"If you miss heaven, you've just missed all there is."
- Dee Bowman
"Darryl Duane "Dee" Bowman was born in Estelline, Texas on November 26, 1934 to D.C. and Elsie Bowman. He and his brothers, Jay, Lowell, and Monte, spent their early childhood in the small town of Morton, TX before moving to Lubbock, TX. Dee graduated from Frenship High School in 1951. He attended Texas Tech University after high school but suspended his education to pursue a career in radio and television.
He began working in radio as a custodian while still in high school, learning the trade and eventually moving behind the microphone. Radio and television was a natural progression for Dee. Growing up in a singing family, Dee, Jay, and Lowell enjoyed some success as "The Bowman Brothers", perfonning in a variety of settings and spending time between Lubbock and Clovis, NM where they worked closely with Norman Petty at his recording studio. During those years they crossed paths with a number of people who became famous in the music and entertainment industry, most notably Buddy Holly, whom they introduced to Norman Petty.
The Bowman Brothers performed the background vocals on several of his records. Dee, Jay, and Lowell recorded several singles and one full album and were later joined by Monte (who was much younger). They had several opportunities to advance their performing career, but abandoned that life because of the compromise that it would demand of their faith and convictions.
Dee met Norma Jean Fullington in Lubbock at the Caprock church of Christ building in 1957 and they were married on August 5, 1960. Two children came of their union in the next few years. Russell Jay was born in 1962 and Denise Dawn in 1966. During these years, Dee continued in radio and television, eventually becoming a partner in the ownership of KCAS radio (1050AM) in Slaton, TX. The Bowmans were actively involved in the Slaton community during those years. Though he managed the radio station, broadcast a daily morning show, and worked doing advertising for numerous Lubbock television stations, Dee also preached regularly for churches of Christ in the Texas panhandle. In 1971, Dee sold the radio station in order to begin full time work as the minister for the Auburn Street church of Christ. He and Nonna moved their family back outside of Lubbock in 1974.
In 1976, the Bowman family moved to Deer Park, TX and Dee began working with the Southside church of Christ in Pasadena. He would work with this group of Christians until his death - a total of 45 years. He preached the gospel of Christ with passion, eloquence, patience and love for people. He was used extensively among churches of Christ across the country, preaching in hundreds of gospel meetings and lectureships. In 1977, in concert with the Southside church, he began a "preacher training program" which afforded young men a two year "apprenticeship" in local church work. Over the ensuing 40 years, fifteen young men would learn under Dee's tutelage. Almost all of them continue in the preaching of the gospel to this date. In 1997-98, he enrolled in the University of Alabama and completed his college degree. He spent 15 years teaching hermeneutics at Florida College in Temple Terrace, FL from 1987 to 2003. Dee was an avid reader and prolific writer, chronicling daily in a journal for all of his adult life. His love of writing found opportunity for expression as he joined four other preaching companions - Ed Harrell, Paul Earnhart, Sewell Hall, and Brent Lewis - in the creation of Christianity Magazine. The magazine was widely read and continued publication for 14 years, from 1983 until 1997. Dee also published eight books during his life, including a study of hermeneutics (Common Sense Preaching), a guide to preaching (The Preacher and His Work), and several works on daily discipleship (That's Life; That's Life Too; It's All About the People; Just a Minute; Be Wise Small; The Joy of Growing Old in Christ). But his local work with the Southside church - preaching and teaching weekly - remained his foremost love until his death. He was and remains dearly loved by his spiritual family, both locally and nationally.
Dee and Norma enjoyed 61 years of marriage and cherished their love. They traveled together, labored together, laughed together, cried together, and served the Lord and their fellow man together. He loved his children and his grandchildren - Haley, Victoria, and Emily - and they loved him in return. He leaves behind a legacy of discipleship, service, diligence, love and professionalism.
He is preceded in death by his parents, and by his brothers Monte and Jay. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Norma Jean; his son Russ and wife Tracy, of Lumberton, TX; his daughter Denise Bowman, of Deer Park, TX; and three granddaughters: Haley Guerrero, and husband Will.; Victoria Bowman; Emily Bowman.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the wonderful people who comprise the Southside church of Christ; to the doctors and staff of HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast (Bayshore Hospital); and to the nurses and caregivers of Traditions Health. We are grateful for your care of Dee during the last few months.
Published by The Beaumont Enterprise from Sep. 15 to Sep. 16, 2021.