in Akron, Ohio on July 25, 1929, to Frederick William and Gladys Stephens Bowdidge. He spent his childhood in Miami, Florida, and Augusta, Georgia. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of Georgia in 1951, where he was an active student, in the Sigma Chi fraternity, university marching band, staff writer for the college newspaper The Red and the Black, writer for the college humor magazine, and member of numerous honorary societies. Dr. Bowdidge served as the ROTC Cadet Colonel his senior year at the University of Georgia, and proudly served as a Lieutenant in the United States Army from 1951 to 1953; he was stationed in Germany. He remained active in the Army Reserve until 1968, ultimately being promoted to Major.

Dr. Bowdidge's first career was in radio and television. He began working as a radio announcer as a teenager and returned to that field after his service in the army. He earned a Master of Arts in Speech, with an emphasis in radio and television, from Northwestern University in 1955. He worked on-air at stations in Augusta and Athens, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; and Kansas City, Missouri. He ended his career as a radio and television announcer at KCMO in Kansas City. Dr. Bowdidge loved to recount his interactions and interviews with news-makers and celebrities.

Dr. Bowdidge's second career was in academia. He taught Speech and English at Southwest High School in Kansas City during the 1966-67 school year. He earned his Ph.D. in Education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1967. He worked as an Information Specialist at Mid-Continent Regional Educational Laboratory (McREL) from 1967 to 1969. He worked in continuing education and public relations at Drury University from 1969 to 1975. He earned a second Bachelor of Arts, in Business Administration, in 1973, and a Master of Business Administration in 1975, both from Drury University. Dr. Bowdidge taught in the school of business at Missouri State University from 1975 to 2009. Dr. Bowdidge was a popular and entertaining lecturer, and a prolific researcher and writer. At the end of his career, his research focused on international business; he read as many as ten foreign language newspapers every day.

Dr. Bowdidge was active in both his church and his community. He taught Sunday school for many years and was a deacon at Calvary Baptist Church in Kansas City, and First Baptist Church in Springfield. At the time of his death he was a member at University Heights Baptist Church in Springfield. Among his civic activities were membership in the Kansas City Junior Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Kiwanis, and trustee of the Radio and Television Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He was proud to have served as the public address announcer for the NAIA national basketball tournament from 1961 through 1969.

Above all, Dr. Bowdidge loved God and his family. He served both faithfully throughout his life. He was a selfless man, who always put the needs of others before his own. He was a devoted husband, a loving father, and a caring teacher. He had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and continued research and writing as long as he was able.

Dr. Bowdidge was preceded in death by his mother and father, and his wife of 47 years, Joann Ridenour Bowdidge. He is survived by a sister Janet Bowdidge Drews of Falls Church, Virginia, a son Mark Andrew Bowdidge, and a daughter Holly Elizabeth Bowdidge, both in Springfield, a grandson Benjamin Parker Stone, many nephews and nieces, and a large circle of friends.

Donations may be made to the Dr. John S. Bowdidge Finance and General Business Endowed Scholarship through the Missouri State University Foundation, 300 South Jefferson, Springfield, Missouri, 65806.

A visitation will be held at Gorman Scharpf Funeral Home from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 6. A celebration of his life will be held at University Heights Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri, at 9:30 a.m. Monday, April 7. A graveside service will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri, in the Garden Mausoleum Chapel at 3:00 p.m.

Published in the News-Leader from Apr. 5 to Apr. 7, 2014
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