Jerry Bowden of Indianapolis, IN, died Jan. 13, 2021. Born June 21, 1943, in Ft. Worth, he was the son of Levi and Sue Bowden. He graduated from Munday High School in 1961 and North Texas State in 1966. Upon his graduation from Munday, he entered the Army and attended Officer Candidate School and obtained his Ranger tab. He graduated from OCS and transferred to the Adjutant General Corp before receiving his commission on July 3, 1967.
He served in the Army for twenty-two years, five of those being overseas to Korea in 1968 and Vietnam in 1971 as a First Lieutenant. He decided that if he were going to represent his country, he was going to have the best training his country could offer him. That was an important quality of Jerry’s, to do things – do it to the best of his abilities. So, not only did he go to Vietnam, but he also led men in Vietnam and his professional and personal mission was to ensure their safe return home.
In 1977 he was assigned to V Corp in Frankfurt, West Germany. That was an accompanied tour where his family went with him. In Germany he entered Boston University’s graduate program and received his graduate degree while commanding the Regional Personnel Command (RPC) in Giessen and attended the United States Command and General Staff College, a graduate school, at Ft. Leavenworth, KS.
In 1987 he organized the 1100 mile Torch Run for the Tenth Pan Am games that were held that year in Indianapolis.
Jerry successfully completed his tour of duty and retired in 1988 as a Lieutenant Colonel after taking various posts. The ones he enjoyed the most were centered around teaching and offering guidance to his younger peers.
In their later years Jerry and Nancy traveled frequently, visiting Europe and taking a cruise to the Panama Canal. One of the trips to Europe took them to Normandy. These are two places he had dreamed of visiting among the many trips that they took.
Over the years he learned to be a craftsman, and true to his nature he shared the ability at home: he took mission trips for the church (one to Alaska); he worked for Servants at Work (SAWs) where he would spend four to five days a week working on building handicap ramps for those who are homebound in Indianapolis; and he worked for Habitat for Humanity builds.
He was a member of Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, a charter member of Kiwanis of Meridian Hills, a lifetime member of AVVA (Association of Vietnam Veterans of America), and a founding member of the Adjutant General’s Corps Regiment.
Jerry never met a stranger. He had such a playful, loving spirit which he constantly displayed with his family, friends and neighbors. But those things he was great at and loved doing, he got the greatest pleasure from being a grandfather.
His is survived by his wife of 53 years Nancy; daughter Elizabeth (Matt) Rogers; granddaughters Kate and Ruby Rogers; brother Lee (JoAnn)Bowden; niece LeAnn Bowden; and nephew Kerry Bowden.
He was preceded in death by his parents Levi and Sue Bowden and his son Christopher.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Northside Food Pantry – Second Presbyterian Church or Servants at Work (SAWS) – Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N. Meridian, Indianapolis, IN, 46260.
A graveside service was held on Monday, January 18, 2021 at Crown Hill Cemetery. A funeral service will be held on July 24, 2021, 11 a.m. at Second Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, IN.