Roland Bowman

Roland Harvey Bowman Sr.

Saturday, April 29th, 1939 - Monday, January 11th, 2021
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Roland Harvey Bowman Sr., 81, of Benton Harbor, passed away peacefully after a long battle with MDS on Monday, January 11, 2021 in St Joseph, MI.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, January 16th at 10:00am at St Bernard’s Catholic Church, 555 E. Delaware Ave., Benton Harbor, with Fr. James Adams officiating. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Watervliet. Friends may visit with the family on Friday, January 15th from 5:00-7:00pm at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St Joseph. Memorial donations in Roland’s name may be made to Sts John and Bernard Catholic Church, Lake Michigan Catholic Schools or Caring Circle Hospice. Those wishing to sign Roland’s Memory Book online may do so at

Roland was born April 29th, 1939 in Buffalo, NY to Daniel and Rolande Bowman. He grew up in New Jersey and served his country in the Air Force before settling in Michigan, where he worked for Volkswagen of America out of Grand Rapids. On July 8th, 1967 he married the love of his life, Carole Rita Culver at St John’s Catholic Church. They cherished 52 beautiful years together. His love for Carole was immeasurable, and he spent many years caring for her throughout her long battle with Parkinson’s while also battling cancer and MDS until her passing in June 2020.

After working for Volkswagen, he continued to work in the automotive parts industry and courageously attended college at the age of 51 earning an Associates degree before concluding his career and retiring as a bus dispatcher from Benton Harbor Area Schools. He was a lifelong and devout member of Sts John and Bernard Catholic Church and was also an active member of the Knights of Columbus. He was proud of the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren and was proud to have all four of his children graduate from college.

Roland was known for his unfaltering devotion to his family, which were his greatest pride and joy. He spent many hours with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He enjoyed games with them such as horseshoes, bowling, chess, golf, badminton, and a much loved family card game known as “Pounce”. Roland loved playing games, but would never let you win. When you would finally beat him at a game, it was a huge sense of accomplishment, as you had to earn that win fair and square. He would proudly attend sporting events for his children and grandchildren and took pride in teaching them all how to drive when they came of age. Roland was a proud cancer survivor and took pleasure in sharing his journey with others. He loved to travel and would never sleep the night before a trip. His favorite trips included seeing Italy, and visiting family in New Jersey.

Roland is survived by his children- Audrey (Michael) Salesberry of St Joseph, Roland (Lisa) Bowman Jr. of Bean Blossom, IN, Nancy (Cliff) Miller of St Joseph, Natalie (Jay) Lawless of Clinton Township, MI; eight grandchildren, Jacqueline (Chase) Wagner, Jennifer (Jake) Zerrenner, Joseph (Kimberly) Schneck, Justin (Jamie) Schneck, Logan and Jacob Miller, Abigail Bowman and Hunter Lawless; three step-grandchildren Jonathon (Beth) Salesberry, Taylor (Jeramie) Spears, George Lawless; great grandchildren, Joshua Dohm, Christian Wagner, and Baby Wagner due in March; two step-great grandchildren Mathew and Cadence Salesberry; three sister-in-laws Mary Zielke, Judy Uphues, and Ruth (Jerry) Still; two brothers in laws Rich Ackerman, and Bruce Cole; and several nieces and nephews including a beloved niece, Debbie Dibble, that considered him an adopted father.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Carole, his parents Daniel and Rolande, his brother John, and sisters Danielle Ackerman and Jacqueline Bowns.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, January 15th, 2021 | 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    Friday, January 15th, 2021 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    Starks & Menchinger Chapel
    2650 Niles Rd.
    St. Joseph, MI 49085
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, January 16th, 2021 | 10:00am
    Saturday, January 16th, 2021 10:00am
    St. Bernard's Catholic Church - Benton Harbor
    555 E. Delaware
    Benton Harbor, MI 49022
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Masks & Social Distancing will be required for both the Visitation & Service.

    Memorial donations in Roland's name may be made to St. John/St. Bernard Parish, Lake Michigan Catholic Schools or Caring Circle Hospice.
  • Interment

    St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery-Watervliet
    7671 Red Arrow Hwy.
    WATERVLIET, MI 49098
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence

Suzanne, Jason, Laura, Serah and Casey

Posted at 10:30am
Our warmest condolences, sending love and hugs to you at this time.

3 trees were planted in the memory of Roland Bowman

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Heartfelt Sympathies

Posted at 10:36am
Memory of Rolland Bowman, outstanding Husband, Father, Grandfather! Tom & Donna Albertson, Rick & Kellie Carlson

3 trees were planted in the memory of Roland Bowman

Plant a tree

Eric R Johnson

Posted at 03:32pm
Recently learned of Roland's passing. We were friends in grade school and high school and had recently reconnected by phone. We had a great time growing up in Allendale and I will miss our phone chats. A really nice person, how lucky I was to have known him.
Eric Johnson
350 Lakeshore West
Lake Quivira, KS 66217

Stacy Rathgeb

Posted at 08:52am
So very sorry for your loss... I always enjoyed the big family get togethers at Mary's. My deepest condolences to the family....

Rev. William J. Jacobs, Jr.

Posted at 07:03am
Greetings to Roland's Family & friends! I knew and Ministered to him for twelve (12) years at SS John & Bernard Parish. He was a good man & a good friend!. I was impressed by his participation in various activities - a very loyal & active member of the Knights while I was there. I will offer a Mass for him & know that I will continue to remember him in my thoughts and prayers.
I'm so very pleased that he was a part of my journey.
His former pastor,
Father Bill Jacobs
SS John & Bernard Parish

Willie.morrow Posted at 02:44pm

Farewell my friend I just wanted to say thank you for being my friend and hopefully I will see you again and heaven. I will always remember you my friend. Rest Well

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