OBITUARY

Gerald Bowden

June 21, 1943January 13, 2021
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Gerald “Jerry” Bowden was born June 21, 1943, in Fort Worth, Texas to Sue and Levi Bowden. He was born during the middle of WWII but prior to D-Day and the United States’ victory over fascism.

Jerry attended North Texas State University in Denton, Texas. He spent 5 years there and ultimately graduated right before his student deferment ran out and he was drafted into the Army. He graduated Officer Candidate School, obtained his Ranger tab, and complete a tour in Korea in 1968 and Vietnam in 1971 as a First Lieutenant. He decided that if he was 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 to the very best of his abilities. So, not only did he go to Vietnam, he led men in Vietnam and his professional and personal mission was to ensure their safe return home.

After successfully completing his tour of duty, he made a twenty-three-year career in the military, retiring in 1988 as a Lieutenant Colonel. He took various posts throughout his military tenure, but the ones he enjoyed the most were centered around teaching and offering guidance to his younger peers. He retired being well established as a teacher and leader of men.

He married Nancy Penick and remained by her side for 53 years. They had two children, Christopher and Elizabeth.

In their later years, Nancy and Jerry traveled frequently, visiting Europe, and taking a ship through the Panama Canal, which was a trip Jerry dreamed taking for years. Jerry enjoyed these trips, but nothing gave him more pleasure than building ramps for homebound individuals, being outdoors in his yard, and spending time with his granddaughters, Kate and Ruby.

Over the years, he learned and became a master craftsman and true to his nature, shared his abilities with those who needed them. Like his military duty, he used what he learned to give people a better life. Hundreds of homebound people in Indianapolis were offered a better life because of Jerry.

Jerry had such a playful, loving spirit which was consistently on display with his friends, family, and particularly his granddaughters. He couldn’t say no to them in time or in service. He was great at and loved many things, but of those things, he was greatest at and loved best being a grandfather.

Jerry is predeceased by his parents, Levi and Sue and his beloved son Chris. He is survived by his wife Nancy, his daughter Elizabeth (Matt), his granddaughters Kate and Ruby, and his older brother Lee.

“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.

There will be a graveside service Monday, January 18, 2021, at Crown Hill Cemetery, at 11:00 am and a funeral will be held on July 24, 2021, 11:00 am at Second Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Services

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, July 24, 2021

Memories

Gerald Bowden

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Julane Petroy

January 18, 2021

I am so sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing. I live down the block and always enjoyed walking my dog by his immaculate yard- stopping to have a chat about the neighborhood- as he was one of the original home owners in Beam Reach Texas flag flying proud and truck pristine with Army sticker on the bumper - having a Tax Man beer☺️ And offering me one! He was always willing to lend an ear and to tell all about his beloved family including Buddy. I found out he had passed today- I am so sorry for you loss but will remember his kindness and how much he loved his family. Sincerely, Julane Petroy

Ron Sparacino

January 18, 2021

Linette and I first met Gerry and Nancy while in the Army and were all stationed at Fort Sill, OK in 1974. From the outset, it was clear that he was a positive force for wanting to take care of people and doing the "right thing" regardless of what others may be thinking. It was also clear that Gerry always had a twinkle in his eye for enjoying both people and life while never taking himself too seriously. From that point on, we became fast friends. As it turned out, we also served together again in Germany in the late 70's and remained in contact ever since then. Both Gerry and Nancy are the kind of people that are easily admired and never can be forgotten.

I am quite sure knowing Gerry, that upon passing St. Peter and walking through the Pearly Gates, the first question he asked St. Peter was, "Where can I get some beer?"

We love Gerry and Nancy, we will always remember them.

Ron and Linette

Carol Wendt

January 17, 2021

Jerry was a wonderful man who truly committed his time and talents to SAWs. May he rest in heavenly peace. With sympathy and friendship,
Carol Wendt

Stephanie Walker

January 17, 2021

From the moment I moved in next door to Nancy and Jerry, I knew they would become more than neighbors, they became family. We spent many holidays together and shared our love through laughs and stories from Jerry. We bonded over lawn mowing, sharing a drink and our favorite local restaurant Puccini's. There was never a day that we didn't spend a few minutes together catching up. I eventually made the decision to leave Indiana and move to North Carolina, a tough move leaving the most wonderful neighbors and family.
Jerry has always held a special place in my heart, I have missed being away from him and will miss the laughs and stories. Rest in peace my friend 🕊️

Charlotte Lloyd

January 17, 2021


Gerald Bowden was a man who loved his family, served his God by serving others, and honored his country with devotion and exemplary service. But, he was also Jerry Bowden a boy who loved to swim, crack jokes, agitate his girl cousins with mischief, and bring joy to us all. I know this because he was my nephew and I miss him.
My husband Robert and I send our love and condolences to Nancy, Elizabeth, Matt, Kate and Ruby.
Charlotte










Gail Covey-Hutson

January 16, 2021

Jerry was my cousin, and I have so many memories of him as a boy. He was someone who had a ready smile and a great talent for understanding life and how to live it with purpose. He will forever be missed.

FROM THE FAMILY

Jerry and brother Lee

FROM THE FAMILY

Jerry and Kate

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SAWS Ramp

FROM THE FAMILY

Jerry and Ruby

FROM THE FAMILY

Jerry and brother Lee

FROM THE FAMILY

Jerry and Kate

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SAWS Ramp

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Jerry and Ruby

FROM THE FAMILY

Sarasota, Florida

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Colorado

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Jerry and Karl

FROM THE FAMILY

VBS

FROM THE FAMILY