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Keith Lewis Bowles

Obituary
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BERWICK, Maine — Keith Lewis Bowles, 84, of Berwick, Maine, died Friday afternoon, September 28, 2012 at Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester following his residency at the Rochester Manor.

He was born in Groton, Vermont on June 18, 1928, a son of Lewis Prescott and Annie Lila (Carpenter) Bowles. His family moved to Bradford, Vermont when he was in the third Grade. He graduated from Bradford Academy in the Class of 1947. He earned his Bachelor's Degree from the University of New Hampshire.

Keith served his country for 8 1⁄2 years in the United States Air Force during the Korean War, serving in 1948, and again from 1951 to 1958, during which time he was stationed in the United Kingdom from 1952 to 1955.

On July 28, 1957, he married the former Cynthia Gwendolyn McComb. Together they shared 55 years of marriage.

From 1961 until his retirement in 1983, Keith worked for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as a Bank Examiner. While with the FDIC, he graduated from the New England School of Banking at Williams College, Williamstown, Mass. Keith also attended the N.Y. State Banker's School of Agriculture at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. He was a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE), Dover, N.H.

In his retirement years, he worked as a consultant for Southwest Bank.

Keith was always active in community affairs, even more so in his retirement. From 1984 to 1985 he served on the Berwick Planning Board. From 1986 to 1998, he served on the Berwick Board of Selectmen, and was Chairman for three of those years. He served three years on the Executive Committee of the Maine Municipal Association, and two terms on the Legislative Policy Committee of that Association. Along with Phil McCarthy, then Kittery Town Manager, Keith was instrumental in the creation of the York County Municipal Association. He was elected to the York County Budget Committee for two terms. He also served on the Executive Committee of the southern Maine Regional Planning Commission for several years. He volunteered his time in the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program for the State of Maine.

Along with his wife Cynthia, they started the Berwick Heritage Association. Keith was also a member of St. John's Lodge #51, AF & AM, South Berwick, Maine, the Grand Lodge of Vermont, Barre, Vermont since 1948 and was a Shriner of the Kora Shrine Center, Lewiston, Maine. He was a member of the Berwick United Methodist Church for over 50 years, where he served as treasurer. He also served as a trustee of the former Maine Conference of the UMC for twelve years. He was an active participant in Democratic Party politics in past years.

Although Keith was a Bank Examiner, he, like most young boys, loved trains, and always wanted to be a railroad engineer. Spending many carefree days in his youth alongside the tracks, engineers came to know him on site, and he was often invited into the cab to ride and, yes, even sometimes operate the locomotive!

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his two brothers, Darrell Bowles and Trafford Brink.

He is survived by his loving wife Cynthia of Berwick, Maine; his son, John Bowles and his wife Rachel of Alton, N.H.; his daughter, Susan Seymour and her husband Donald of West Newfield, Maine; and three grandchildren, Richard Hilton of Alton, N.H., Joshua Seymour of Somersworth, N.H., and Megan Seymour of Portsmouth, N.H.

There are no calling hours. A Masonic Ritual Service will be held on Friday, October 5, 2012 at 11:45 a.m., followed by a Memorial Service at noon at Berwick United Methodist Church, 37 School Street, Berwick, Maine.

An American Legion Service and burial with military honors will follow in Evergreen Cemetery, Berwick, Maine.

Should friends choose, memorial donations may be made in his memory to The Shriners Hospital for Children-Boston, 51 Blossom Street, Boston, Mass. 02114. Arrangements are in care of Laing-Bibber Funeral Chapel, 36 Rochester Street, PO Box 728, Berwick, Maine 03901, www.bibberfuneral.com.

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Published in Fosters from Oct. 2 to Oct. 3, 2012
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