LITTLETON - Raymond Matthews Bowler died peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on March 29, 2014, at the age of 92. He was born on Aug. 29, 1921, in New Bedford, Mass., to Joseph and Bertha Bowler.He is survived by Terry, his wife of 62 years, and his three children and three grandchildren. Their three children are Mary Bowler of Salem, Carol Nixon of Littleton, Mass., and Raymond Bowler II of Littleton, N.H. He adored his granddaughters, Amy Budge, Courtney Bowler and Ashley Bowler. He was predeceased by his younger brother, Joseph Bowler, of Greenville, S.C. He remained close with Joseph's children, Karen Burks, Beth Smith, and Joseph Bowler III, and their children. His cousin, Carol Perry, and her daughters, also remain close.He went to the Wentworth Institute of Technology. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy, served in Brazil and at home. He was an aviation machinist mate first class. He was a member of the American Legion. In post-war years, he found his career in shoe manufacturing. For 33 years, he designed machines at American Shoe Machinery Company. He registered many patents for his machines.A quiet man, he married the pretty and fun-loving Italian girl he met at the shoe factory, Rosaria Theresa Famulari, and made their home in Salem in 1951. Their love of traveling was chronicled in his detailed notes of family vacation road trips. By the time they were in their 80s, Ray and Terry had driven to all 48 contiguous state, seen many of America's national parks, and had flown to Hawaii to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. The tapestry of family memories was highlighted by summer fun at a rustic family property on Snow's Pond, in Rochester, Mass. He taught his children to swim, played cut-throat croquet and commanded the barbecue and clam bakes.After retirement in 1982, he and Terry moved to Spring Hill, Fla. They were very active in New Hampshire Club there, and their circle of friends grew and grew. They returned to New Hampshire in 2004 to share a home with son Raymond and his family.
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SERVICES: Instead of flowers, memorial donations can be made in his honor at your choice of the following:1. At the church he served for many years - Pleasant Street United Methodist Church, Salem, Mariner United Methodist Church, Spring Hill, Fla., and First United Methodist Church in Littleton. 2. North Country Home Health & Hospice Agency, 536 Cottage St., Littleton.A celebration of Ray's life will he held in Littleton and Salem at the United Methodist Church. Immediate family will have an interment ceremony at the N.H. State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen.
Published in Union Leader on Apr. 2, 2014