Mr. Rex L. Bowen, 81, Rochester, passed away unexpectedly at 1:27 p.m. Thursday, April 12, 2018, at his residence.
On June 12, 1936, Rex Bowen was born in Kosciusko County to Oscar and Florence Burns Bowen. Growing up he shared his childhood with a brother Bob and sister Carolyn. He graduated from Burket High School in 1954.
Patriotism beckoned, he answered the call serving with the United States Army. During his stint of service from 1958 – 1961. He was stationed in Bascranock, Germany with the 40th artillery group.
At the parsonage of the First Christian Church, Rex and Joan Kanouse were married on Jan. 7, 1961. They shared over 57 years of life’s adventures. From their union came two beautiful daughters Tresa and Sandy. The family tree continued to grow with the added blessings of six grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
A vibrant community member, his memberships included the Burton-Richland Center United Methodist Church, IOOF Lodge #47, Nyona-South Mud Lake Association, Moose Lodge Family Center # 1107, Elk’s Lodge #2120, Eagles Lodge #852, and Manitou VFW Post #1343. He served as past-President of the Rochester Middle School holding corporation. He met most mornings with the men’s coffee group at Tweedle-Dee’s. They discussed local topics and solved the world’s problems.
As an entrepreneur, businessman and building contractor, he was the owner of Bowen Builders. He enjoyed building custom homes and commercial projects. He was proud of his accomplishments including the construction of his family home on South Mud Lake and his home in Richland Township. With a lifelong passion of farming the Bowen’s settled and lived in Richland Township where they raised Black Angus and were grain farmers. They annually planted a truck patch garden, sharing the bountiful harvest with family and special friends.
Paramount in his life was his family. Grandpa Rex enjoyed the holidays and family celebrations. Making memories with his grandchildren and great-granddaughter were the best. Whether it was fishing off the pier at South Mud Lake or having the grandkids assist with the garden there was always great fun involved with their adventures.
Rex Bowen will be lovingly remembered by his wife; two daughters: Tresa Hammond and husband Michael, Plymouth; Sandy Leighty and husband Chad, Marion; six grandchildren: Branton Leazenby and wife Danielle, Victoria Leazenby, Brayson Leazenby, Lauren Tinkel, Krista Hendrickson and fiancé Julian Black, Emily Hendrickson; a great-granddaughter, Leighton Tinkel; a sister, Carolyn Chapple, Columbia City; two sisters-in-law: Betty Bowen, Silver Lake, Jean Stout, Akron; and several nieces and a nephew.
Preceding Rex in death are his parents; a brother, Robert Bowen; and brothers-in-law Bob Stout and Bob Chapple.
Pastor Lu Ann Cohn will officiate services. The International Order of Odd Fellows Lodge #47 will conduct a memorial service at 7 p.m., Sunday, April 15.
Interment will be in the Rochester IOOF Cemetery. Military rites will be conducted by the Fulton County Veteran’s Honor Guard and the US Army Honors Team.