Donald E. Bowles Sr.

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Bowles Sr., Donald E. died peacefully in his sleep on February 11, 2009. He was born in Martin, Tennessee on July 15, 1912 to Annie Laurie and Dr. Cornelius Bowles. He grew up in Ponca City, Oklahoma and graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1935 with a B.B.A. degree. While at SMU, he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and was active in many student organizations. After graduation, he worked for a mortgage company in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In 1938 Donald moved back to Dallas to work as a loan officer for Dallas Federal Savings & Loan. In 1940 he married Wylfa Lee Alexander of Clarendon, Texas, and they started their life together in Dallas. In 1942, he received his commission as an Ensign in the United States Navy. After serving his country in numerous duty assignments, including as the Executive Officer on a minesweeper, he was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant in 1946. He returned to Dallas and entered into the insurance business working for Shelton, Loving & Kirkland Insurance Agency. By 1955, he was Managing Partner of the firm, which had changed its name to Shelton & Bowles. For over 40 years, he was a recognized leader in the insurance industry. His legacy lives on with the firm of McQueary Henry Bowles Troy, one of the largest and most respected independent insurance brokerage firms in the country. Donald distinguished himself in his profession and as a civic leader. Among his many industry honors are the G. Mabry Seay Award for Outstanding Service to the Insurance Industry and service as President of the Dallas Association of Insurance Agents. Donald believed passionately in service to his community. He was a Director of the Dallas Federal Savings and Loan and Lakewood Bank and Trust Company. He was Chairman of the Board of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas and Director of the Downtown YMCA. He received the Theodore P. Beasley Distinguished YMCA Leadership Award. He was Chairman of the Board of Baylor Dental College, a Trustee of Baylor University, Vice Chairman of the Executive Board of Baylor University Medical Center, a Trustee of the Dallas Community Chest Trust Fund/United Way of Dallas, Trustee of the Dallas Health and Science Museum, Chairman of the Linz Award Committee, President of the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dallas Baptist University where the Executive Wing of the Administration Building is named in his honor, Chairman of the Russell H. Perry Award Dinner, and the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Dallas Baptist University. An avid golfer, Donald was a past President of the Dallas Country Club and a Director of the Dallas Athletic Club. For many years, he served on the Board of Deacons of the First Baptist Church in Dallas. At the end of his career he combined his love for the Church and the benefits of insurance by managing the Southern Baptist Insurance Trust with the goal of making insurance available to Baptist churches, no matter how small. Donald was preceded in death by his parents, Annie Laurie and Dr. Cornelius Bowles, and his three brothers, Charles, Lloyd and Ed Brooks. He is survived by his beloved wife of 69 years, Wylfa, his daughter, Ellen Rain, his sons, Don and George, granddaughters, Lisa Johnson, Lee Cordobs, Elisabeth Rain, Faye Bowles, and Cynthia Rain, his grandsons, Ryan Bowles, Rob Rain and David Rain, great granddaughter Rebecca Jane, and great grandsons, Will, Xander, Grady and Gavin. He is also survived by his many nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank all those caregivers who have been so wonderful to Donald at the Edgemere. The family requests that memorial gifts be made to the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, 601 N. Akard Street, Dallas, Texas or The Donald E. Bowles Memorial Gift Fund at Dallas Baptist University, 3000 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas Texas 75211. A memorial service following a private burial will be held at Ellis Chapel, Park Cities Baptist Church, 3933 Northwest Parkway, Dallas, Texas at 11:00 a.m. Monday, February 16, 2009, Reverend Jack Martin officiating.
Published in Dallas Morning News from Feb. 13 to Feb. 14, 2009