Bowers, Vernon J.
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Vernon J. "Slippery" Bowers, Freedom, age 71, died unexpectedly Friday January 25, 2013. He was born in Freedom on December 1, 1941 to the late John and Anna (Arnoldussen) Bowers. Vernon married Jo Ann Randerson on November 3, 1962 at St. Nicholas Parish, where he was a lifelong member. He worked for many years at Thilmany Paper Mill in Kaukauna and then as a Union Representative for the United Paperworkers International Union which then changed to the United Steel Workers. He retired in 2005. Vernon loved the outdoors and spent a lot of time fishing and hunting. He would begin talking about opening bow hunting season in about mid-June and would say that the days were getting shorter all summer long. The fishing trips he planned to North Dakota had become legendary both for their success and the stories that came from them (some were even true). He also enjoyed athletics playing football, basketball and baseball in his younger years, but baseball was his favorite sport. He was a co-founder of the Freedom Mets baseball team which he both played for and was manager of. Vernon watched every MLB game that he could although he was a die-hard Cubs fan. He was particularly fond of Ron Santo with whom he shared a number and position. Vernon served as a town supervisor for the Town of Freedom and took his role there seriously. He was also the founder of the Freedom "Coffee Club." On any given day the Coffee Club could be found sharing stories and making hunting/fishing plans at the local gas station.
But for everything he accomplished in his life, what he was most proud of was his grandkids. He was the most wonderful grandpa anyone could ask for. He would do anything at all for "his kids." The kids were often heard to say that "Grandpa's kids get whatever they want," and we all knew that to be true. Vern was known for giving out nicknames, and the grandkids all had them before they could walk: Ashlyn "Senator," Ethan "Howie," and Megan "MayMay." After that, he rarely used their given names. Everything in Vern's life revolved around his family and grandkids. He will be missed terribly.
Vernon is survived by his wife of 50 years, Jo Ann; his children: Jodi (Keith) Roskowski and Robb (Kristy), both of Freedom; his grandchildren: Ashlyn and Ethan Roskowski, Megan Bowers and Anthony Bucholtz; his siblings: Rose Mary Greiner, Helen Dachelet, Daniel (Elaine) and Glenn Bowers; and brothers and sisters-in-law: Joan Bowers, Tom Broeren and Ron (Sherry) Randerson. He is further survived by other relatives and his many friends especially his hunting and fishing buddies.
In addition to his parents, Vernon was preceded in death by his grandson Joshua Roskowski; father and mother-in-law: Patrick and Marjorie Randerson; siblings: Harvey, La Vern, Elaine, Gordon and Dorothy Bowers and Joyce Broeren; brother-in-law: Carl Greiner; special niece and nephew: Tina and Jeff Randerson; and great niece Mary Ann.
Visitation will be held Tuesday January 29, 2013 at ST. NICHOLAS PARISH (W2037 County Road S Freedom) beginning at 1:00 p.m. until time of Mass at 4:00 p.m. The Rev. Daniel Felton will officiate with Rev. Dennis Ryan concelebrating. Committal St. Nicholas Cemetery. To sign the guest book, please visit oconnellfh.com.
The family would like to thank the Freedom First Responders and all Vern's friends who were there for Vern.
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent from Jan. 27 to Jan. 28, 2013