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Obituaries » James H Bowen

James H Bowen

June 16, 1940 - September 20, 2021

Service Date: September 25, 2021

Funeral Home Memorial Services of Iowa

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A Celebration of Life with time of sharing for James Bowen will be held from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at Memorial Services of Iowa (4208 N. Ankeny Blvd).

James (Jim) Horton Bowen was born in Mason City on June 16, 1940, and from the beginning, Jim’s story was so unique–you might even think it to be unbelievable.

If you ever had the pleasure of meeting Jim, you know he was a storyteller – and that this obituary or program could never compare to the story he could have shared about his life. (It will certainly lack his spot-on delivery for sure).

If you knew Jim, you knew there were three fundamental truths about him.

The first being that he was born to be a pilot and that he loved aviation right down to his core. His interest in flying started in 1963 at Collins Radio Inc. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and extended past his 2005 retirement as a corporate pilot for Pioneer. In his free time, he would find any excuse to fly his famous black and yellow Super Decathlon and would take just about anyone up for flight that was interested. (And most likely would record the whole flight and send you a video of it later). Loops and rolls were always offered and optional if you thought your stomach could handle it. He was a beloved member of the flying community and could often be spotted at Northfield Airport Flying Club in Des Moines (before the airport was flooded and ruined), Ankeny Regional Airport, and Pella Municipal Airport.

The second truth about him was that he was passionate about technology and all the latest gadgets. While most people his age were hesitant to learn about the latest iPhones or tablets – he was one of the first to research it and try it out. He loved playing around with his cameras, GoPros, drones, toy train, tablets – and everything in between. He was one of the first to jump on the Tesla bandwagon and when he finally got his own, he could talk anyone, and everyone’s ear off about all its cool features. Before his Tesla, his baby was his yellow Corvette which he enjoyed riding around with the Cyclone Corvette Club. He loved learning new technical tricks and exploring how technology was evolving.

The third truth – and probably undoubtedly the most important – was that he adored and thought the world of his girls.

His girls, which he referred to them as, included:

  • The love of his life, Bonnie Bowen – who he wed in 1962 and had two children with. Bonnie and he enjoyed countless adventures together through traveling and caring for the family they both would do anything for.
  • His daughter, Lisa – which he shared the ultimate father/daughter bond with and who he would often refer to as his best friend. Lisa is the one Jim could always count on and Jim would be the first to say that Lisa has been his greatest blessing.
  • His four granddaughters – which he couldn’t be more proud of – Jami, Jena, Leah, and Anna. Again, if you ever met Jim then you probably are aware of every achievement and job they have ever held. He was always bragging on how beautiful and smart they are. He cheered them on in every step of their life – and was always quick to help them along their path in whatever way he could.
  • And more recently, his two great-grandchildren Norah (who’s middle name is James as tribute to him) and Jolene.

His girls were the absolute joys of his life. And if possible, they loved him just as much as he did them. (Jim would say, not possible – he loved them more than anything that could be measured).

To his friends and family, Jim was a fun guy that would literally bend over backwards to help you out. No matter if it was to help you connect with one of his friends or to walk you through the process of moving your photos from your iPad to your computer – he was a guy you could always count on. Jim was also very loving and caring – and this fact was often shown by how often you might catch him getting teary during sweet moments. (Which was often). He was loyal, adventurous, and just one of the greatest guys around.

After several years of dealing with constant physical pain that baffled the medical field, Jim passed away on September 20, 2021. Finally getting the relief he desperately needed. He is survived by his wife Bonnie; children, Lisa DeBartolo (Rusty Hokanson) and Jeff Bowen; grandchildren, Jami (Alex) DeVries, Jena Bowen, Leah DeBartolo, and Anna DeBartolo; honorary grandchildren, Jacob and Cassie Hokanson; great-grandchildren, Norah and Jolene DeVries; sister, Barbara (Waldo) Hiltbrunner; brother, Robert (Jeannine) Bowen; and many great friends and family members.

His love will live on – especially through his girls who vow to try their best to keep his stories going. And they ask those who knew and loved him to do the same.

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