American Veteran 04

James Edward Bowers

December 30, 1930 ~ June 23, 2022 (age 91)

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James Edward Bowers, one of nine children, affectionately known as “Big Jim” was born on December 30, 1930, in Memphis, Tennessee to the late John Leonard Bowers and Essie Ophelia Bowers. His mother, a teacher, raised him to believe in God and in the importance of prayer.

His early childhood was spent on a farm, as a very independent child where he tended to the livestock, picked cotton, repaired farming equipment, and even learned how to can food and craft moonshine. James was self-educated, creative, innovative, and always working with his hands. His experiences and self-education beginning at the early age of eight, helped develop him into an entrepreneur, offering his services wherever they could be used. He eventually was employed, as an underage bus driver, in Memphis, Tennessee.

His survival instincts and desire for personal improvement drove him to enlist in the United States Army as a minor. He served this country for 20+ years retiring in 1969 and was held at the rank of Captain. Captain Bowers served in post-World War II in the 519 Transportation Company, an all-black military unit, and in Vietnam, and Korean Wars. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Army Good Conduct Medal Ribbon, NATO Medal, Korean Service Medal, and the European Occupation Medal.

At Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, he completed Signal Core and Officer School with a focus on Intelligence. While there, he participated in the rifle team, achieving several marksmen awards and medals. James, hungry for knowledge, eager to learn, and pursuing all avenues of an education, went back to school and received a degree from Monmouth College.

In 1960, James married the late Elizabeth James and they shared more than six decades. They settled in Neptune, NJ in 1965 and reared their two children, Michele and Michael.

After retirement, one of his professional endeavors was starting his own business, Jebson’s Repair and Maintenance Services (Jebson’s acronym for James Edward Bowers & Son); he also worked at several companies: Koscot, Signalite, and Kleenize Cleaners. As a member of IBEW Local 400 Union, James worked at various locations, notably twenty years at Six Flags Great Adventure.

After his second retirement, as an electrician from the union, you could often find him playing golf, and pool, tinkering with electronics, and socializing with his friends at the American Legion and the VFW, where he served in officer positions.

Throughout James' life, he shared interesting, rich, encouraging, and uplifting stories. He made himself available to anyone who needed his assistance. During his last months, he kept his wit, charm, and manners. He continued to share stories, his tongue weaving in and out of the Japanese, Korean, and German languages, which he learned in his lifetime. In the end, he accomplished most of the goals he set for himself and faithfully followed the path that God laid out for him.

James will fondly be remembered by his sister, Dorothy Coleman; nephew, Don Coleman; daughter, Michele; son, Michael (Christina); grandchildren, Ryan Bowers (Ashleigh); Brandon Bowers (Samantha); Dionne Bowers-Nicks; and Elizabeth Bowers; great-grandchildren, Ryleigh Bowers and Ayden Bowers, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.


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July 5, 2022

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
James Hunt Funeral Home LLC
126 Ridge Ave
Asbury Park, NJ 07712

Video is available for this event

Interment Following Viewing
July 5, 2022

Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Cemetery
350 Provinceline Rd
Wrightstown, NJ 08562

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