Lonnie Ray Bowden, 75, died Friday, Oct. 21, with his wife by his side after a short battle with cancer. Lonnie was born on Oct. 5, 1947 in Hawarden to Thayne and Catherine (Vande Hoef) Bowden.
In 1970 Lonnie graduated from Wayne State College in Nebraska with degrees in History and Physical Education. After graduation he was immediately drafted into the United States Army. He was in the Infantry, 3/1 Charlie Company, 11th Brigade, Americal Division, serving in Vietnam from February 1971- January 1972. During his service he was awarded two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart.
In 1980, Lonnie moved to Atalissa for a job at the Louis Rich turkey plant where he worked for 11 years. In August of 1988 he was blessed with three children when he moved into a house outside of West Liberty, with the love of his life, Karen Hosack, and her kids Kama, Cartha, and Jed.
Lonnie and Karen were eventually married on May 15, 2003.
In 1991 Lonnie began working at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics as a Tech II in central sterilization until his retirement in 2012.
Lonnie was an avid lover of the outdoors. Hunting and fishing were two of his biggest passions. He was also very involved in the local music scene, specifically Bluegrass and Old Time Mountain Music. Over the years he played banjo in several bands, most recently Harmony Holler and The Possom Holler Boar Hogs.
Lonnie is survived by his wife, Karen; children Kama Johnson, Cartha (Laura) Johnson, and Jed (Elaine) Johnson; grandchildren Freyja, Penelope, and Jack; and siblings Kay Schnoor, Willy Bowden and Mark (Kathie) Bowden.
A graveside service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 2 p.m. at Grace Hill Cemetery in Hawarden. A gathering of family and friends will follow at Jeff’s Radiator and Exhaust, 717 9th St in Hawarden.
There will be a celebration of life and jam session in the Spring at Lonnie and Karen’s home in West Liberty, date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to your local chapter of Ducks Unlimited or Pheasants Forever