William Bowman

William Brandon Bowman

Thursday, July 13th, 1939 - Saturday, November 9th, 2019
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William Brandon Bowman, son of William Granville Bowman and Linnie Susan Bowman was born July 13, 1939, and died November 9, 2019. He is survived by his brother Gerald Wilson Bowman and sisters Susan Bowman Rousselot (John) and Linda Bowman Herbert; nieces and nephews Gerald W. Bowman II (Lisa), Sarah Sandy (Dale), Michael Rousselot (Jennifer), Elizabeth Wilkinson (Zach), Theresa Vandiver (Michael), Mimi Rousselot, Robert Moore (Kris), Heidi Mills, Tyler Moore (Linda), Joshua Moore (Trish); cousins and great-nephews and nieces.

The greatest love and interest in his life was education: his classroom may have been the location, but the vision and inspiration he gave his students went beyond all boundaries. Through the years at chance meetings with former students, his influence and care were always acknowledged as instrumental in their lives.

Travel, another priority. The prospect of a proposed trip was always a temptation to which he yielded. Many trips to many countries added to his knowledge and appreciation of new cultures and historical achievements which he frequently incorporated into his teaching and used as fuel for entertaining.

Involvement in civic responsibilities and activities involved much volunteer contribution to the benefit of the fine arts organizations. He served on the board of directors of several organizations including the Community Foundation of Springfield, The Regional Arts Council, Springfield Little Theatre and others.

A life well lived to the benefit and pleasure of all who knew him.

Funeral services will be at Christ Episcopal Church Saturday, November 23, at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the William Brandon Bowman Scholarship for Foreign Language, Springfield Public Schools' Foundation, 1131 Boonville 65802; The Springfield Regional Arts Council, 411 N Sherman Pkwy 65802; Springfield Little Theatre, 311 Walnut 5804.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 | 10:00am
    Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 10:00am
    Christ Episcopal Church
    601 East Walnut
    Springfield, Missouri 65804
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Chris Dietz

Posted at 04:26pm
I am proud to call Mr. Bowman a fellow human on this wild space ride, Planet Earth, 21st C style. Mr. Bowman made me want to be a better person. His curiosity was inflammatory! His raucous laughter would ignite the class! I never knew Mr. Bowman as 'Bucky'. I assume that came later. I must have known Mr. Bowman (he will always be Mr. Bowman to me) from his early years as a teacher. I believe I first met him in 1965 in French class, at Glendale. We would be together the next 3 years. I was a chubby little ultra-nerd kid, shy & withdrawn, but already obsessed with books. From the start Mr. Bowman & I talked books, exchanged books. My wife & I now have over 80 years of teaching experience so I would hazard a guess that what was so crucial for me was his friendship. Teachers intuitively know they must bond with their students. They can't teach that in grad school. And I'm afraid too many teachers are too hassled for this today. Mr. Bowman did not give advice or act parental or adultish (is that a word?). No, he let us be ourselves and was there to listen and support. We thought we were going to explode--he offered Rimbaud poems. In 1966 we studied the Theater of the Absurd. We had to write papers on Waiting for Godot. I betcha there's not a lot of high schools requiring papers on Godot to this day! I remember the books I loaned him, and the ones he loaned me, especially his favorite, After Many a Summer Dies the Swan. He was my friend. He is my friend. Today, an old man, I know how important those simple words are. He told us we were human, he allowed us to be human. When I left Springfield in 1969 we exchanged letters. He always addressed me as Mon Petit Midnight Cowboy. I last saw him in, I believe, 1976. In recent years my younger brother had visited with Mr. Bowman. I meant to call. I got sick. I didn't call. Here we are. I look out my window at the US/Mexico border where we have lived since 1980 (no invasion! and there never was!). I know Mr. Bowman is with me. Friendship is eternal.

Sandi Opp

Posted at 11:16am
Gerald, Susan, Linda and families

My sympathy and prayers are with you. It is difficult losing your sibling; someone who has been so close and knows us best. Buck will still be with you in your memories and thoughts – enjoy those special thoughts. I remember all the great times we had when our family would come to visit. I love the way Buck would challenge me, his laugh, his sense of family and the knowledge of the Atwood family. I am so glad my son and daughter and family made the trip with us from Ohio to visit in June. I will hold close to my heart those memories. Your cousin, Sandi (and Rick) Atwood Opp

Scott Huffman

Posted at 11:36am
Today, the term influencer is regularly used to describe celebrated in-the-know personalities on social media outlets like YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook. Long before the internet age, however, the Ozarks had its own arbiter of culture, William Brandon Bowman. Bucky and I became friends while I was a college student. Bucky loved teaching, and, like most accomplished educators, he possessed a demeanor that was at times gentle and at times demanding. Bucky alternatingly used these characteristics to coax out the best in others. Bucky also loved travel, fashion and, of course, the arts. Importantly, Bucky lived life in brilliant rainbow colors. I, like so many others, was fortunate to have known William Brandon Bowman. He had an influence on the person I have become, and, for that, I am grateful. Rest well, Bucky. Au revoir.

Vicki Chapman Keyes

Posted at 03:51pm
I was blessed to have Mr. Bowman as my French teacher at Glendale High School in 1976 and 1977. Along with teaching me a beautiful language, Mr. Bowman taught me about life. I remember our class having a progressive dinner where we finished with dessert at Mr. Bowman's house. Imagine....a teacher actually opened his home to students. It was an amazing night. He brought culture to my world that I had only dreamed of. Even though I could never afford to go on one of the trips to France, he brought me back a souvenir one year.....a Bible written in French. I count it as a prized possession today.

Kitty Ledbetter

Posted at 09:50am
I was in Mr. Bowman's French class at Glendale in 1968-69. He inspired me to travel and expand my cultural experience. He used to play Marlene Dietrich records in class. I think of Mr. Bowman every time I travel abroad, and I wish I had told him how much better my life is because of him.

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