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John Joseph Bower


1921 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
John Joseph Bower Obituary
John Joseph Bower
1921 - 2014
Resident of Santa Cruz
After four years of failing health, and having received the comfort and consolation of the sacraments, John J. Bower, age 93, died peacefully at 3:45 pm on Friday, July 18, 2014 at Pacific Coast Manor, Capitola, California where he had resided since 2010.
John was born on April 20, 1921, in Kentland, Newton County, Indiana where his family had settled in the 1860s. He was the sixth child of eight children of the late John and Kathryn (Clark) Bower. Never married, he outlived all of his siblings. He was preceded in death by his only brother, James W. Bower (Mary) and his sisters Mary Freiling (Syl) ,Florence Puetz (Ray), Helen Brouillette (Arleigh), Rita Brunette (Jay), Dolores Esposito (Leo) ,Grace Garavaglia, and nephew Michael Bower.
John attended elementary school in Newton County, Indiana and began his studies for the Roman Catholic priesthood at St. Meinrad Seminary, St. Meinrad, Indiana in 1935. After two years of philosophy, he entered the novitiate of the Benedictine Abbey at St. Meinrad. He left the seminary in 1946 but remained a loyal and generous alumnus. John served in the United States Army for two years and for one year was stationed in Alaska. He began his studies at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California in 1949 and graduated in 1953. That same year he began a very successful career at IBM which would last 30 years.
Known for his keen intellect, razor sharp wit and quick repartee, he was a welcome guest with his many friends and extended family. During his long career at IBM as an industrial engineer, he traveled extensively throughout the United States and enjoyed travel in his leisure time as well. Because he was single, he was able to visit his siblings and their children on a regular basis and enjoyed keeping family members informed about one another.
Generous to a fault, he was active in many not-for-profit organizations. No matter where he was stationed with IBM, he was active in the local Catholic parish, the Knights of Columbus and Alcoholics Anonymous. He was grateful that through the years he was able to help countless others become involved with AA and he was proud of the fact that at the time of his death, he had obtained over 60 years of sobriety. Always a faithful Catholic he assisted at daily Mass after his retirement insofar as he was able and was a faithful St. Vincent de Paul worker as long as his health allowed.
He is survived by 20 nieces and nephews and several great-nieces and nephews, and brother-in-law, Albert Garavaglia.
Services will be held on Friday (July 25) at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 120 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Visitation will be held from 9AM-10AM. At 10AM a rosary service will be conducted, immediately followed by a Mass of Christian burial. Entombment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery. After the burial, family and friends are invited to a reception at Holy Cross Parish hall.
Benito & Azzaro Pacific Garden Chapel, 1050 Cayuga Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95062 is handling arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Cross Church 120 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, or to St. Meinrad Archabbey, 100 Hill Drive, St. Meinrad, IN 47577
The family would like to extend their sincerest thanks to the staff of Pacific Coast Manor and Florence Kuo Home Care, for providing kind, compassionate, and capable care to John for several years. Thanks are also extended to Roy, Beverly, Norma, Joan, Jamie, and Rosa, whose visits to John always brightened his day. Finally many thanks to the Para transit drivers of the Santa Cruz Yellow Cab Company, who graciously transported John to Mass and his medical appointments.
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on July 22, 2014
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