Lt. Col. (Ret.) James D. Bowser

Lt Col James D BowersA truly one of a kind life came to an end when Lt. Col. (Ret.) James D. Bowser, 79, of Punxsutawney and Hilton Head Island, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

Although Jim’s time here on earth has passed, his legacy will live on through his devoted wife of 54 years, Anita (Quinlisk) Bowser, son Timothy S. Bowser and wife Sharyn (Shaw) of Tallmadge, OH; son Dr. Stephen A. Bowser and wife Chesca (Silva) of Pittsburgh, PA; daughter DeeAnne Anderson of Homer, NY; and daughter Julie S.I. Vaidya and husband Lax of Greenwood, IN; and his fourteen grandchildren, Nikki, Carly, Josh, Jacob and Noah Bowser, Francesca and Gabriela Bowser, Stephen and wife Pati, Zachary, Ellie and Will Anderson, and Jamie, Benny and Bella Vaidya. He is also survived by a sister, Natalie Bish, of Punxsutawney; one niece and two nephews; and his loyal friend, his dog, Marco. Jim has a great-grandchild on the way.

Jim was happiest when surrounded by his family and friends, and on the golf course, where he was proud to say he shot his age many times.

Jim played in the Little League World Series in 1950 for Punxsutawney and was a graduate of the Punxsutawney High School Class of 1955. He attended Penn State University where he played baseball and graduated in 1960. He earned his Masters from Golden Gate University in 1971. During his military career he was an accomplished squash and handball player.

Jim proudly served in the U.S. Air Force from 1960-1980, including during the Vietnam War. He navigated KC-97s, KC-135s and the AC-130 Spectre Gunship in over 200 combat missions. He eventually transitioned to military intelligence and navigated various aircraft for the Strategic Air Command and United Nations Command. He earned Master Navigator status, as well as the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal/1 Oak Leaf Cluster and the Air Medal/3 Oak Leaf Clusters, among many other medals for his service for his country.

After retiring from the Air Force, Jim went on to work for Ambulance Service Management Corporation in 1984. After purchasing the company in 1989, he worked until his retirement in 1999. Jim received the President’s Award for his outstanding service to Citizens’ Ambulance Service.

Jim was a member of Saints Cosmas and Damian Roman Catholic Church of Punxsutawney and St. Francis by the Sea Roman Catholic Church of Hilton Head Island. He enjoyed traveling, spending time in Hilton Head, running, hunting, cheering for (and criticizing) Penn State football, and coaching youth baseball and basketball and Punxsutawney American Legion Baseball.

Jim was a member of Knights of Columbus and the Penn State Alumni Association. He served on the board of directors for Ambulance Service Management Corporation and the Punxsutawney Area Hospital, and he belonged to the Ambulance Association of Pennsylvania. He volunteered for Meals on Wheels, Second Helpings, and Friends with Wheels in Hilton Head. He was a founder, board member and vice president of Consolidated Ambulance Network (CAN) of Pittsburgh.

In addition to his parents Mildred P. (Sutter) and Dee J. Bowser, he was preceded in death by a sister, Delores Richardson.

Jim will be greatly missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. Friends will be received from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, 2017, and also from 5-8 p.m. on Sunday, March 12, 2017, at the Deeley Funeral Home, 33 Hillcrest Drive, Punxsutawney, PA 15767. A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 13, 2017, at Saints Cosmas and Damian Roman Catholic Church with Monsignor Joseph Riccardo officiating.

Interment with full military honors will be in Calvary Cemetery in Punxsutawney.

There will be a memorial service in Hilton Head at a later date.

Donations may be made in Jim’s memory to the SSCD St. Vincent DePaul Society, Visiting Nurse Association in Punxsutawney, Jefferson County Emergency Medical Service or the Punxsutawney Cancer Care Fund.

Online condolences may be made at

This obituary was authored by DEELEY FUNERAL HOME INC., 33 HILLCREST DR., PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA 15767-2027.

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