Dennis Philip Bowen
Dennis Philip Bowen arrived in this world in Williamsport, Pa. on July 12, 1937 after a mad dash over the back roads from Wellsboro, Pa. he, considerate as ever, waited until the arrival at the hospital to make his exit from the incubator otherwise known as his mother Claribel Smithgall Bowen. The driver, in the dash to the hospital, his father, Charles Raymond Bowen paced outside as was then the custom until the news came that a healthy boy had arrived. World War II was cranking up and our nation was building munitions in Indian Head, Md. The family headed south so dad could work at the factory. Over the next 10 years, three brothers, Chuck, Arthur and Bill, and a sister, Gail joined the family. In 1947, the family moved to Selinsgrove, Pa. and was home for over 40 years. From age 12 to the time he left home for college, he worked at a corner grocery store, had a large paper route, built a beautiful power boat from plans, and was on the staff of the high school year book. Most mornings during high school he would be picked up by a friend in a Model T ford. Little brothers would be relegated to the rumble seat no matter what the weather.
Denny was always the reliable, hardworking and bright leader of the clan. Always on the honor roll, he made it difficult for his siblings who followed in his track. “Why can’t you be more like your brother?”
Though not large in stature, he was tough as nails as an outside linebacker in the old single wing version of football that was then the norm. He excelled in crafting balsa wood model airplanes, some of which had wing spans of close to six feet. After high school he earned a ROTC scholarship to Penn State. Fraternities were part of the campus life and KDR was his. Upon graduation he was stationed in Hawaii and served on a destroyer escort in the North Pacific watching for Soviet activity during the Cold War in what was known as the “picket line.” He made a quick trip back east to marry Barbara Roed and carted her back to the islands. Ingrid was born in Hawaii while Denny was at sea and Barbara has never quite forgiven him for not being there.
His years in service completed, he joined forces with IBM with his territory in upstate N.Y. They made their home in Plattsburg, which introduced them to Lake Champlain, the mountains on both sides of the lake and neighbors who remained friends to his death. Daughter Susan joined the family while in N.Y. A series of moves later they all put down deep roots in Skaneateles, N.Y. while Denny worked for 26 years as a computer systems manager for Unity Life Insurance. For those old enough to remember such things, Y2K was entering the scene with concerns that the entire world would stop because the computers in use were not supposed to function at the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1, 2000. He was hired to join a company in Chicago to prevent disaster in their systems. He was obviously successful as industry and business continued worldwide. His services no longer needed, the move to Vt. became the goal. Denny loved what was offered in this beautiful state: friends, skiing, the lake for sailing. Jane and Ray, Susan’s children, were his grandchildren, but they had to share his attention and love with the children of nephews all whom returned his love in abundance. Denny maintained a swimming pool for Barbara and the kids but never used it himself. He was appreciative of others’ differences; he was a patient willing listener and thoughtful speaker who weighed his responses. He was a careful, willing teacher and mentor. He raised the bar in his endeavors and instilled others to do likewise. Denny had a keen interest in the earths’ wonders, beauty and mysteries. Never stopped learning, whether it was geology or taking lessons to improve his time on the slalom course he ran each Thursday. He never stopped striving to make life better for his family, friends, and tenants.
He was active as a member at Lake Champlain Yacht Club from the work days, being on the board and as a reliable crew for Wednesday evening races. He loved being part of the Charlotte-Shelburne Rotary and could always be depended upon to provide muscle and intellect for the needs of the club and others. Denny treasured the Rotary friends.
He loved flowers but would rather any funds intended for flowers be donated instead to the Charlotte-Shelburne Rotary Club Scholarship Fund, P.O.Box 156, Shelburne, Vt. 05482 or the Alzheimer’s Association (easy to donate online).
A memorial service is planned for March 15, 2017 at 3pm at the Shelburne Methodist Church, 30 Church Street, Shelburne, Vt. 05482.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Ready Funeral Home and Cremation Services. 261 Shelburne Rd., Burlington Vt. 05401.