Green River Star -

Dale F. Bowlin

 

Courtesy photo

Dale F. Bowlin

Former Green River resident Dale F. Bowlin passed away in Vancouver, Wash., Nov. 13, 2016, following a brief illness.

He was born Sept. 6, 1924, in Lebo, Kan., to Frank and Mabel Bowlin. Following graduation from Lebo High School, he attended one semester at Emporia State Teachers' College, where he played football before enlisting in the US Army. As a cadet, he attended an Advanced Special Training Program in engineering at Brigham Young University for several months prior to joining the 70th Infantry Division at Camp Adair, Ore. He shipped overseas in January 1945.

In February 1945, near Spicheren Heights in France, Dale was captured by the Germans. He was then wounded by shrapnel, severing an artery in his left leg. Dale attempted to use his belt as a tourniquet and a German soldier stopped to help him. The buckle broke, artillery fire continued to land around them, and the soldier gave up. Dale crawled to a German bunker, where the soldiers there saved his life. He was eventually moved to a hospital in Donaueschingen and his leg was amputated. In April, the town was liberated by the French Army. Dale had a special place in his heart for the Salvation Army because the organization sent a telegram, free of charge, to his family to tell them he was alive.

He married his high school sweetheart, Phyllis Perry, in November 1945. He later graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in mechanical engineering. After three years with a small manufacturing firm, he started working for FMC Corporation in Lawrence, Kan., then was employed at FMC's Division headquarters in New York City as well as chemical plants in Vancouver; Modesto, Calif.; and Livonia, M. He served as general operating superintendent for FMC in Green River from 1971 until 1975. He retired from FMC in 1984.

Dale was active in his church, Rotary International and American Ex-Prisoners of War. He co-founded an Amputee Support Group in 1996. He participated in an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., in May 2015.

He especially enjoyed his involvement with the 70th Infantry Division Association, serving as its president during the 50th anniversary of the end of the war. Dale and Phyllis traveled with the 70th Association and met for reunions several times, making lifelong friends. He made his last 70th Association trip to Europe in 2016.

He is survived by his children; Sherida (Collin) Stewart of Farmington, N.M.; Robert (Betsy) Bowlin of Marshall, Texas and Janet Bowlin of Green River; grandchildren Ryan (Ciara) Stewart of Seattle, Eric (Alexandra Melgoza) Stewart of Lakewood, Colo., Elyse (James) Dane of Midland, Texas, and Michael Velazquez and partner Kathrine "Deja" Franklin of Green River; great-grandchildren Juniper and Hawthorne Stewart, Ryker, Taylor, Shaylie and Cooper Dane, and Maleea Velazquez.

Dale was preceded in death by Phyllis, his wife of 63 years; his parents; brother and sister-in-law Floyd Parke and DoraLee Bowlin; brother Troy Bowlin; and in-laws Gladys and Everett Williams, and Marjorie Jones.

A memorial service took place Monday.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Friends of the Carpenter, the Salvation Army or the charity of the donor's choice.

 

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