Leland Roy Bowman, Jr., age 96 of Urbanna, VA passed away gently on Monday, April 1st, 2019 surrounded by family. As a man raised in the Baptist faith, his soul “flew away” with the surety of being reunited in heaven with his beloved wife, Sarie, who predeceased him in September of 2018.
Roy was born at the Trevvett family home in Glen Allen, VA on January 23rd, 1923 to parents Emilie Robinson and Leland Roy Bowman, Sr. He was the eldest of three siblings. His brother, John T. Bowman predeceased him in 1969.
Roy first fell under the spell of the Rappahannock River by way of an “adventure” when he hopped a freight train behind his Lakeside home at the tender age of twelve. Later his parents would purchase The Glebe property on Town Bridge Rd. and eventually make it their retirement residence. As a teen, Roy, Jr. attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond but often hitchhiked to Urbanna to hang out with the local Middlesex teens. At age 14 he met his best and lifelong friend, Carroll Chowning. From a young age Roy, Jr. always held a fascination with the River, boating and aviation. After graduating from High School in June of 1941, Roy entered the University of Virginia. He possessed a keen intellect and an incredible memory aided with analytical thinking. His studies were soon interrupted by the advent of Pearl Harbor. Roy was accepted into the V-5 Cadet Program and completed studies at Mercer University, Pre-flight in Athens, Georgia with advanced studies in Memphis, Tenn. and Pensacola, Fla. He was commissioned as a Lt. in the US Naval Reserves and piloted the Avenger Bomber performing carrier escort on active duty in the American Theatre of WWII. Roy retired from the USNR in February, 1966. He continued flying throughout his life as a private/recreational pilot and greatly enjoyed his association with others who shared his passion for flying.
In civilian life Roy held a career in Sales and Management with Homelite Heavy Equipment and later Beltone Hearing. He was licensed in land and timber management and as a dedicated son assisted his aging parents with The Glebe property. Roy believed in community and dedicated much of his time to public service as a lifelong Kiwanian. He will be remembered by many as a man with a big heart who always had a story to share. He possessed a twinkle in his handsome blue eyes with just a hint of a mischievous grin. Although his perfectionism could sometimes be tiresome, his intentions were always to provide a best result. He held a special affection for his many companion dogs.
Roy is survived by his younger sister, Nina Olander of Calabasas Hills, CA; and her surviving children, Kristin and Julie. From his marriage in 1946 to Audrey Mills, he is survived by children, Lee Bowman of Tacoma, WA, (Anita), Patricia Bowman of Oregon City, OR (Randy) her son, Britton Glaser, and Roy’s youngest daughter, Megan Bowman of Kauai, HI. Close to Roy’s heart are his extended family of adult step children, Mrs. Renee Robins-Gilman (Chris); and their son, James, and step son Jeff Robins. Also Carroll and Betty Chowning’s children, Jane and Al Mason, and their sons, Wyatt and Peyton.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to the countless number of dedicated neighbors and friends in Tidewater who enriched Roy’s life. Special thanks to Riverside Hospice staff and friends Joe Pociask, Kevin and Sue Douthitt and Pinkie and Sherman Holmes. A Memorial of Roy’s life will be held May 4th, at 11:00 am at the Urbanna Baptist Church. A reception will follow. Condolences can be shared on the Bristow-Faulkner website, www.faulknerfuneralhcs.com In lieu of flowers please consider a contribution to Urbanna Baptist Church or the Middlesex Volunteer Rescue Squad.