Landscapes 09

William "Bill" Barns Bowen

December 18, 1942 ~ February 2, 2024 (age 81) 81 Years Old


William Barns Bowen, 81, went to be with his Lord and Savior on February 2, 2024. Bill was born on December 18, 1942, in Tazewell, Virginia. Bill earned a Bachelor of Science in History, and then a Master of Science in Education & Administration from East Tennessee State University, before starting his career as a high school football coach in Richlands, Virginia. Ultimately, his destiny was to become a professional fundraiser for more than 50 years. He raised millions of dollars for dozens of non-profit organizations including Ferrum College, Virginia United Methodist Homes (VUMH, now called Pinnacle Living), and Alexian Brothers of the Southeast, in Chattanooga. Bill achieved the designation of Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) early in his successful career.

One of his greatest accomplishments was his leadership on an $81 million construction project for VUMH. Cedarfield, a continuous care retirement center with 55 cottages and 500+ apartments for independent, assisted living, memory care, and nursing home care, was built on 90 acres in Richmond and completed in 1997. Prior to full retirement well into his 70’s, Bill and his wife, Barb, had their own fundraising consulting firm, Bowen & Bowen, LLC, in Chattanooga, TN from 2009 to 2022.

Bill was preceded in death by his father, William Rees Bowen, Jr., his mother, Kathryn Painter Bowen, his late wife Ann Parks Bowen, and his best friend/former brother-in-law Wade St. Clair. Survivors are his wife, Barbara Brown Bowen, children William Rees Bowen, III (Heather) and Margaret Bowen Elrod (Jeff), George Monroe Brown IV, Logan Lee Brown (Hillary), his sister Kathryn Bowen St. Clair, niece Tiffany St. Clair, and six grandchildren, Thomas Bowen, Jack Bowen, H.R. Elrod, Henry Elrod, Ann Catherine Elrod, and Alice Brown.

Bill will be remembered as a good soul and a fine man with deep humility, great listening skills, and a kind heart. He thoroughly enjoyed college football and was a loyal Virginia Cavaliers fan. Most remarkably Bill is known for his sense of humor and his tenacity living with Parkinson’s Disease since 2013 which created serious challenges with speech and mobility. In spite of that, he often had a story and a punch line that made everyone smile. He said, “I may have Parkinson’s, but Parkinson’s doesn’t have me!” And Parkinson’s was not the cause of death, so he triumphed over that chronic condition. His devoted wife of 18 years provided full-time care allowing him to enjoy his home, his family, and his community until the final hour.

A memorial service will be held at Heritage Funeral Home in Fort Oglethorpe, GA on Saturday, February 10, 2024. Visitation at 2:00 p.m., memorial service at 4:00 p.m. Bill pre-arranged his cremation, and his ashes will be planted with a tree in the forest along the Tennessee River. Bill expressed his preference for no flowers for his service. Please consider a memorial gift to a non-profit organization near and dear to Bill’s heart, YCAP/YMCA (1600 Central Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37408) or the Michael J. Fox Foundation, whose work is advancing the efficacy of Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s patients. Bill had a DBS transmitter for more than a decade and it neutralized all trembling, adding significantly to his quality of life.

Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home & Crematory, Battlefield Parkway.


February 10, 2024

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Heritage Funeral Home & Crematory (Ft. Oglethorpe)
3239 Battlefield Pkwy
Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742

Memorial Service
February 10, 2024

4:00 PM
Heritage Funeral Home Chapel - Ft. Oglethorpe
Heritage Funeral Homes
Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742


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