Gerald Bowman, August 3, 1930 ~March 7, 2014

IMG_0686Gerald Bowman, 83 of Elkins, passed away Friday, March 7, 2014 at Willard Walker Hospice Home. He was born August 3, 1930 in Wild Cat Holler, Dardanelle, Arkansas to Sparlin Bowman and Nettie Raulston Bowman. Gerald was a Veteran of the Korean War and made three trips around the world aboard the USS Laffey. After his tour of duty, Gerald married the love of his life since the age of 12, Lori. He spent twenty two years as a field supervisor in the USDA, implementing the food stamp program. After he left the USDA, Gerald sold real estate in the NWA area with Lindsey and Associates. Behind his work life, Gerald and Lori raised two children, Kevin and Kim. He was known and remembered by everyone he met by his genuine love and thoughtfulness. He had a strong faith and loved being outdoors. He took care of his soul mate, Lori for nine years after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

In February of 2013, the USS Laffey, now a museum in port at Patriots Point, South Carolina held a special celebration where Gerald walked the gang plank 60 years after his first step onto the ship. The Dream Foundation and Hardees made the memorable trip possible. His Navy uniform and a recorded account of the war is now part of the USS Laffey Museum. In September of 2013, he and his daughter Kim made one last trip to his beloved, Belize, his last bucket list wish. The last three years of his life were spent with his daughter, Kim and his grandchildren Hunter, Hayden and Hannah, who were his daily caregivers and his best friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Clarence “Bo” Bowman; his soul mate Delora “Lori” Wilkinson Bowman. Survivors include his daughter, Kim Bowman Billings; son, Kevin Bowman and wife Pam; grandchildren, Hunter Guffey, Hayden Guffey, Hannah Billings, Brandon Demarest and Loren Lucas and his best friend, JD Drummond. A special thank you to Dr. Amy Morton, WRMC Hospice and the Willard Walker Hospice Home.

A graveside service will be held Friday, March 14, 2014 at 12:00 PM with Reverend Sara Bainbridge officiating. Burial will be at the Fayetteville National Cemetery. Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Beard’s Funeral Chapel. There will be a celebration gathering afterwards at The Catfish Hole. In lieu of flowers the family would like donations to be made thru Arvest Bank to the Bowman’s Rocky Ridge Riding Ranch for Girls, a non-profit organization.


Online condolences may be made to the family at www.beardsfuneralchapel.com.

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Condolences (18)

    Tammy Wilkinson » 12. Mar, 2014

    I am so sorry to hear this. He lived a good life and I loved him, and you all dearly. He is with Aunt Delora and Bo now,. I love you Kim and Kevin.

    Chris Cummings » 12. Mar, 2014

    Kim and Kevin I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your father. Nahum 1:7
    The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,

    Benda Bowman » 12. Mar, 2014

    I am so glad it is over for him. He had to be miserable. I loved him lots. My only wish would
    have been for he and Kevin to mend their fences.

    Tammy » 13. Mar, 2014

    I think every family has fences to mend. They loved each other, each knew that. It’s not the time to bring up things like this, This how much we all loved and admired this man. And how much we grieve for him and for Kim and Kevin and the grandkids. Gerald was married to my Aunt Delora, whom I also loved dearly, the compassion and love he had for her will never be forgotten by any of us. The love he always showed me, my family I will never forget. Kevin is grieving as much if not more than any of us. This we have to remember.

    Name » 12. Mar, 2014

    I will miss him. He was a sweet man and lived an amazing life. Praying for you all. Love, Natasha

    Jim Schulten » 12. Mar, 2014

    Kevin & Kim:
    I know words cannot express my symphony nor ease the sorrow you both are feeling now.. The only assurance I can offer is the belief in knowing when one does pass, they feel no more pain or sorrow. I will tell you what I was told, “You`’ll never get over it, but it will get easier.”
    Stay close, and enjoy the memories.

    Janie & George Osborne » 13. Mar, 2014

    Condolences to Kim and Kevin and their families. Gerald and Delora were wonderful neighbors
    when we lived next door to them on North Wyman Road. Some happy memories are:
    Seeing them plant dozens of begonias each spring in their beautiful yard; Eating Gerald’s
    home-made soup and corn bread! Yummy!; Trying to beat each other with having the first fire
    in our fireplaces each fall; Opening a huge box of Arkansas Black apples they mailed to us
    our first fall, after moving away to San Antonio. They were very thoughtful people.
    They spoke often of their love for Kim and Kevin. They loved their grandkids so much.
    We could go on and on! Gerald and Delora, WE MISS YOU but we have some great memories!!

    Lawrence Smith Family » 14. Mar, 2014

    Our deepest sympathy Kim to you and your family. Your dad was a pillar in Elkins for many years and will be greatly missed. May God be with you and your family during this time.

    Karen Heslep Karps » 14. Mar, 2014

    I was Gerald’s secretary back in the mid-70s with the USDA. He was so kind and thoughtful, and Kim and Kevin, he loved you so much. He was a real sweetheart, and I will always have very fond memories of him. I was not aware of his Naval service, of course he didn’t brag about it. Thanks to Gerald for his service to our country! I know he will be missed. What a wonderful man!

    Name » 14. Mar, 2014

    I want to add one more thing. Gerald would bop into the office every morning, slender, tall, immaculate hair, and dressed in a suit. He looked so much like Johnny Carson then.

    Karen Heslep Karps » 14. Mar, 2014

    I wanted to add one more thing about Gerald. Every morning he would bop into the office, tall, slender, immaculate hair, dressed in a suit…. he looked so much like Johnny Carson!

    Name » 14. Mar, 2014

    Kim we are so sorry we aren’t able to attend Jerald’s service. We got up with a stomach bug of some sort but we are there in our hearts. He was a very good man and the world is a better place because of him. He also left a two great children that he was very proud of and we are blessed to know. Prayers are with you today. Love to you both , Tommy and Karen Atha

    rick frye » 14. Mar, 2014

    That man always lit up the room with his loving kindness. The world cannot be all bad when people like Gerald are created. I will truly miss him till we see him again

    Name » 15. Mar, 2014

    I want to express my condolences to the family. Can you imagine a world where there will be no more suffering at all like this? Or sickness? I wanted to show you a bible prophecy shown at Isaiah 33:24 and Isaiah 24:8 where it talks about this and gives us an absolutely wonderful hope for the future. Soon, our imaginations will become a reality and we know this because “God cannot lie” (Titus 1:2). Knowing this when I lost one of my loved ones really helped my healing. So I wanted to share it with everyone else too. Please visit our bible based website jw.org for more intriguing bible questions answered and once again, I’m so sorry for your loss. You’ll be in my prayers.

    frank shuler » 16. Mar, 2014

    He was a good man and a friend to know.

    Corey Caudle » 20. Mar, 2014

    I was surprised when I heard. Stormin’ Norman, as i always recognized him as, was a great man. My deepest thoughts go to the Riggle’s family. It’s never easy letting go of one’s you love and cherish so much. Norman always had a way about making others smile. I will only ever remember him as being so full of life and a genuinely cool guy. Peace and prayers to all of the family.

    gail wollin (Bohe) » 22. Jun, 2014

    I am so sorry for you loss. This weekend I was thinking about Gerald and wanting to try to get in touch with him. Mom, Frances, did not have an updated number, so I went on line to try and find a phone number and found he had died. I am so sorry. Kevin and Kim, I cannot seem to find your phone numbers. would love to talk with you both.
    Not sure if you know, but my dad died 5-2-14 also.
    Love in Christ,

    Name » 06. Oct, 2014

    Gail. My phone number is 479 409 5045. Call me tmr please