Bill L. Bowman, 75, of Bowman, ND, passed away on Aug. 15, 2020 at the Hill Top Comfort Home in Killdeer.
Funeral Services for Bill Bowman were held Aug. 22, 2020 at the Bowman United Methodist Church. Pastor Ray Sherwood officiated with burial and Military Honors following in the Bowman Cemetery.
Bill Leroy Bowman was born on May 26, 1945 in Baker, MT to Betty (Swisher) and Leonard Bowman. He re-joined his parents and brother Bobby in heaven on Aug. 15, 2020.
Bill was the fourth of nine children who grew up on the family farm north of Rhame. Bill attended Mound School from 1st through 8th grade, where he was a part of the Mound Midget Champion Basketball team. He attended Rhame High School until his senior year, when he transferred to Bowman so he could play football and run track, of which he held the track record for the 220 for many years. Bill graduated from Bowman High School in 1963. After high school, he enlisted in the US Army, where proudly served his country and continued to play football. He was honorably discharged upon the sudden death of his dad.
He moved back to North Dakota, where he attended Dickinson State College earning his degree in business and continuing his love of football, starting as a fullback for the DSC Savages. Upon graduation, Bill returned to the family farm to help his mom and four younger siblings still at home. He loved the land and caring for the cattle that grazed it since he was a kid, so coming home was natural. His blue eyes sparkled in the spring of the year seeing the new life that the season would bring. He always said that time of year was one of his favorites.
Bill met Karen (Schneider) in February 1974 and on Dec. 21 they were married and had a ready-made family that included Tracy. In 1976 they welcomed their daughter Jolyn and continued to ranch until they moved to Bowman in 1979. They completed their family with Mindy that same year. While living in Bowman, Bill pursued his love for auctioneering and was a partner in CB Auction Service. He also worked in the implement dealership sector, having started Bill’s Trade Center in the mid 1980s.
In 1989 he found his true calling to be a servant of the State of North Dakota. He held the District 39 Senate seat from 1989 until he retired in 2018. During that time he also served as a Bowman County Commissioner for 13 years.
Bill got a kick out of introducing himself as “Billy Bob Bowman, from Bowman County, Bowman, North Dakota,” even though his middle name was Leroy. Those few words reflected his sense of humor, and the pride he had in his family, and his home. Southwestern North Dakota was his little slice of heaven.
His daughters loved to see that sparkle in his eyes, and the sly wink that accompanied it when they snuck a forbidden strawberry malt or chocolate chip cookie into the hospital. Much like that sparkle, his love and pride he had in his “beautiful girls” and their families never dimmed.
His girls having all married, no longer carry the Bowman name, but his name will live on as the NDSU Veterinary Diagnostic Lab was recently renamed in his honor. Bill was also the 2019 NDSU Harvest Bowl Agribusiness Award recipient and had received countless other awards and accolades over his career. The most notable accomplishments, though, were in the lives he changed, whether by offering a ride when someone ran out of gas, or fighting for funding for an issue that his constituents believed in. The stories that family and friends share about Bill reflect his heart for his country, his family and a belief that following Jesus meant serving His people.
Bill enjoyed fishing and golfing trips with some of his best buddies. Johnson’s Bar was one of his favorite card games and it tickled him when someone else had to buy coffee. He was a supporter of athletic programs and could be frequently seen at many local sporting events. He took great pride in watching his grandchildren and attending events that they were involved in.
One of his favorite places on earth was the family farm. He always enjoyed spending time out there with his brothers, Dick and David. The summer pasture was a place he talked of often, as he felt it was a place he could go to be close to God. That relationship with Jesus was one he treasured, and passed on as part of his legacy to family and friends.
Bill passed away on Aug. 15, 2020 at Hill Top Home of Comfort, due to health complications. He was preceded in death by his parents; Leonard and Betty (Swisher) Bowman, and his brother; Robert “Bobby” Bowman.
He is survived by Karen Bowman, sisters Sue (Dan) Ryan, Barbara Beggs, Lynn (Kermit) Erickson, Julie (Bob) Shaw and Jeannie (Dave) Schields, brothers; Richard Bowman, and David (Mary) Bowman, daughters, Tracy, Mike, Jaxon and Jhett Hauk; Jolyn, Chris, Kacee and Braelyn Wasem; and Mindy, DustyCauy, Kinley and Crue Backsen. He also leaves behind many cousins, nieces & nephews, colleagues and friends.
Krebsbach and Kulseth Funeral Services of Bowman in charge of the arrangements.