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Dr. James D. Bowman

• Jan 14, 2020 at 11:33 AM

Dr. James D. Bowman died January 12, 2020. He was a native of Gray, TN and one of 12 children born to Elbert S. Bowman, Sr. and Martha Gladys Barnes Bowman.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Helen Mays Bowman; sons, Brad Bowman, and Phil Bowman; and granddaughter Heaven Aziz.

Other survivors include his sister, Joann (Darrell Lee) Jones; three brothers and their wives; Ray (Dorothy Jo), Tony (Kathy), and the Rev. Robert (Lorraine), and his sister-in-law Lou Bowman as well as numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins.

In addition to his parents, Jim was predeceased by two sisters, Nancy Carolyn Bowman and Wanda (Edgar) Church; and five brothers: Dalton “Buddy,” Alan J. “Jake,” Elbert S. “Junior,” Billy M., and the Rev. Weldon Bowman.

Dr. Bowman was a retired educator, having been a special instructor at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Andrews Air Force Base. He taught in the Tennessee school systems of Sullivan and Washington Counties as well as Kingsport and Johnson City. He was a professor at Lincoln Memorial University, Prince George’s Community College, Milligan College, and for 33 years at East Tennessee State University where he served on the Faculty Senate and as a faculty advisor for the Student Tennessee Education Association. He founded ETSU’s Summer Reading Workshop, served on the editorial board of the International Reading Association, and was the 1990 recipient of the Tennessee Distinguished Classroom Teacher in Higher Education.

A graduate of Science Hill High School, he received his undergraduate and his Master’s degrees from ETSU. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland in 1975.

Dr. Bowman served as charter president of the Traditional Appalachian Musical Heritage Association. He also worked bringing distinction to the Bowman family’s contributions to the birth of country music as well as western swing.

Jim served in the U.S. Army Reserves as a surgical technician in the Medical Corps as well as an instructor and a signalman for the Transportation Corps.

For seventeen years, Jim was involved in music ministries for several East Tennessee churches. As a member of Central Baptist Church in Johnson City since 1979, Jim enjoyed singing with their chancel choir and serving in several leadership roles.

A memorial service for Dr. Bowman will be held on Thursday January 16th at 2:00 PM in the sanctuary of Central Baptist Church in Johnson City with Gene Elliott and Tim Tapp officiating. Music will be provided by the Bowman Brothers. The family will greet visitors following the memorial service in the church’s Welcome Corridor.

To honor his memory, it was Jim’s request that donations be made to Good Samaritan Ministries, P.O.Box 2441, Johnson City, TN 37605-2441. https://goodsamjc.org

Condolences may be shared online at the Morris-Baker Funeral Home website: https://www.morrisbaker.com/obits/james-dale-bowman/ 

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