Lowell Bouma, age 84, died August 20, 2014, of heart complications while visiting family in Grandville, Michigan. Currently residing in Berea, Ky., Lowell was chair of the Georgia Southern College/University Foreign Language Department for almost 20 years. Born in Hull, Iowa, on July 13, 1930, Lowell was the seventh of 12 children raised on farms in Iowa and Minnesota.
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While serving in the Army in Germany after World War II, he fell in love with the German language and culture. Although he did not finish high school, his love of learning and interest in languages lead him to study German and linguistics at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He went on to complete a Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of Wisconsin in 1968. He taught at the University of Georgia before becoming chair at Georgia Southern University from 1975 to 1993.
After he retired, his curiosity and love of learning and travel never stopped. He volunteered often at Statesboro's Habitat for Humanity until he moved to Kentucky to be close to his daughter, Jill. Throughout his life, there were very few subjects, places or people he did not find fascinating.
Lowell, also affectionately known as "Fats" or "Grandpa Fats", is survived by his wife, Joan; and children, Jill Bouma (Gary Mahoney) of Berea, Ky., Dirk Bouma of Marietta, Ga., and Peter Bouma (Katherine Milikin); and two grandchildren, Willem and Kat of Washington, D.C.
A memorial to celebrate his life is planned for September 20, 2014, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
In lieu of flowers, people wishing to honor Lowell may send contributions to the "Department of Foreign Languages" Fund (#0152), Georgia Southern University Foundation, P.O. Box 8053, Statesboro, GA 30459.
For more information, contact Ms. Sue Bunning at (912) 478-2435.
Statesboro Herald, August 29, 2014
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Published in Statesboro Herald from Aug. 29 to Sept. 5, 2014