MEBANE, N.C. - After helping to launch scores of astronauts into outer space, on Oct. 21, 2013, at the age of 81, Donald John Bower began his own voyage into the heavens - his "final journey" to join the Lord in his new eternal home.
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He was born in Bergen, N.Y. to Fred and Belle Bower. He was the devoted husband of Audrey Ranous Bower for nearly 59 years.
He is survived by his wife; son, David Bower and wife Yulia of Mebane and grandchildren, Tobiah, Victoria, Timothy and Paul Thomas; daughter, Deby Burgess and husband Ray of Mebane and grandchildren, Joshua, John David, Kristin, Ben and great-granddaughter Hallie; son, John Bower and wife Kerri of Merritt Island, Fla. and grandchildren, Jack Donald, Sean and Becca; and brothers, David Bower and Paul Bower.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Dorothy Zipfel and Ruth Brown; and a brother, Robert Bower.
Don was recruited from Stevens Institute of Technology into the emerging field of aerospace engineering. During his 42-year career with Rockwell International, he was involved in nearly every aspect of unmanned and manned space flight, including the Navaho, Minuteman, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs. He led the team that developed the space shuttle launch software and retired as Program Manager for Space Shuttle Support Services.
His retirement brought new freedoms and a move to North Carolina. He was passionate about caring for others and invested his time and talents in many worthwhile projects sponsored by community organizations such as Civitans, North Carolina Fragile X Foundation and Special Olympics. He was especially devoted to Hospice Home and Palliative Care of Alamance - Caswell Counties. He served faithfully as a board member for both Hospice Home and Hospice League and was one of the Hospice volunteers known as the Magnificent Seven.
Calling hours will be at Lowe Funeral Home & Crematory in Burlington on Oct. 23, 2013 from 5 until 8 p.m.
A service to celebrate his life will be conducted by his pastor, John
Shields, in the Lowe Funeral Home Chapel on Oct. 24, 2013 at 11 a.m. A graveside committal in the Hawfields Presbyterian Church cemetery will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hospice League of Alamance – Caswell, 918 Chapel Hill Road, Burlington, NC 27215; People's Memorial Christian Church, 247 North NC 87, Burlington, NC 27217; or, a
Godspeed Don Bower!
You may sign the online register book at www.lowefuneralhome.com
Published in TheTimesNews.com from Oct. 21 to Oct. 22, 2013
Lowe Funeral Home & Crematory
2205 South Church Street Burlington, NC 27215