Dr. John M. Bowen: March 21, 2022

Published 4:01 pm Friday, March 25, 2022

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Dr. John M. Bowen, 88, passed away peacefully at home on March 21, 2022.  He was born on March 23, 1933, to Loy and Marjorie Bowen in Quincy, Massachusetts.  Before moving to Durham, North Carolina, in 2017, John had been a resident of Athens for 54 years.  He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Athens.

John lived in the Boston area until the age of 14, at which time his family relocated to Americus.  He married Jean Alma Schmidt of Americus in December, 1956.

After receiving his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Georgia in 1957, he attained his PhD from Cornell in 1960.  He then took positions at Kansas State University and Emory University, before returning to the UGA School (later College) of Veterinary Medicine in 1963.  John taught pharmacology, toxicology and neurophysiology courses throughout his tenure at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

In 1976, John was promoted to Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Affairs for the College of Veterinary Medicine, a position he would hold until his semi-retirement in 1997.

John was instrumental in creating UGA’s Veterinary Medical Experiment Station, an institution focused on improving animal health, and he served as its first Director, from 1976 to 1997.

One of John’s most noted contributions at the University was securing funding and chairing the planning and operations committees that led the creation of the College’s Animal Health Research Center, a facility allowing safe research into highly infectious diseases.

In 1998, the John M. Bowen Award for Excellence in Animal and Biomedical Research was established by the College.

Among John’s other passions were sailing, the outdoors, the family cabin on Lake Hartwell, and his dogs.

Following the death of Jean, John moved to Durham, North Carolina, in 2017 where he spent his final five years with his son Richard and his family.

John is preceded in death by his wife of nearly 57 years, Jean S. Bowen, and his sister, Nancy Bowen Johnston.  He is survived by his sons Mark Bowen of Americus and Richard (Marteh) Bowen of Durham, North Carolina; grandsons George (Sophie) Bowen and Matthew Bowen; one great-grandson; nieces, nephews and their children and grandchildren.

John’s life will be celebrated in a memorial service at First United Methodist Church of Athens at 1:00 pm on Thursday, March 31.  Visitation will follow at the same location from 2:00-4:00 pm.  In lieu of flowers, the family would like to celebrate John’s legacy by supporting the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.  Please make checks payable to the UGA Foundation and in the memo line note “Vet Med-in memory of Dr. Bowen.” Checks should be mailed to UGA Foundation, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.  Donations may be made online at gail.uga.edu/johnbowen.

Burial will take place at 1:00 pm on Friday, April 1, at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Americus.

Arrangements are handled by Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, East, Athens, Georgia. www.lordandstephens.com