Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory - Rockford
1860 S. Mulford
Rockford, IL 61108
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Herbert Bowie

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Herbert Bowie Obituary
HERBERT WILLIAM BOWIE, 101 1/2 ROCKFORD - Herb died unexpectedly after a fall, which threw a monkey wrench into his plans to live to be 107. "Little Bertie" was born in Dublin, Ireland, on November 12, 1911, to Rose Mabel (Warren) and Alexander Birney Bowie. Herb's mother died ten days after his birth, leaving him with a lifetime of anticipation of a reunion with her. Herb and his two siblings, Alexander and Mabel, attended a charity boarding school in County Westmeath, where he came to be one of the top scholars in all of Ireland. As adults his children recall with amusement that few families of modest means, as theirs was, had a father who quoted the likes of Tennyson and Shakespeare to fit most any situation that occurred in the household. Herb loved his native Ireland, but when he arrived in the United States as a lad of eighteen, he was smitten. Herb immediately became an ardent advocate for the common man. As Herb explained, "Being of the right heritage (in Ireland), we, tho' desperately poor, did not associate with, nor were allowed to take a job with, the workers. Only an office job satisfied our dignity." How exciting to Herb that this was not the case in America! A few years after his arrival in America he met and married Dorothy Flesburg. Herb and Dorothy had five children, the first and last of those children being surprises. Dorothy died in 1976, and in 1978 Herb married Agnes Glendy. She died in 2012. Herb became actively involved in his local community, as well as his union and the Democratic Party. Some of his accomplishments include, was a charter member of Maywood Evangelical Free Church, organized Boy Scout Troop 15, organized East Side School District's Committee, organized Victory Homes Co-op Housing Development, at one time being president, served as a 10 year member of Elementary School District 125, which included construction of a new elementary school, served a five time stewardship for Local 449 UAW (National Lock), served one term as President of Local 1258 UAW (Chrysler), organized and headed Chrysler Local 1268 Retirees' Union, served as Democratic Precinct Committeeman for twenty years, served on Rock River Public Library Board for ten years; president for six years. Herb is survived by his five children, Donald (Gayle) Bowie of Seattle, Washington, Nancy (the late Noel) Leitschuh of Machesney Park, William (Lori) Bowie of Gainesville, Florida, Sandra (Bruce) Bullock of Union Pier, Michigan, Pat (Michael) Pekarsky of Rockton and ex-son-in-law, Vito Mulae of Rockford. He is also survived by two stepdaughters, Beverly Brzostek and Gwen Rylatt. Eleven grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren also survive him. A celebration of Herb's life (i.e. the visitation) will begin Friday, April 26, at 5 p.m. and continue until around 7 p.m. at Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, Mulford Chapel, 1860 S. Mulford Rd., Rockford. Because Herb liked sleeping in and passed this decadent trait on to most of his children, the continuing celebration of his life (i.e. the funeral) will start with a continuing visitation at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, at Maywood Evangelical Free Church, 3621 Samuelson Rd., Rockford, with a service at noon and lunch immediately following. In honor of Herb's mother, who was a member of The Salvation Army in her native England, Herb would appreciate memorials sent to that organization. It is all the more fitting considering all the happy afternoons Herb spent at The Salvation Army Thrift Store searching for bargains.
Published in Rockford Register Star from Apr. 24 to Apr. 26, 2013
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