James R. Bowers was born February 2, 1931 in Columbus, Kansas. He graduated from Baxter Springs High School in Kansas in 1948. He then served in the United States Air Force where he spent twenty-eight months in Alaska from 1949 to1951. He was still in Alaska when the Korean War began. He married Leah Bragg in 1952 in Valdosta, GA. James served in the Air Force Reserves from 1952-1955. James went on to attend Pittsburg State Teachers College (Pittsburg State University) in Pittsburg, KS earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration as an accounting major.
James worked 35 years as an auditor and administrator with public accounting, retail and contractor businesses and as a contract auditor for the federal government, retiring as an auditor and administrator with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on February 29, 1990. Following retirement, time was spent working for Wal-Mart and as an usher and reservationist for several theaters in Branson, MO.
James was honored by the Seventy-fifth General Assembly of the Missouri State Legislature for investigative work that revealed significant discrepancies existing in collection of financial institution taxes in the State of Missouri. He was honored by the Lt. Governor and the Missouri Volunteer Organization as one of the top three volunteer board members in the state during 1988. He was also honored by the Governor of Missouri for being one of twenty-six outstanding volunteers assisting flood victims of the “Great Flood” of 1993. He was appointed Director of Disaster Services for Moniteau County, MO by the County Commission during the 1993 flood as well.
James served as a Board Member with the Mid-Missouri Ambulance District of Morgan/Moniteau Counties from June 1986 to April 1992 as well as being a secretary and treasurer one term each. He was the Director of Medical Services for Moniteau County Planning Commission in 1994. He was honored as “Lion of the Year” in 1991 with California, Missouri’s Lions Club. He was honored for “Outstanding Academic Achievement in Computer Applications” presented by the Commanding General, Air Force Systems Command, Major General “Red” Armstrong at Andrews Air Force Base. He had the honor of playing baseball for three years with Mickey Mantle on the “Baxter Springs Whiz Kids”, a town team in Baxter Springs, prior to Mickey’s signing with the New York Yankees. James also played against several of the Boyer brothers of Alba, MO who later played major league baseball.
James was a member of American-Legion Post 434 in Nixa (Past Adjutant); prior member American-Legion Post 676, Springfield (Past Chaplain); State Association of Retired Missouri State Employees (Past President); Life Member of the Friends of the Missouri State Archives; Associate Member of the Missouri Sheriff’s Association, Life Member of the Kansas State University of Pittsburg Alumni Association; Springfield Chapter of the Association of Retired Missouri State Employees (Past President 4 years); appointed member of the Retiree Connection Committee for the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System for 7 years; Nixa Chamber of Commerce, and Nixa Senior Center (Past Board Member).
On March 26, 1967, James was baptized in Red Bridge Baptist Church, Grandview, MO by Brother Jimmy Draper. He served the Lord at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, Ashland, MO; Main Street Baptist Church, California, MO; Lebanon Baptist Church, McGirk, MO; Centertown Baptist Church, Centertown; Cornerstone Baptist Church in Jefferson City; First Baptist Church, Hollister, Skyline Baptist Church, Branson and was currently serving at North Nixa Baptist Church in Nixa, MO. James had been a Sunday School Director, Sunday School Teacher, member of Pastor Search Committees, chairman of the Finance Committee, church trustee, member of budget committees, Vacation Bible School teacher, church convention delegate, choir member, AWANA listener, a director of home missions, a pastor’s helper with the new visitor visitations, a committee member, Assistant Treasurer and Treasurer with Tri-County Southern Baptist Association and one of his greatest joys, being a referee with the Upward Basketball Program.
James had been a prostate cancer survivor since 1990, lung cancer survivor since 2016; had received over 100 chemo treatments and been able to share his faith with many during that time. He entered into rest on Sunday, February 16, 2020 at the age of 89.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Alphonso F. Bowers and Helen L. Bowers; brothers, Alphonso F. Bowers Jr. and Gerald J. Bowers as well as sons, James R. Bowers, Jr., Jeffrey A. Bowers and William M. (Mike) Bowers.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Bowers of Springfield who he had been married to since September 2, 2001. He also leaves his children, Gregory A. Bowers of Mt. Pleasant, MD, John B. Bowers, Mt. Pleasant and Kathryn L. Martin, Sand Springs, OK. Step-children, Daniel E. Dotson, Hollywood, MD; Kenneth J. Dotson and wife Elizabeth of Kansas City, MO; William R. Dotson, Benbrook, TX. Grandchildren, Rebecca M. Bowers, Rachel L. Zorn and husband Scott, Stephanie M. Hamrick and husband Jacob, Anna Bowers and friend Howard Poyner, and Sara Emily Parrish. Step-grandchildren, Josh Dotson, Tara Dotson, Alex Jacob Dotson, John (Jack) Joseph Dotson, Bobby Dotson, Brian Dotson, Blake Dotson, Jeanelle Dotson and Erich Bogie. Great grandchildren , Caleb Zorn, Elisha Maria Zorn, William Roscoe Poyner, Jameson Blaze Hamrick, Judah Hamrick, Max Enzo Poyner, Brooklyn Faith Zorn and step-great grandchildren, Austin Daniel Dotson, Alisyn Leighann Dotson, Everly Rose Quade and Paisley Harper Bogie.
Funeral services will be 10:00 A.M., Thursday, February 20, 2020 at North Nixa Baptist Church in Nixa, MO with burial following at 2:00 P.M. in Ozarks Memorial Park Cemetery, Branson.
In Jim’s memory, memorials are requested to North Nixa Baptist Church Building or Youth Funds, 1730 North Hwy CC, Nixa, MO 65714.
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