OBITUARY

Mathew Bowen Johnson Sr.

April 4, 1943January 16, 2021
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Mathew Bowen Johnson, Sr.

A family and friends gathering for Bowen will be held Friday, January 22, 2021 from 12:00 pm to 1:45 pm at Memorial Funeral Home. Celebration of Life Service for Mathew Bowen Johnson, Sr., 77, are set for 2:00 pm Friday at Memorial Funeral Home with Rev. Roger McGraw, Rev. Josh Hodum and Rev. Joe Landrum officiating, with burial in the Henry Cemetery.

Bowen died January 16, 2021 at Magnolia Regional Health Center. He was born April 4, 1943 in Brownwood, TX to the late John Strong Bowen and Irene Johnson. He was a graduate of Provine High School where he was an Eagle Scout and graduate of MS College, having taught school at Provine before joining the FBI in 1968. Over the years he was instrumental in forming the FBI’s hostage rescue team and was a commander of the FBI’s swat team for Mississippi. He also was the pilot in command for Mississippi before retiring. During his law enforcement career, he was always bettering others in training. Bowen was Director of the Northeast MS Law Enforcement Training Center in Corinth.

He and Phyllis moved to Corinth in 2002, where they attended First United Methodist Church. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. Bowen was a true American Patriot.

He is preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Phyllis Williams Johnson; son, Dr. Mathew B. Johnson, Jr. (Dena); daughter, Leigh Gardecki; brother, Lyle Johnson; grandchildren, Madeleine Gardecki, Hannah Johnson, Molly Johnson, Patrick Gardecki, Mary Morgan Gardecki and Cora Johnson; and host of other family and friends.

Pallbearers: David Arnold, Tom Carter, Ladd Dilworth, Orin Fuelling, Steve Hunt, Tom Long, Lent Rice, and Major Treadway.

Contributions in Bowen's memory may be made to First United Methodist Church of Corinth, MS.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.memorialcorinth.com for the Johnson family.

Arrangements are under the care of Memorial Funeral Home.

  • DONATIONS

  • First United Methodist Church

Services

  • Family and Friends Gathering

    Friday, January 22, 2021

  • Celebration of Life

    Friday, January 22, 2021

Memories

Mathew Bowen Johnson Sr.

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Emma Ainsworth

February 22, 2021

Mr. Johnson was a wonderful man and I'm so glad I got to know him through the chaplaincy program he coordinated at Blue Mountain College. He touched many lives through this ministry and he will be greatly missed!

Mickey Meek

January 23, 2021

My wife, Dot (former schoolmate of Bowen’s at Provine HS) and I wish our sincerest condolences to Mrs. Johnson and Bowen’s family. I recall good memories from the Jackson Airport when Bowen flying from there for the Bureau. He was always the consummate gentleman and pilot. Always caring, modest, sincere and dedicated. May his final flight West be a smooth one.

Greta Martin

January 23, 2021

Phyllis, am so sorry for your loss. Bowen was such a comforting figure every Sunday morning in front of church. I miss you and am praying for you and your family. Love, Greta

William (Billy) Rives

January 21, 2021

Bowen was a true patriot. His work for the bureau was outstanding! He always accepted it with a " can do" attitude.
He was very proud of his family and spoke of you often . Phyllis, may you and the family be comforted knowing you will be together again one day. Well done thy good and faithful servant.

Billy Rives

Dennis & Leanne Chalker

January 21, 2021

We feel blessed to have known Bowen, Phyl and the Johnson family. Bowen was true Patriot, a man of his word, and always offered his help anywhere he could. Dennis crossed paths with Bowen throughout his military career a continued on a personal level. We enjoyed the time shared with the Johnson family. Bowen is a true friend and brother. Our best to Phyl, Matt, and Leigh - you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Michael Berthay

January 21, 2021

We would like to express our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the family of Bowen Johnson at this time of loss. Special Agent Bowen Johnson was our friend, mentor and tactical operations trainer. During Bowen’s assignment in Mississippi with FBI he organized and provided Tactical Training and Special Weapons Training to law enforcement throughout the State. His dedication to training gave officers much needed specialized training in high-risk situations. There were very few SWAT Teams prior to his training programs and had little training or tactical knowledge. He provided officers and departments with the confidence, weapons training and the tactical edge needed to resolve very high-risk situations and dangerous warrant execution. Bowen’s training and share of experience saved a lot of officer’s lives.
Most of his original trainees are retired now but his training and tactics are evident in all the special operations units throughout the state. We are some of the original trainees that say well done Bowen. Many of us had long careers and were able to retire safely because of the skills he taught us.
Rest easy our Friend your job is done here. We to know we shall pass this way one day. There is know doubt that when we see you again you will have ever thing organized and operational. Until then.
Michael Berthay, retired, Mississippi Highway Patrol/MHP SWAT Team
Tony Thornton, retired, Mississippi Highway Patrol/ MHP SWAT Team
Ricky Marlar, retired, Mississippi Highway Patrol/MHP SWAT Team
All retired MHP/MBN SWAT

Avery Rollins

January 19, 2021


I guess the best thing I can say about Bowen is that in my time in the FBI I’ve known a lot of Agents that I would trust to protect my back in a crisis. And I’ve known a lot of Agents I would trust to raise my children if I weren’t around. Bowen Johnson was the only FBI Agent I knew who I would trust to do both; protect my back or raise my children.

Godspeed Bowen Johnson and God Bless Phyllis, Matt, and Leigh.

Dennis Weaver

January 19, 2021

Bowen Johnson was the absolute best of all the things that make up a great FBI Special Agent. Best of all, he was a true Christian Gentleman. He was a true Warrior. God needed this Warrior for other duties, and God called him for help. Bowen never turned down anyone who asked for help--that was just the way Bowen was. I knew Bowen when we served together in Jackson, and from day one, I knew he was something really special to everyone in the law enforcement community. We shall all miss him. But our world was a whole lot better for having him as a friend. Thanks Bowen for being our friend and for always being there to help us all.
Dennis Weaver, Paragould, Arkansas

Jim Pledger

January 19, 2021

I remember Bo as such a gentleman with a very quiet demeanor, but with a passion for the FBI and patriotism for America. Most of my work with him was related to firearms at the FBI Academy, but we remained in touch through our retirement years. He will be missed. Offering prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

Jim Pledger

Steve Osborn

January 19, 2021

Bowen and I served together in the Terre Haute, IN Resident Agency in the early-mid 1970's. He was a very dedicated, knowledgeable and had a personality that allowed him to get along and work well with local authorities . He was devoted to his family and a pleasure to know and work with.
Steve Osborn

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