Bowles, Harry Morris

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bowles_harry_morrisHarry Morris Bowles, 83, of Blacksburg, Va., and formerly of Roanoke, Va., passed away peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday morning, December 1, 2009, at the Virginia Veterans Care Center, Roanoke, Va.

Harry was born in Lynchburg, Va., on May 18, 1926. He was preceded in death by his father, Wyatt Thompson; mother, Roberta Bowles; infant son, Michael William Bowles; and his children’s mother, Margie M. Bowles Minnick.

Harry leaves behind on life’s journey his children, Dennis (Jodi) Bowles, of Little Rock, Ark., and Marian (Alan) Collins, of Tyler, Texas; his grandchildren, Danielle (Keith) McBurnett, of Austin, Texas, and McKenzie Sowers and (Ray) Hooper, of Terrell, Texas. Harry has also passed down his humor to both of his three year old great grandchildren, Sydney and DaeLyn.

Many thanks to his companion, Wilma Mabry, of Blacksburg, Va., for her love and support over the past 13 years.

Harry had a great love for his country, serving it well and proudly so during World War II, enlisting with honor after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Having seen and experience the destruction of war, he learned to speak Japanese stressing that if he could have communicated better with the culture, more lives would have been spared. He was a lifetime member of the VFW.

Harry also loved playing his guitar plus playing practical jokes, as he was able to roll with the punches when he himself became the target. And on his 75th birthday, Harry was seen jumping a chain link fence, twice! After the war Harry worked many odd jobs, one being on the Grand Coulee Dam in Spokane, Wash. This is where he met his future wife, Margie, thus the trek to Radford, Va., where Harry worked and retired from Hercules Army Ammunition Plant, followed by a little traveling on the road driving a semi and then finishing his working career as a surveyor for Hayes, Seay, Mattern and Mattern, Inc. in Roanoke. He didn’t need a calculator for this job as his mind was extra sharp, calculating things in his head faster than he could input information. Harry was also intrigued by the solar system because to him, the sky was the limit.

Harry was a member of Blacksburg Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and came to know the Lord as his savior and with this promise of faith, knowing that God is in control, allows his family and friends to lift their hearts up in honor of our God. Jeremiah 29:1 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…

The family wishes to say thanks to the staff on 1 East at the Virginia Veterans Care Center and to Gentle Shepard Hospice of Roanoke. Funeral services will be conducted at noon on Saturday, December 5, 2009, in the Blacksburg Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 240 Watson Ave., NW, Blacksburg, Va., with the Rev. Gary McCoy officiating. Interment will follow in the Lebanon United Methodist Church Cemetery, Lynchburg, Va., where Full Military Honors will be led by American Legion Post #16.

In honor of Harry and in lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to a Veteran’s Hospital, Hospice or Alzheimer’s Association of your choice and in doing so, you will pass it forward so others can benefit.

The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Blacksburg Christian Church. Arrangements by McCoy Funeral Home, Blacksburg, Va.