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Memorial for Ray Bud Bowers

Born in Tomah, Wisconsin on Jun. 4, 1923
Departed on Mar. 25, 2018 and resided in Albany, Oregon.
Service: Friday, Mar. 30, 2018
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Ray Jr. "Bud" Bowers
June 4, 1923 — March 25, 2018
Bud Bowers was born on a farm in Greenfield, Wisconsin, as the fifth child of Ray William Bowers and Matilda Tillie Winkleman Bowers. He lived most of his childhood and teens in Tomah, Wisconsin, along with siblings Harold, Melvin, Marie Lyman, Margaret Stevens, and Betty Alsdorf. He hunted, fished, and trapped game with his father and brothers, and especially enjoyed playing baseball.
Conscripted into the Army in January of 1943, Bud crossed the Atlantic to England on the battleship USS Washington. He landed on a beach in France in the third wave of the Normandy invasion, and joined "Old Blood and Guts" General George S. Patton's 7th Army as it raced across Europe. He was in the 391st AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion, manning an anti aircraft howitzer, which adversely affected his hearing in later years. After Germany was defeated, Bowers was summoned to Nuremberg; ostensibly for his skills as a sharpshooter, for potential firing squads. He guarded the prisoners on trial there, including Hermann Göring, Rudolph Hess, and Albert Speer. Bud never made a big deal out of his WWII experiences, but always had colorful and engaging stories to tell.
Prior to the war, in 1941 Bud had been going out with with a local girl in Tomah, but one day he met her cousin, Jeanne Bernice Henry, who immediately captured his fancy. He thought that Jeanne would be the love of his life, but knew that he would soon be risking that life in service of his country, and so he waited until his 1946 military discharge to marry her. They lived for a short time in Tomah, and then eight years in Valley Junction, where they ran Bud & Jean's Valley Club, the tavern that Bud built with his own hands. They moved around to other places, like San Jose, California, back to Tomah, and lived in a small log cabin between Sweet Home and Lebanon before settling in Albany. There, Bud got a job at Sears, first as an appliance repairman, and then for many years as a sales associate, with his great gift of gab. He bought the first color TV (an RCA Silvertone) available in Albany. He was a wise investor and provided well for his family, but bemoaned the fact that he missed a big opportunity because he didn't purchase some nearby acreage when it became available. Later, Fred Meyer was built on that land.
Bud was an excellent carpenter, and built a wood shop in his back yard. He also collected coins for many years, and dabbled in model trains, car restoration, and cartooning. He was an enthusiastic city league softball fan, and rooted hard for his son, daughter, and son-in-law when they played for D&B Custom Shirtworks or other local teams.
Jeanne and Bud had two children, William Ray "Bill" Bowers (wife Carol Heintzman Bowers), and Debra Jean Bowers Scheele (husband Mitch Scheele). Bill and Carol's daughter, Stephanie Ann Bowers and husband Aaron Shaw produced Bud's only great-granddaughter, Sophia Ann Shaw.
Bud Bowers was a realist and an optimist, and always put his family first.
A service will be at 2pm Friday, March 30, at the Willamette Memorial Park mausoleum chapel. Please leave your condolences at Donations in Bud's name may be made to Samaritan Evergreen Hospice.

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