BEAR GRASS - Daniel Malotha Bowen, beloved husband and father, a loved and respected member of the Martin County and Bear Grass Community, 81, of 1136 Cherry Lane, Bear Grass, departed this life on Monday, Nov. 22, 2010. A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday at Macedonia Christian Church, U.S. Hwy. 17, Williamston, with ministers Dolan Baker, Greg Sexton, and Eric Woolard officiating. Burial will be at Martin Memorial Garden.
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Mr. Bowen was born Feb. 21, 1929. he was the son of James Harry Bowen and Fannie Mae Revels Bowen. Following his father's untimely death, he was raised by his grandparents, James Daniel Bowen and Naomie Peele Bowen and his step-grandmother, Carrie Peaks Bowen.
A 1947 graduate of Williamston High School, Dan attended East Carolina Teachers College one year before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. He served during the Korean War in the 81st Fighter Interceptor Wing in Fire Crash Rescue. He was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant in 1952. He used his GI Bill to attend N.C. State University graduating in 1956 with a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Science. Following graduation he taught math and science and coached at Bear Grass School until 1962. He then taught and coached at Williamston High School through 1965. His students knew he was there for them. In 1966, Dan became the Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent of Martin County Schools in charge of Food Services, Transportation, Maintenance and Building Construction. He oversaw the largest building project Martin County Schools ever undertook which including the building of Roanoke High School, Williamston High School and Williamston Middle School. His efforts resulted in the complete overhaul of the food service system for Martin County Schools and ensured each child in Martin County was equally fed. Dan advocated and won benefits for the cafeteria and custodial workers in the school system. Following his retirement in 1986, he ran for Martin County Commissioner, was elected in 1986 and served through 1996 including two years as Chairman of the Board. A strong and visionary leader, he worked tirelessly for better infrastructure and during his tenure waste management and county wide water initiatives were begun. He was a major part of the effort that resulted in the construction of the Senator Bob Martin Agricultural Center.
Dan was extremely active in both the State and National Association of County Commissioners serving on both the State and National Boards of Directors. In 1977 he began serving on the Martin County Executive Committee of the Southern Albemarle Commission and served until his health declined. He was a dedicated member and served as both President and Vice President of the entire 6 county consortium of the Southern Albemarle Association. He also served on the Roanoke River Basin Commission, the Martin County Airport Commission, the Martin County ABC Board, the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail Commission, the Martin College Board of Trustees, the Martin General Hospital Board of Directors, Bertie-Martin Criminal Justice Partnership Commission, the Martin County Travel and Tourism Committee, the Bear Grass Educational Foundation Board of Directors, and the N.C. Stream Watch Program, the U.S. Hwy. 17 Commission and the U.S. Hwy. 64 Commission.
Dan's life was one of dedicated public service and his passion was to see the young people of Martin County participate in sports. Anywhere, and everywhere across the county, prior to his health failing, his great booming voice could be heard shouting encouragement at the games.
Dan is survived by his wife, Charlotte Bailey Griffin; sons, Harry Bowen and wife, Gerrie, Tony Bowen, Danny Bowen and wife, Kathie; daughter, Vickie Bowen; stepson, Jody Griffin and wife, Sheila; grandchildren, Kyle and Hannah Bowen, Zachary and Colby Bowen, and Grace Bowen; stepsisters, Alice Rhodes, Flossie Price, and Molly Roberson; two former wives, Violet Rogers Bowen and Linda Noble Bowen.
Mr. Bowen was preceded in death by a brother, James Harry Bowen.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Bear Grass Fire Rescue Dept. and Macedonia Christian Church.
The family will receive friends tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 at Macedonia Christian Church, U.S. Hwy. 17, Williamston, and other times at the home of Charlotte Griffin Bowen, 1136 Cherry Lane, Bear Grass.
Biggs Funeral Home of Williamston is serving the Bowen family.
Published in The Daily Reflector on Nov. 23, 2010