Services honoring the life of Ralph Eugene Bowden will be held 11 AM Friday, October 4, 2019 at the Overland Park Presbyterian Church, 7810 W. 79th Street in Overland Park, Kansas. Pastor Jason Carle will be officiating. Interment will follow in Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens. Ralph passed away Monday afternoon, September 30th, 2019 at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the age of 91.
Born January 23, 1928, in Springfield, Missouri, Ralph was the son of William and Ethel (Shockley), Bowden. Ralph was the youngest of five children. While growing up, he had a newspaper route and also worked at a bakery. Ralph went to work for the railroad at the age of sixteen. While working in Henryetta, Oklahoma in 1944, he met a waitress named Lucille Chambers and it was love at first sight. The couple married on December 23, 1944 and spent 56 years wonderful years together.
Ralph had a long and successful career with the Old Frisco Railroad which eventually became Burlington Northern. His aptitude in electronics led him to many promotions throughout his 42-year career in the industry. He retired in 1986 as a Superintendent. Ralph met his second wife Jeanette in 2005 while attending Parkview Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri.
During Ralph’s life he enjoyed elk hunting in Colorado and family vacations every year. Retirement was good to Ralph, going on many Canadian fishing expeditions. He absolutely loved the outdoors, which led to the purchase of his motor home where he & Lucille could see the countryside. Ralph never met a stranger and always had a positive outlook towards life. Anytime he was asked how he was doing, Ralph would always say, "Fine!" He was extremely handy, building his own beautiful home in Fort Scott, Kansas. Not to anyone's surprise, the beams in the ceiling were constructed from rail road ties.
Ralph was very involved in the Masonic fraternity. He was a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason with a perpetual membership in the Kansas Valley. Ralph was also a Shriner, participating in the Oriental Band Unit in Fort Scott.
Surviving family members include his daughters: Donna Dalton and her husband, Ronald, and Pamela Bowden and Jay Seely; his grandchildren: Sherry Dalton and Barbara Satterfield and her husband, Robert; and three great-grandchildren: Jaimeson, Brayden, Jackson, and many family members.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, his two wives, and four siblings: Paul, Marie, John, and Irene. Friends and family may offer condolences and share memories of Ralph at www.bixbyfuneralservice.com.