John Paul Bowers, 97, of 418 Washington St., and formerly of 2308 Jackson St., died at 3:10 p.m. Friday (July 26, 2013), at Sunset Home.
Born Jan. 2, 1916, in Manito, he was the son of Henry Bowers and Mary Bowers Groce.
After joining the United States Air Force
, he was stationed in California and on Oct. 7, 1942, married Ruby Beatrice Lichtenberger in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Ruby "Bea" Bowers died on June 5, 2013.
A distinguished and highly decorated veteran of World War II
, he became a first lieutenant and was a pilot of B-17 bombers with the 326th Bombardment Squadron and 92nd Bombardment Group for the United States Army
Air Corps in the air offensive over Europe. He flew 30 successful missions and additional missions as instructor of aviation cadets. He joined the Air Force on Feb. 20, 1941, and was honorably discharged on Nov. 30, 1945. Personal awards include the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
A long-time executive at Gates Radio Co. (Harris Intertype Corp.), John served as a purchasing agent and was then named head of the purchasing department, a position he held for many years. Later, he became a successful Realtor at the Bower Gallery of Homes and at Century 21 Awerkamp and Hays until his retirement.
A talented craftsman, John expertly built his own home at 2308 Jackson, which showcased his excellent building, mechanical and woodworking skills.
He served as a deacon in the First United Presbyterian Church and also was a board member of the Family Service Agency in Quincy. He was a deeply religious man who loved and treasured his family. John and Ruby later became members of Melrose Chapel United Methodist Church.
He loved his family, reading, music and thoroughly enjoyed golf. Always exhibiting wisdom and a great "joie de vivre," he possessed a remarkable sense of humor.
He is survived by his two children, Joan (Gary) Schwartz of Carmel, Calif., and John (Colleen) Bowers of Sheboygan, Wis.; four grandchildren, Kimberly Ann Schwartz of Carmel, Lakeesha (Ellis Garvin) Bowers of Grass Valley, Calif., Paul (Maggie) Bowers and Misty Bowers of Sheboygan; and three great-grandchildren, Rowen Garvin, Shelby Bowers and Max Bowers. He is also survived by nieces, Betty Simaitis, Delores Williams, Shirley Bogle, Barbara Gerdes, Janet Conover, Mary Gates, Lorna Morrison, Vivian Blackford, and Shirley Miller. Surviving nephews are Stephen, Brian and Cory Lichtenberger. Also surviving are a brother-in-law, Robert Lichtenberger (Wilma), and
sister-in-law, Bertha Blackford. Other surviving relatives are numerous great-nieces and great-nephews.
John was preceded in death by his beloved and devoted wife of 71 years, Ruby Beatrice Bowers; his parents and his in-laws; a granddaughter,
Sarah Lynn Bowers; brothers, Charles Bowers, Ernest Bowers, Truman Bowers and Lester Bowers; sisters, Elizabeth Enquist and Dorothy Durr; sisters-in-law, Mildred Gates and her husband, Parker Gates; Eileen Springer and her husband, Waldorf; brothers-in-law Hayward Lichtenberger and William Durr; and a nephew Kenneth Blackford.
SERVICES: 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Hansen-Spear Funeral Home, with the Rev. Ron George officiating. Burial will be in Greenmount Cemetery, Quincy, with military honors by American Legion Post No. 37 and Illinois Military Honors Detaiil.
VISITATION: 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Hansen-Spear Funera Home.
MEMORIALS: Sunset Home,
or Melrose Chapel United Methodist Church.
ARRANGEMENTS: Hansen-Spear Funeral Home