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Alfred J. Bowar

Alfred J. (Mike) Bowar

Wessington Springs, SD
1938, 791, Lightning Creek, F-14, Member

Alfred Mike J. Bowar, age 82, of 870 Canary Lane and formerly of 576 Nebraska SW, Huron, died Thursday, April 14, 2005, at the Huron Nursing Home.

His funeral service will be at 10:30 AM Wednesday, April 13, at the First Presbyterian Church with Rev. Kevin Channell officiating. Burial will be at Prospect Hill Cemetery at Wessington Springs with Military Rites by the Huron Veterans Council. Friends may call Tuesday afternoon and evening at the Welter Funeral Home or Wednesday morning prior to the service at the church. Memorials can be directed to the Huron Public Library.

Alfred J. Bowar was born at home in Wessington Springs on October 12, 1922, on his parents tenth wedding anniversary. His parents were William M. and Mary (Van Ness) L. Bowar.

He was raised in the Methodist faith and attended school in Wessington Springs. After school he worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). He did conservation work and fought forest fires based out of Lightning Creek Camp, near Harney Peak, near Custer, SD and at Red Bird Side Camp near Newcastle, WY.

Mike then enlisted in the United States Army in the summer of 1942 at Omaha, NE. He went to Fort Leavenworth, KS to get outfitted and his orders. He was put into the Air Force. He went by train to Fort Lewis, near Seattle, WA for staging. He received his orders and was sent to Kodiak, AK. His tasks were KP, camp maintenance and mess aide to aircraft personnel. He was later transferred across the bay to Simalak and worked with the crash truck crew. There was concern of the Japanese attacking this area due to the strategic location and oil reserves. He was a member of the 401st Air and Base Squadron. In 1943, Mike went to Unimak, near Dutch Harbor, Aleutian Islands. He held gun turret positions during emergencies. He was stationed there for a year. He went back to Tacoma, WA and received new assignments at San Antonio, TX and then Dayton, OH in 1944. He carried messages at this time. After the war he was transferred to Sioux Falls, SD and was honorably discharged on November 15, 1945. Mike was in the Army for three years, one month and 23 days. He left the service with the rank of PFC (Private First Class). Medals obtained were the Asiatic and Pacific Medal and Good Conduct Medal. His brothers John and William were also in the Army during World War II.

After the war he moved back to Wessington Springs. He married Gertrude Jerry J. Kopke in Mitchell on October 15, 1949. They moved to Fort Pierre for a short time and in the spring they farmed near Alpena for a year. They moved to Huron in 1951 where he worked for Huron Sash and Door. In 1959 he started work at Park Grant as a delivery truck driver. He was employed there for 25 years until his retirement in 1984, when the company closed their Huron warehouse. In retirement, he worked at Winter and Campbell parks as a groundskeeper. His specialty was the rose garden. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church and his hobbies were woodworking and caring for roses.

He is survived by one son, William of Sioux Falls; four daughters, Sandra Martin of Huron, Linda (Allan) Wolfe of Plano, TX, Cheryl Hardie of Odessa, TX and Carla (John) Alonzo of Longmont, CO; five grandchildren, Aaron and Amelia Wolfe of Plano, TX, and Matthew, Christina and Kathryn Alonzo of Longmont, CO. Also many relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Gertrude on July 29, 2001, two sons Francis on March 26, 1995, and Jimmy on October 18, 1997, two sons-in-law, Amos Martin in 1991 and Robert Hardie in 2003, his parents, William in 1977 and Mary in 1935, his brothers, John in 2003, William in 1951 and Herbert in 1919 and sister Cynthia in 1962.

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