James William Bowers, Jr. (Jim) of Athens, lovingly called Boo and Big Daddy by his grandchildren, passed into eternal life at 90 years old on July 6, 2017.
Services will be Saturday, July 8, 2017 11:00 a.m., at Limestone Chapel Funeral Home with Therman Hodge, Robert Hall and Bud White officiating. Visitation will be Friday, July 7, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be in Athens City Cemetery.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Willie and Maggie Bowers and his siblings, Basil, Pauline, Elsie, Mae, Carl, and Bob.
He is survived by Helen, his loving and devoted wife of 68 years, son Michael (Siobhán), daughter Karan (Harry), five grandchildren, Jeremy, Rachel (Jason), Matthew, Clint (Izzy), and Sarah, five wonderful great grandchildren, siblings Martha (Freed), Floyd (Peggy), and John (Peggy), numerous nieces and nephews, and a host of friends.
Jim had a distinguished military career, serving during three different wars and three branches of service: the United States Army Home Guard, the Navy, and the Air Force. He served in the Army Home Guard as a teenager from 1943 to 1945, and then enlisted in the Navy where he served for one year. When the Korean War began, he was drafted into military service. He spent the next 20 years in the U.S. Air Force. His service in the Air Force took him and his family to Selma, Alabama; Reno, Nevada; Fairbanks, Alaska; Montgomery, Alabama; and Biloxi, Mississippi. He retired with the rank of Senior Master Sergeant.
During his service, he had many opportunities to preach and teach Gods word. After retiring from the Air Force in 1972, he went back to school, earned several degrees, and became a full-time minister serving churches of Christ in Alabama. During and after his military service he served churches in Alaska, Arkansas, Nevada, and Mississippi. He preached the gospel for fifty years.
Jim was an avid sportsman in his younger days. He pitched for Mens Air Force fast pitch softball teams and was flown all around the country to compete in Air Force Golf tournaments as a member of their service team. As a mentor, he coached Little League teams in Alaska, Mississippi, and Alabama over a span of 42 years and taught his grandchildren and many of their friends the game of golf. He was passionate about building character in young athletes by teaching them to win through persistence and hard work, as well as to lose graciously.
Helen says of their life together, Jim and I traveled a long road, climbing the mountain heights and sometimes descending into valleys, and through it all, God was with us, guiding us and leading us in his way. We were so blessed with family. Jim said many times that his family was his greatest asset. He loved us all so much. We were blessed to have him with us in June for his 90th birthday.
Pallbearers will be family members.
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Published on July 6, 2017