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Darlene Bowen


1921 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Darlene Bowen Obituary
Darlene Tobin Bowen, formerly of West Newton, passed away Monday, July 9, 2018. She was born May 16, 1921, in Smithfield to Leslie and Myrtle Boyd Tobin. Blessed with beautiful singing voices and a natural aptitude for music, she and her twin sister, Marlene (Sherrill), were self-taught musicians who mastered stringed instruments such as the guitar, mandolin and bass fiddle. They began their professional career at 15 when they competed in and won first prize on "The Wilkins Amateur Hour" radio show that was broadcast over KDKA. This led to a featured spot with local radio personality "Cowboy Phil" on radio station WHJB. The twins were later joined by their older sister, Bonnie (Lesniak), and became known as "The Prairie Ranch Girls." They were signed to an exclusive contract with the Orpheus and Manos theaters as a featured act, performing with celebrities such as Gene Autry and The Sons of the Pioneers. They performed in various venues throughout the tri-state area, including live concerts and The Wheeling Jamboree, as well as on their own radio show, which was broadcast on stations WHJB, WWVA, and KDKA. Although marriage and motherhood eventually replaced her singing career, in the 1970s, Darlene revived her band along with local country-western singer Billy Carter. As "Darlene and Her Lucky Stars," they performed locally for several years. She is survived by her loving husband of 71 years, William B. Bowen; her daughter, Yvonne Bowen Fike and son-in-law, Rodger K. Fike, of Irwin; and her grandson, Justin W. Lake, of Gilbert, Ariz.; twin sister, Marlene Tobin Sherill, of Summerville, S.C.; brothers-in-law, Glen and Donald Bowen; and many nieces and nephews.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the J. WILLIAM McCAULEY JR. FUNERAL HOME, 901 Vine St., West Newton, where services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday. Interment will follow in West Newton Cemetery.
Condolences may be left at http://www.mccauleyfuneralhomes.com.
Published in Greensburg Tribune Review from July 11 to July 12, 2018
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