David Bruce Bowles, 67, peacefully returned to his Heavenly Father April 3rd, 2020, in his sleep from a heart attack. As one of his kids said, he wore out his heart simply loving people.
David was born in Los Angeles, California, August 26th, 1952 to Brinton N. Bowles and Mary Katherine Bowles.
Dave's greatest enjoyment in life was other people. Always friendly, Dave a had a way of making others comfortable around him. His nephew Eric remembers, "He always had something so very witty to say. He had such a way with his words, and was such a kind-hearted human being". Most remember his wit, his jokes, and his sarcastic yet gentle teasing. Tease Dave back? He'd say "I resemble that remark!" Trip over your words? He'd tease, "Having a vowel movement??"
Dave was a member of the LDS church. He served a full time mission as he liked to say, "where it all began" in Palmyra, New York, which included the Sacred Grove. He served in many positions. He was a young mens' leader. A Stake High Councilor. But his best-loved calling was his last: Ward Mission leader. He created lasting friendships and helped many find their way back to Christ and the truths of the Gospel he loved, because of his caring, genuine unconditional love, and friendship.
When Dave attended church, he'd get there early, so he could, as ward members said, "work the chapel"...the social man greeting everyone, smiling, chatting, and enjoying the people there as he made them all feel welcome and loved. His special knack, when he was young, was charming the elderly widows with his wit and smile.
At age 16, Dave drove a '62 Dodge Dart. Friends constantly filled the "Bowles-Mobile" catching rides to school or seminary at Mt. Whitney High School in Visalia CA, where Dave graduated in 1969.
In high school, Dave was an athlete and musician. He was the starting point guard all four years on the basketball team, and he played baritone in the high school band.
Dave's love of music was lifelong. He rocked "air concerts" with his brother, Mark. He drove around with his kids, just to listen to music. His kids and grandkids remember driving and singing Styx and Queen songs at the top of their lungs! His beautiful baritone voice rang out in church, in ward and stake choir, and solo performances.
Dave the Wave, as he was known to many, loved the ocean. As a kid, he and his brother Mark, who he was close to all his life, played at Laguna Beach. They scoured the beach for shells, and body surfed, and Dave protected his little brother from the waves that were too big.
Dave shared his love of the beach with his children. Family vacations were spent playing in the sun and the sand on the California coast...to the point he'd blister his legs when he'd forget to reapply sunscreen!
Big Daddy Dave (as special neighbors called him) is a proud Dad of 5 kids, and 14 grandkids.
With his first wife, Colette Spain, (married March 29, 1974, later divorced) Dave had his first three kids, Jeremiah, Jessica, and Jared, now all adults, and parents themselves. Talk to Dave for more than three minutes, and you'd hear about his older kids, and their accomplishments and success. He was so proud of who they've grown up to be, the parents they've grown up to be, and let everyone around him know about his kids and grandkids.
With his wife Marie Bryner (married November 30, 1995, later divorced) his two youngest, Zachary (18) and Karly (14) followed. Always the proud dad, He busted his buttons supporting Zac and Karly in everything he could. At any kind of student performance, or sometimes even just practices, he was the guy proudly--and loudly-- yelling his kids' name, whistling, letting everyone know that was HIS kid up there. He knew his kids friends, not just by name, but he got to know them personally like a friend himself. At Carbon High School, especially among Zac's fellow marching band members, he was known as (shout it loud) ZAC'S DAD! He loved being known as ZAC'S DAD! And as KARLY'S DAD.
He and Marie were great friends, even post-divorce. He got a kick when people noticed him hanging out or socializing with Marie, and telling everyone within earshot that he was best friends with his ex wife. He was proud of that relationship he built, and so were Marie and his kids. Others were in awe of Dave's "friendly divorce." Dave and Marie were more than co-parents, they were truly friends. All holidays were together. They went to events together. Even just had lunch sometimes. And they'd say fondly to each other, "I love you...but not THAT way"...and laugh.
Dave didn't always like to accept help from others...he liked to give. But through accepting help from his sisters-in-law Lisa Bowles, and Jaci Bryner at different times, he developed sweet friendships with both of them. He recuperated from surgeries at both their homes throughout the years when he was single. With Lisa, he'd spending hours on the phone talking. She listened when he needed it most.
He was close with Marie's brother Ross Bryner, who's wife Jaci helped Dave when he recuperated from major surgery in her home. They developed a sweet friendship during many weeks of her tender care.
He was close to his nephew Paul Cunningham, and saved young Paul's life, when around age 7 he fell into a swimming pool at Dave's parent's home in Visalia. Paul remembers going under for the third time when Dave dove in, and saved his life. Paul later decided to be baptized into the LDS church. He remembers Uncle Dave was a great example to him.
Dave created lifelong friendships. Bryan Issac was his friend all his life. Motorcycle buddies, when they were young, Dave still talked to "my buddy bryan" often, and they would dream big! David Rowen--the other half of the "two Daves" also known as "The Fat Chicks" was another dear friend. In Dave's last years, Kelly Killpack, who he met through his church calling, was a great friend. Dave often shared memories of his friends, and was ready to create new memories.
Dave was close to and loved by so many, and helped by so many, that they can't all be listed! Please know you're known, that Dave loved you, and that he was always appreciative! You were family if you were in Dave's circle.
Family included many nieces and nephews who all loved Uncle Dave. His brother Mark stated, "Uncle Dave had a major impact on my children, Aaron, Heather, and Eric, who all loved him dearly." Eric specifically remembers his belly laugh, and Uncle Dave's belly laugh while giving "wet willies" in Eric's ear. All his nieces and nephews, along with his grandchildren and family will remember his twinkling eyes, teasing, non stop jokes, and witty personality.
That personality made Dave unforgettable. He and Marie owned Bryner Photography until 2012 in Price. Past clients STILL would come up to him and say (even with Marie standing right there) "Dave! You took our pictures!" Nope...he never held the camera. It was Marie doing the "taking!" But it was Dave they remembered!! Because he was fun, and friendly, and he recalled everyone, sometimes even by name, years later.
That friendliness served Dave well for many years in sales. In California, and in Utah, from the time he graduated from high school, he worked in numerous sales and management positions, for 7-11, Skaggs Alpha-Beta, Harmons, Fresno Beverage, Modesto Tobacco and Candy, Kraft, Alliant, and Sysco, and more. Sales came naturally to Dave. He sold photo services at Bryner Photography. Later he sold insurance for many companies including Farm Bureau, Farmers, Compass, and Aetna. He had an office at In House Insurance in Price.
His favorite part of his days the last months of his life were spent selling insurance at his "insurance table" in Wal-Mart, because he saw friends day in and day out. He'd recently learned his WalMart booth was one of the top in the state for his company! And everyone remembers him as "that nice insurance guy at Wal-Mart" with a big smile. He often said how happy it made him to be able to help others.
Dave loved to have fun. Countless baseball games in Fresno. Dodger games. Pool parties in Sunnyside. If there was a good time to be had, Dave was having it, and with people he loved.
Dave loved people. And especially his family. His son Jared perfectly sums up how Dave Bowles lived, and who he was with this simple poem:
Bringer of cheer, a man of laughter.
A wordsmith, a slayer...of verbs and nouns.
Conversationalist of never a dull moment.
No fear of talking, no fear of making friends.
Passion was people, into which he served.
Man of family, a man of raising family men.
Masterful in the art of loving, for I hope one day I can love as he.
Dave is survived by five children, Jeremiah Bowles, KS, Jared Bowles, UT, Jessica Bowles Hendren (Jared) NV, Zachary Bowles, UT and Karly Bowles UT. Three brothers, Dean (Ann) Bowles, WI, Howard (MerriLyn) Bowles, CA, Mark (Lisa) Bowles, CA and two sisters MaryAnna Tucker (AL) and Linda (Marty) Kapelowitz (ID), 15 nieces and nephews, 14 grandchildren, special ex-daughter in laws, and many other family and friends who loved him.
Preceded in death by his mother, father, and older brother Paul Bowles, and one brother-in-law, Tucker.
A PUBLIC memorial service will be held at a local church when the quarantine is lifted so watch for the announcement.
Family and friends may sign the online guestbook and share memories of David at www.fausettmortuary.com.