June 27, 2013


Gerald Duane Bowman, 89, of Coon Rapids, died Sunday, June 23, 2013, at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll following several months of declining health.

Funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 29, at First Christian Church in Coon Rapids, with Pastor Ben Ramirez officiating.

Visitation with family present will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 28, at Ohde Funeral Home in Coon Rapids. Visitation will resume at 9:30 Saturday at the church.

Casket bearers will be Trent Bowman, William Jahn Jr., Shawn Bradley, Eric Varchola, Matt Cossolotto, Ryan Briley, Brent Kjellberg, Matthew Wolfe, Ryan Bowman and Jon Cretsinger.

Music will be "The Lord's Prayer," Sam Cretsinger; "America, The Beautiful";

"Just a Closer Walk With Thee," Cindy Seastrom, vocalist, Lula Garnes, accompanist; and "Happy Trails, recorded music.

Burial with military honors by American Legion Gurney Parker Post 357 will be at Union Township Cemetery, Coon Rapids.

Memorial donations may be made to First Christian Church, 220 Elm St., Coon Rapids.

Gerald Duane Bowman, son of Charles and Vera (Riedesel) Bowman, was born

Dec. 19, 1923, in rural Greene County, Iowa. He grew up on the farm and attended Carrollton country school. Gerald graduated from Coon Rapids High School in 1941 and attended Iowa State University for a year before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Force. He served stateside during World War II.

Gerald married Darlene Cretsinger on March 27, 1945, at First Christian Church in Coon Rapids. Following Gerald's honorable discharge, they lived on his family's farm north of Coon Rapids where he farmed with his dad and brother. The family moved into Coon Rapids in 1957, though Gerald continued to be involved in the farm business for awhile. Gerald owned a milk-delivery company and drove a school bus, and later used his carpentry skills working first for an electrician, then for ET Video.

He was an active member of First Christian Church in Coon Rapids serving faithfully over the years in many different ways. He was also an active member of American Legion, serving as chaplain of Gurney Parker Post 357 in Coon Rapids for many years.

While in the service during World War II, Gerald went to mechanics school, and he enjoyed studying and talking about airplanes throughout his life. His carpentry skills were also called upon during his years in the service.

He rode horses in his younger years, and he and Darlene sometimes went to the Iowa State Fair horse shows. As a young farmer, he had dairy cows, sheep, and chickens, for which he built a chicken house.

He enjoyed collecting stamps and hats, and he loved sports.

In 1959, Gerald built the home on 5th Avenue where he and Darlene have lived. Gerald was very proud of his family, traveling with Darlene to visit them as well as other relatives and friends in various parts of the country for as long as they were able. He enjoyed the flowers Darlene tended and was quite a gardener himself, and not just vegetables. He planted flowers in front of their home when Darlene was ill.

Gerald is survived by his wife, Darlene Bowman of Coon Rapids; five children: Donna Varchola (George) of Davenport; Mary Beth Bowman (William Jahn) of Coon Rapids; Dave Bowman (Becky) of Carroll; Vicky Briley (Jordan) of Poway, Calif.; and Cheryl Wolfe (Ron) of San Marcos, Calif.; nine grandchildren: Jennifer Bradley (Shawn); Eric Varchola (Melissa); William Jahn Jr. (Kendra); Dayon Kjellberg (Brent); Andria Cossolotto (Matt); Trent Bowman; Sara and Ryan Briley; and Matthew Wolfe; 12 great-grandchildren; brother George Bowman of Coon Rapids;

brother-in-law Sam Cretsinger (Corrine) of Coon Rapids; ad other relatives and friends.

Gerald was preceded in death by his parents; infant brother, Robert Bowman; sisters-in-law, Marguerite Bowman and Madeline Kretzinger; and brother-in-law Floyd Kretzinger.