William (Bill) Ellsworth Bowker
Bill Bowker, 88, died at his son’s home in Silt on June 30, 2005, after fighting a long battle with prostate cancer. Bill was born Jan. 4, 1917, in Kearny, Neb., to George Harold and Ramona Bowker. He grew up on a farm during the Great Depression and graduated from Kearny High School. He moved to California, where he was married and raised four children. On Dec. 8, 1941, Bill joined the U.S. Navy. From 1942-43, he was commissioned to Petty Officer 1st Class on a destroyer, then went to work on submarines as a diesel mechanic until late 1944. He was assigned the task of escorting warships in the Atlantic from the United States to Europe. After his service duty, he did various iron working jobs and later became a plumber, retiring from San Diego County Plumbers’ Local Union 230. In addition, he was also a volunteer for the San Diego Sheriff’s Mounted Posse. Bill lived and loved the cowboy way of life. Riding horses was his passion and he continued to ride his mare, Ruby, until just before his passing. He was a wrangler for hunting camps, loved riding in parades and was always there to assist a neighbor or friend in driving cattle. At the age of 70, he broke his last horse and was a pick-up man in the rodeo until he was 84 years old. He was very involved as an elder at the Hayfork Community Church in Hayfork, Calif., and was always willing to share his faith in God.Bill is survived by two sons and daughters: Gloria Rose, of Tucson, Ariz.; Gary Bowker, of Silt; Patti Hamberger, of Gypsum; and Billy Bowker, of Durango. He also had one stepson and two stepdaughters: Bill Kipp, Georgenne Rigdon, Cindy Pitts and Bill Kipp. He is also survived by 20 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.There will be a private celebration of his life on Saturday, July 23, in Silt, at a family residence. In lieu of flowers or donations to the family, please pass on a good deed or act of kindness to your fellow man.
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