John Francis "Jack" Bowen

Born: Mon., May 16, 1932
Died: Sun., Jan. 10, 2021


Family to do services at later date


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John “Jack” Bowen, 88, died at his home on Sunday, January 10, 2021.  He was born in Kittitas, Washington on May 16, 1932, to John and Alberta Mills Bowen.

Jack was raised and attended schools in Nyssa, Oregon, where he was an outstanding student and athlete and graduated high school in 1951.  He continued his studies and athletic achievements at Oregon State University on a baseball scholarship.  Jack’s college experience was interrupted by two significant events - he was drafted into the military in September 1953 during the Korean War and when home on leave in 1954, he met a beautiful, young woman named Vivian on a blind date.  Fortunately, he did not have to go to Korea but was stationed in Southern California.  He was also able to marry the love of his life, Vivian Forsdick, on May 15, 1955, while home on leave. After his discharge from the military in September 1955, Jack and Vivian moved back to Corvallis and Oregon State so he could finish his education and final two years of baseball.  After graduating from OSU, he had a 3-year stint of teaching and coaching in Westfir, Oregon, where he was the varsity coach for all four boys’ sports teams.  Afterwards, he was hired by his alma mater, Nyssa High School, to teach biology and help coach football, basketball and baseball.  During his four years at Nyssa High School, he also completed his Master’s Degree of Biological Science at the University of Idaho.  In 1964, Jack and Vivian moved to Hermiston where they built a house and raised their three very active and athletic boys, John, Steve and Kelly.   He was actively and lovingly involved in all of their sporting events and adventures.  He later worked at Hermiston High School as the head of the biology department and where he was instrumental in starting the golf program.  While at Hermiston High School, Jack became the athletic director in the late 70’s and then finished his career as a math and science teacher at the middle school.  He retired in 1987 after 30 years of mentoring and inspiring young people as a teacher, coach and administrator.

Jack and Vivian loved to play golf; so, they traveled and spent a lot of their retirement over the next thirty years doing just that.  They moved to Pendleton shortly after retirement and joined the Pendleton Country Club where they were active members until recently.  Jack was able to shoot his age in golf through his 70’s and 80’s.  Jack loved his family, including 12 grandchildren, and always supported their various endeavors.

Jack is survived by his wife of 66 years: Vivian, and his sons, John Bowen and wife, Debbie, and their sons, Alec and Joel, Steve Bowen and wife, Jennifer, and their children, Brooke and Blake, Kelly Bowen and wife, Beth, and their children, Phinehas and wife, Madeline, Titus, Noah and wife, Karmina, Anna and husband, Carlos, Timothy, Esther, and Elijah.  He is also survived by his brother, Bill and wife, Marguerite Bowen.

Jack was preceded in death by his father and mother, brother, Robert, sister, Bernice, and grandson, Samuel.

There will be a Celebration of Life for family and friends at a later date.


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Condolence Booklet

Bruce Wilcox
   Posted Tue January 12, 2021
So sorry to learn of the passing of Jack Bowen. My thoughts go out to the family during this difficult time. Jack really enjoyed playing golf, he was a great teacher of the game, and during the time he spent educating students at Hermiston High School. I remember taking an advanced Biology class that was a very small group. Jack made it fun to learn together.

Mary Danford Ward
   Posted Thu January 14, 2021
I was so sorry to see the passing of Mr. Bowen in the paper in Pendleton. My husband and I also live in Pendleton. I wanted to express our sincere condolences to the family. I had him as a teacher at Nyssa High School. He was a great teacher and we were sorry to see him leave Nyssa.

Lori Harkenrider Aasrud
   Posted Fri January 15, 2021
Sending prayers to the Bowen family. Mr Bowen was one of my favorite teachers. Rest In Peace!

Marcie Sheehy (Wyckoff)
   Posted Mon January 18, 2021
Mr. Bowen was always one of my favorite teachers. I had no idea how long he had kept teaching and coaching. That is good as teachers like him can affect a lot of kids in a positive way. Dissecting frogs in his class stands out as a memory also.
My sympathy to his wife, children and grandchildren.

Robert Blessinger
   Posted Thu January 21, 2021
Condolences to the family. Jack and I ran a Babe Ruth baseball tournament years ago. It was a joy working with him. A good man.

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