Long-time Lummi Island resident Jack Bowman, age 86, passed away peacefully at home on November 2nd. He was born in Wallace, Kansas to Lonnie and Vera (Frazier) Bowman, and arrived in Washington with his extended family in 1935. A graduate of Bellingham High School, he met and married the love of his life, Jo Ann (Hoyt) Bowman at Western Washington University (WWU). Jack graduated with a degree in Music Education in 1954 and began teaching in Forks, WA. This degree was the unlikely stepping stone into a career in the pharmaceutical industry that culminated in executive leadership positions. Jack was instrumental in the development, manufacturing, and sale of medications and vaccines that improved the life of millions of people. Jack believed that, "That which cures sickness and decreases suffering is good."
Jack and Jo Ann celebrated 66 years of marriage this year. Jack is survived by his wife, Jo Ann; their son, Pete; grandchildren, Sam and Josie; great grandchild, Haydn; younger brothers, Paul and Tom; nephew and niece, Ron and Laura, for whom Jack and Jo Ann cared after their mother's early death; sister-in-law, Audrey, and numerous extended family members and friends. Jack was predeceased by his brother, Bob; sister, Mary, and son, Dan.
Jack believed that the most important thing in life was family. He loved books, reading, and words. Although his career path diverged from his formal education in music, Jack continued to cherish music throughout his life. He co-wrote the song Leadfoot, performed by Don Sargent and The Buddies, which hit the Billboard Charts in 1959. The Bowman family will always treasure the family sing-a-longs Jack lead. His humor, curiosity, and sense of justice were hallmarks of his long and brilliant life.
Jack's long history of philanthropy is reflective of the importance he placed on education and local community. A scholarship, endowed in Jack and Jo Ann's late son Daniel's name, was established at WWU in 1998. Jack and Jo Ann also endowed the Bowman Distinguished Professorship in Leadership, a faculty position at WWU dedicated to curricular innovation, teaching, and scholarship that advances the understanding and application of leadership. Jack was the commencement keynote speaker at the University in 2007. Other recipients of Jack's charitable contributions include St. Joseph's Hospital, Whatcom Hospice, Planned Parenthood, Lummi Island Heritage Trust, and the Whatcom Rowing Association.
Jack was a role model and a hero and will be deeply missed. A celebration of his life will be held on Sat. Dec. 1, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. at the Lummi Island Scenic Estates Clubhouse. In lieu of flowers or cards, please make memorial contributions to the Lummi Island Volunteer Firefighters Association, 3809 Legoe Bay Rd., Lummi Island, WA 98262 or to the Lummi Island Heritage Trust, 3560 Sunrise Rd., Lummi Island, WA 98262.