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 www.starks-menchinger.com
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.