Daniel Oscar Bowman
June 21, 1923-June 20, 1999
I'll share a few memories of my father to help settle my own thoughts this evening. Dad was a private person (as is my Mom). He wished no funeral, no memorial service and no interment. He died suddenly on Father's Day while working on his O27 train set. That train set covered an area of eight by twelve feet, operated on three levels and was the delight of his children and grandchildren. Dad was always good with the grandchildren, bringing them over for a day of one-on-one companionship. From him they learned about woodworking by building birdhouses and about trains from trips to Old Sacramento and the local rail line (each trip home from the AT&SF tracks near his house brought yet another collection of spikes for a small child to lug home).
He taught me well also. Somewhere on the rocky road of my life, I picked up enough basic truths from him and my mother to see me though the rough times until I could actually grow up on my own.
Dad learned the basics of electricity and electronics in the service during World War II and Korea and raised his skills to a level that made him much more than just an inside sales rep for the General Electric Company. He was able to go into the field and re-engineer panels for customers who needed custom controls that just were not available from the factory. He was also able to make his only son a very basic "Power Station" powered by a lantern battery that fed current over hand made telephone poles to a house that he also hand crafted. This basic introduction led to my fascination with electronics that continues to this day.
He also spawned a keen love of automation in both of us. Both our homes are loaded with remote control circuits, often to the consternation of our wives. Automatic sequencing security lights, intercoms in every house I can remember, ...and he was still unable to page me because he used rotary phones to this day.
I believe that Dad led the best life he could. He never did anything halfway; his craftsmanship was of the finest quality. He helped his children as he could and he left us alone to run our own lives. He will be missed by his wife, his children and grandchildren, and his co-workers from over the years. I'll miss him just because I didn't get to know him as much as I think I could. His grandchildren will miss "the man who helped me cut out the wooden ducks." That from my five-year old. And, to keep things in perspective: as my wife finished her explanation of the cremation process, he added, "They're going to burn him up, just like a Jedi knight?"
Thanks, Dad. Thanks for raising me the best way you knew how. I'll miss you for now; but I know that we'll be together again soon enough.
Daniel Colgan Bowman, June 20, 1999
2 Timothy 4:6-8