Robert Leroy Bowman
1930 - 2017
{ "" }
Share Robert's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Robert Leroy Bowman
May 10, 1930 - January 27, 2017
Resident of San Jose
Bob was born in humble beginnings in Laytonville, CA by parents John Bowman and Olive Bowman. One of the original pioneering families in Mendocino, his great grandparents settled along the Eel River.
Bob moved to San Jose to attend Lincoln High School in 1946, where he met his life-long love, Joyce Call. He was an avid athlete, excelling in basketball, football and baseball.
Baseball became his calling while at Napa Junior College. He was unexpectedly drafted to the Klamath Falls, OR Triple A team, when he accompanied a buddy who was trying out.
Bob and Joyce wed in 1950. Shortly thereafter Bob was drafted to the Philadelphia Phillies to play right field. With 6 pitching appearances as a position player, he holds a couple Major League records. Bob and Joyce traveled extensively for baseball to places like Caracas, Venezuela for Summer Ball. Son, Bradley, was born and became part of Bob's entourage.
Bob and Joyce returned to San Jose (Cambrian area), retiring from Major League baseball, adding Sheridan and Jacqueline to their family. Bob became Sales Manager at Joseph George Distributing, where he worked for 31 years. Both Bob and Joyce were avid volunteers in the community, with Lucille Salter Packard Stanford Children's Hospital San Jose Auxiliary (Thrift Box on Lincoln Ave) and Camden High Booster Club.
Bob was an extremely talented handyman and helped build his cabin home next to his high school friends, the Myers family, in Lake Almanor Country Club. There the two families (6 kids total) enjoyed year round activities in the outdoors and made wonderful memories together.
Bob and Joyce entertained tirelessly, stressing the importance of having family over on Sundays and friends flowing through the front door endlessly. He was known for his grilling abilities, as well as cocktail mixes and laughter. He told a good joke and was always classy and caring toward others. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at Lou's Village surrounded by life long friends and family.
Retiring from Joseph George in 1990, Bob and Joyce built a new home at Lake Almanor. They became very active for the volunteer fire fighters' "Fire Sirens" Thrift Shop in the Country Club. Kids and grandkids visited often, playing tennis, golf, waterskiing, attending "Family Nights" and cementing more life long friendships. Bob was a great fisherman and golfer. They remained there until Joyce died in 2004. He moved shortly thereafter to The Villages in San Jose, with his furry companion, Russell. He continued to play golf and make new friends in his bridge group. His kids loved having him close by, celebrating birthdays with lively bocce ball games at The Villages.
Bob was a gentle giant who was loved by all. Hes survived by his son, Bradley (Diana), daughters Sheridan and Jacqueline & grandkids Daniel, Andrew (Michelle), Ryan, Lindsay, Micheal (Sarah) and Steven.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in his memory to Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital. As Bob wished, there is no service, however we're planning an event in the Spring to honor his wonderful life.

View the online memorial for Robert Leroy Bowman

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Jan. 31, 2017.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by San Jose Mercury News
Not sure what to say?
5 entries
August 6, 2017

Dear Brad, Sheri,Jackie and Family,

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

I mailed photographs of Bob and Joyce to Bob and they were returned to me. I went online and learned of his death. What a shock to me.

Please contact me, and I will mail the photographs to you.

Thank you very much.

Thom Harney
(408) 238-0528
Thom Harney
February 22, 2017
Bob was my all time favorite Phillie since I was 8 years old. I got to meet him once when he was in town for a reunion. He was a very nice man who will forever be a part of my happy childhood memories. My sincerest sympathy goes out to his family.
Chris Dickerman
February 9, 2017
So sorry to hear about your dad passing. I have a lot of great memories of a great friend. Brad, Sheri and Jackie, you can all be very proud of his accomplishments.

Paul Gray
February 6, 2017
To Sheri,Brad,i and Jackie,
So sorry to hear of your Dad. What a grand Guy he was!
I was a couple of years behind at Lincoln High.
Joyce and Bob were fun and we all rooted for our Baseball team.
And what fun neighbors they and their kids were!
Never to be forgotten.
Love, Jo Anne Vincenzini
February 1, 2017
Buffalo Bisons Baseball fans like myself remember the daysBob played here in 1960 and 1961.

As a youngster I remember his baseball cards too.

I'll remember him and the family in my prayers.
Mike Dugan
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences