Mike Bowman

Mike Bowman0001

Robert Michael (Mike) Bowman, age 81, passed away on at his home in Moscow on Monday, January 23, 2017.  He suffered from pulmonary fibrosis complicated by a heart condition.

He was born September 12, 1935, in Fairmont, West Virginia, to Robert Lear Bowman and Gladys Daisy Grimes Bowman.

Mike started his education in the Fairmont schools, then went on to the University of West Virginia at Morgantown, WV.  He knew as a small boy that he wanted to become a forester.    He came west from West Virginia to pursue a degree in forestry at the University of Washington.   He graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science degree.

In 1955 he joined the Smokejumpers in Winthrop, WA.  He jumped for 5 years out of several different bases in the western states.

From 1960-1962 he served his country in the U. S. Army as a Battery Commander at Ft. Niagara in Youngstown, New York.  After his tour in the Army, he started his forestry career in Alaska with the Bureau of Land Management.  During his career he worked for two agencies, the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service.  He served in many locations (19) across the western United States and Washington DC.  His last assignment was with the Forest Service in Missoula, MT. as the Assistant Director of Fire Management.  His career with both agencies spanned almost 30 years.  He retired in 1985.

During the span of his career he was instrumental in the development of the National Fire Academy in Emmetsburg, MD, and the National Fire Center in Boise, both of which have grown to be major contributors to overhead and wildfire training.

After retirement, he worked for the City of Lewiston, Idaho, and established the new Community Forestry Program which expanded to most of the small surrounding communities.

Mike was very active in a number of community non-profit programs that assisted families in crisis. Many people characterized Mike’s interest in people as “he dared to care.”  He was a member of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church and attended two men’s prayer groups. He was involved in St. Vincent DePaul, Family Promise, and The Hope Center.

Survivors include his wife, Mary, married September 27, 1986, at Moscow, Idaho.  His children include sons Michael R. Bowman, Glouscester, MA, Kelly B. Bowman, Newcastle, WA, daughters Jennifer M. Bowman, Prince Frederick, MD, Melinda K. Bowman, Missoula, MT and three step children S. Dawn Williams, Pocatello, ID., Kathleen M. Williams, Enterprise, OR., and Carman A. Johnson, Pullman, WA.

A rosary will be recited at 10:30 AM on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, 628 S. Deakin Ave. in Moscow. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 AM by Rev. Chase Hasenoehrl.

A luncheon and time of fellowship will be at St. Mary’s Church Family Center, First and Howard Streets, afterward.

The family suggests memorials be made to St. Augustine’s Catholic Church.

14 Responses to Mike Bowman

  1. Carole Asbury says:

    With wonderful memories of Mike, I can see him smiling down on us, and wishing us good luck in what we do. He is truly an inspiration and I’m privileged to have know him. God bless you, Mary, and the family.

  2. Mary and Brian Lewandowski says:

    Mike was such an inspiration and will be missed! He really cared about people and was so kind, always willing to lend a hand. He is truly what saints are made of. I will always treasure the friendship and prayers he gave us. Mary and family, May the Lord bless you and keep you in his blessings forever.

  3. Jim Fazio says:

    Mike was one of the finest and most unusual men who have blessed my life. Especially in his career as Lewiston’s urban forester and a member of the Idaho Community Forestry Advisory Council, he was forever dreaming up new projects and innovative ways to make good things happen. In his work with the underprivileged in Moscow and in support of his church, he was a true Christian — one who walked the talk. Mike was a good friend and will always remain my inspiration.

  4. Steve Daley-Laursen, for Dianne, Anna and Kieren says:

    Mary and Family…. The Daley Laursens were all saddened to hear of Mike’s passing. You were our “first family” and temporary home when we moved to Moscow in 2002. Mike and I got immediately connected on topics of urban and community forestry and we were all touched by how warmly you and Mike welcomed us into your home. Mike just kept appearing in our lives over the fifteen years of our residence here. He always had that very warm smile than seemed to run deeply to the core of his soul. He was genuine and engaging, always ready to share stories of his latest idea or project and always sincerely interested in each person in our family. He was an icon of service and so an inspiration to us all. Mike will live on brightly in all of the lives he touched. I actually feel warm whenever I think of him. What a tribute this is to fine man and all the goodness he spread around in his richly lived 81 years of life. God bless you all.

  5. Jolene Leef says:

    Mary and Family;
    I am so sorry for your loss. Mike was a wonderful man to have known. Thank you for letting me into your hearts and home. You made me feel like family in such a short period of time. ~Jolene

  6. Gordon Gourley says:

    Mary and family;

    I am feeling your loss today, my sympathies are with you. Hard to lose a loved one.

    He was such a gracious man, you were a gracious couple. We enjoyed every minute with you.

    A couple times I worked with Mike, he was a leader, justn try to keep up.

    Bless you all at this time.

    Gordon Gourley

  7. Sandy Gallardo-Cook and Don Cook says:

    Mary and family;

    I am privilege and honor to know him. Mike was always given, sharing, and helping other.

    He will not care if you were white, black or Hispanic. He was always there for you.

    He joke with me last year and said that he was not ready last year to leave this planet. Now, I now that we were not ready to let him go.

    God bless you all.


  8. Michelle Youngquist says:

    Mary & family,
    I’m so sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. I feel like the world is a little less bright as a result. I am fortunate that he preceded me as State Coordinator of Idaho Project Learning Tree. We owe him a debt of gratitude for keeping the program alive in the early 1990s. He didn’t really need one more thing to do, but he felt strongly about the importance and value of environmental education in general, and Project Learning Tree in particular. In 1993-94, he helped establish Idaho PLT at the Idaho Forest Products Commission, where it remains to this day with help from a multitude of supporters. In the decades since then, Mike has been an enthusiastic cheerleader for PLT, and a consummate networker. I will miss his phone calls, and hearing his booming, always-cheerful voice and ideas for sharing forest-related education with others. Thanks, Mike, for all you did for people, trees and forests throughout your life. You will be missed.

  9. Laura Von Tersch says:

    Mary, I was a co worker with Mike when he was the City Forester for Lewiston. We were also in Rotary together. He was a genuinely nice person. When he heard I was converting to Catholicism, he left a book in my office to give me some pointers. I am so sorry you have lost him. Laura

  10. Erika Cowman says:

    I am sad to hear of Mike’s passing. I know I was just one of 1,000s of college kids that passed through St. Auggie’s, but Mike was one of the few parishioners I will never forget. He was there on my freshman Search Retreat, and was always there after Mass to be a friendly and familiar face. It gave me great comfort to see him when I was feeling homesick or alone. He had the kindness, warmth, and friendliness of my own grandfather. He continually showed others he really cared. We have had the crucifix Mike and Mary sent Jeff and I for our wedding hanging over our family picture for the past almost 14 years. I can’t help but think of you and my time at St. Augustine’s whenever I look at that crucifix. We will be praying for Mike and your family. We pray for the souls of the “faithfully departed” at every meal with our four children.

    In Christ, Erika Cowman

  11. Kay and Gary Stilson says:

    Mary and family:
    It was a real joy working with Mike when he was the forestor for the city of Lewiston. We made the tree stones for community forestry program and I used to kid him I was learning Latin from him. He used to come in and tell me “you have the best candy bowl in town”. We feel so blessed to have had our lives touched by him, he will be missed.

    Kay and Gary Stilson
    Garlinghouse Memorials
    Lewiston, ID

  12. Bettie Hoff says:

    Mary, Ray and I were very sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. We will remember him as always so friendly and ready to catch up with friends even when you knew he had a million other things waiting for him. He will be missed. Ray and Bettie Hoff

  13. Debbie Goin says:

    Mary and family, I was so sorry to hear about Mike. I thought about you guys often. Thought about our trips to Orofino to the SO and him coming into work.

  14. Peggy Rowe says:

    In thanksgiving for our friendship as Ursuline Associates. I have fond memories of your hospitality on my journey to Moscow a few years ago. I am so glad I was able to visit with you both by telephone last month. Mike will be missed by all of his family and community. Sending love and hugs to Mary and family.

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