OBITUARY

Dr. Daniel Robert Bowden

September 30, 1952January 13, 2021
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Dr. Daniel Robert Bowden September 30, 1952 - January 13, 2021

Daniel Robert Bowden, DDS was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the eldest son of the late Daniel Bowden, Jr. and Elsie Jean Meredith Bowden. He attended Charjean Elementary School, Fairview Junior High School, and graduated from Messick High School in 1970. In the Messick Band, Danny was first chair French horn and served as Band Captain his senior year. He was in the All State Band for three years. Daniel attended the University of Mississippi on a band scholarship, where he was first chair French horn for three out of his four years there. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and graduated in 1974 with a double major in chemistry and biology. He graduated from the University of Tennessee Dental School in 1977.

Dr. Bowden practiced public health dentistry in Bolivar, TN and Abingdon, VA. He was in private practice in Philadelphia, PA where he was also a faculty member at Temple University in the Oral Diagnosis department. He returned to Memphis and remained in private practice, both solo and with American Family Dentistry. He retired in November 2020.

Dr. Bowden is remembered for his many talents and gifts. He was a remarkable musician: he could pick up an unfamiliar instrument and, after a few minutes of handling, figure out how to play it. One of his favorite party tricks when a piano was around was to start up impromptu rounds of “Name That Tune!” much to the delight of partygoers. His love and appreciation for music was obvious to those who knew him. His office played popular music Mondays through Thursdays, and when a classic hit came on, Dr. Bowden would tell you exactly who sang it, who they were married to, and what he was doing when the song first came out. When his staff “allowed” him to play classical music on Fridays, he was known to close his eyes and pick out the instruments that were playing, perhaps with one (or both) hands slightly waving as if he were directing the music himself, or perhaps with an exaggerated yet sincere gusto which would bring a genuine smile to the faces of all who watched.

Dr. Bowden is also remembered for his quick wit and a sharp intelligence. He was kind, supportive, and encouraging to his friends, but, as his Facebook friends could tell you, he could deliver a painful tongue-lashing. In his online discussions in particular, he was careful to keep his focus on “the issues” and avoid personal attacks on those who disagreed with him, even (and especially) in today’s polarizing environment. He valued differences of opinion and recognized the importance of diverse viewpoints and respectful discussion. A true intellectual, Dr. Bowden encouraged others to think for themselves both critically and analytically. He was a voracious reader and researcher with interests in a variety of subjects, though he had an extraordinary knowledge and understanding of World and United States history, in particular. For his children, a phone call to dad would likely yield a quicker and more comprehensive answer to a history question than a google search. He loved to travel and try new foods, and he traveled extensively in Europe in the last several years of his life.

Dr. Bowden is survived by his children, Ellen Meredith Bowden of Oakland, TN, Elizabeth Anne Bowden of Nashville, TN, and Nathan Daniel Bowden of Memphis, TN; his sister, Rebecca "Becky" Bowden Jones (Wayne) of Cordova, TN; and his brother, John Meredith Bowden (Denise) of Olive Branch, MS.

Visitation will be held at Memphis Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens in Bartlett, TN (3700 N Germantown Parkway, 38133) on February 6 at 9:00am followed by a 10:00am memorial service and then burial in the family burial grounds at Mount Zion Cemetery in Independence, MS.

  • FAMILY

  • Daniel Bowden, Jr. and Elsie Jean Meredith Bowden, Parents (deceased)
  • Ellen Meredith Bowden, Elizabeth Anne Bowden, Nathan Daniel Bowden, Children
  • Rebecca "Becky" Bowden Jones (Wayne), Sister
  • John Meredith Bowden (Denise), Brother

Services

  • Family Will Receive Friends

    Saturday, February 6, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, February 6, 2021

Memories

Dr. Daniel Robert Bowden

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Bertina Pruitt

September 28, 2021

I just learned of Dr Bowden's passing. My deepest condolences. Dr Bowden had been my dentist from 1995 until his retirement. If anyone asked for dentist recommendations I wouldn't hesitate to refer Dr Bowden. Oh how I loved Dr Bowden. He always had a story. I mean ALWAYS had a story. If he sensed your discomfort in his dental chair, he rectified it. I followed him from poplar and hollywood office. To the fancy office in the sky at poplar near 240. I lucked up on him again at American Family Dentistry. Even after being married 15 years, he still called me Ms Range (maiden name). I was disappointed to hear of his retirement. Now devastated to hear of his passing. He was one of the good ones. He'll definitely be missed.

Leslie Thomas

August 30, 2021

I am just now finding out about the passing of Dr Bowden. I was one of his patients for a few years and considered him the best dentist ever. The last time I was in office they told me that Dr Bowden no longer worked there. I was on a mission to see where he went but never could find him. And then Covid hit so I didn’t go to the dentist at all. But Dr Bowden was the best pain free dentist I ever had. His funny jokes also helped to ease my fears. I will miss you Dr Bowden and there will never be another like you. Rest In Peace

Kevitt Adler

February 4, 2021

Dr. Bowden took care of me for many years while my office was in Clark Tower. I actually looked forward to my dental cleanings as it gave me a chance to visit with him. He diagnosed and corrected a situation that had been causing me neck stiffness and pain for many years. My condolences to his family, I know you will miss him dearly.

Vicki Robertson

February 4, 2021

Daniel always was friendly and had a smile on his face. As many have said, he had a quick wit and was very intelligent. I graduated with Danny from Messick, but we didn’t become friends until after graduation. My most recent memory is when he contacted me as we first started planning our class reunion. It was planned for last September (rescheduled for this September). Danny offered to pay for anyone who wanted to come, but couldn’t afford to come up to $10,000. He didn’t want credit for his generosity. He said he had done well, but was aware all our classmates had not. I told him I would let him know & thanked him for his bighearted offer. We always have classmates that need financial assistance. It really touched me that he was so thoughtful. We will definitely miss him. He was a good friend!

Greg Davis

February 2, 2021

Bowden Family - Please accept my deepest sympathy on Danny's passing. The loss of a loved one is never easy, but know many are with you individually/collectively through your grief. May time help you heal and bring you peace.

Respectfully,

Greg Davis
Classmate - Messick High School (1970)
www.Messick1970.com

Doey Barrar

January 24, 2021

I'm sorry to hear about Danny! He was such a nice guy--always enjoyed talking to him at the Messick & band reunions-he will be missed at both! RIP, my friend! With sympathy & prayers to his family!

Katrina Lomax

January 24, 2021

Danny and I were classmates at Messick. He was so smart and witty. I loved reading his posts on FB. He will be missed.

Jo Ann Wilder

January 24, 2021

We were so saddened to hear about Danny. He has been a friend of my husband’s, Randy Wilder, as long as I can remember. He and Danny were church friends from charjean baptist when his father was the choir director and kept that friendship until his death. Many friends will miss him and his loss will leave an empty chair at the Messick and band reunions many memories and stories will be told in future years as Danny always had a kind word and funny stories to share. RIP my friend

Beth Dozier

January 24, 2021

I was amazed that he played a trumpet. He would accompany me on piano for Sunday School classes. I felt close to everyone in the Bowden family, so many more memories.

Brandon Griffith

January 24, 2021

Professionally, he was Dr Bowden and our conversations were firm and fact based with a fatherly tone. In between patients he was Daniel, and we shared many laughs over film and food. He took pride in work and family; I took pride in him as my friend. I will truly miss those conversations. Condolences.

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