Pat Roy Bowling was born on October 25, 1911, the son of John Perry and Viola Priscilla (Keys) Bowling. He departed this life on September 23, 2011 at his home near Elk Creek, Missouri, surrounded by family at the age of 99 years, 10 months and 29 days.
Pat was born in a Soddy dugout near Blanchard, Oklahoma, and grew up in Oklahoma and Texas. His family’s first move to Texas when he was a child was in a covered wagon.
Pat accepted Jesus Christ as his savior at a young age and was baptized into the Methodist church. He attended Elk Creek Baptist Church for years after moving to Missouri.
He worked many different jobs in his youth, from breaking horses to playing the fiddle, guitar and singing for barn dances. During the Depression days, Pat hopped freight trains to travel the country looking for work. Pat and his brother supported their mother, three sisters and a niece following their father’s death. He and his family moved to Glendale, Arizona, in 1938 where he was employed as a foreman on a cotton farm and then as an aircraft mechanic until he was inducted into the Army Air Corps on September 23, 1942.
On October 3, 1942, Pat married the love of his life, Florence Loretta Ayres, in Siloam, Arizona, before reporting for active military duty on October 8, 1942. He served his country honorably as crew chief, flight line engineer and B-17 navigator in the South Pacific theatre during World War II for over three years and served in the Reserves for two years.
Upon discharge from active duty, Pat and Florence moved to Orville, Washington, with their infant son. Pat was employed on an apple farm for some time. They then settled in Phoenix, Arizona, where the remainder of their children were born. Pat worked for the Civil Service for several years before moving to Missouri in 1957, where he worked for McDonnell-Douglas in St. Louis as an aircraft mechanic. During periods of layoff, he worked at Ayres Food Center in Cabool, Missouri. He retired to the family farm near Elk Creek in 1972.
Pat loved the outdoors and enjoyed hunting and fishing. He always had horses until the later years of his life. He enjoyed music and played the fiddle and guitar by ear. Many nights he entertained his family with music. He was an avid reader and loved to travel. Pat and Florence took their children on car trips to most of the continental United States, traveling old Route 66 several times. He was a member of Cabool Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 473 for many years and had served a term as post commander.
Pat was preceded in death by his parents; one brother; five sisters; his eldest son, Bobby Wayne Bowlin;g and one granddaughter.
He is survived by his wife, Florence of the home; three children, David Bowling and wife Linda of Cabool, Jerry Bowling and wife Marge of Cabool and Anita Hudgens and husband Ivan of Laquey, Missouri; two sisters, Clemie McGarr of Duncan, Oklahoma, and Mary Ayres of Springfield, Missouri; 12 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren and a large number of cousins, nieces and nephews.
Graveside services were at 2:00 p.m. Monday, September 26, 2011, at the Bowling Family Cemetery near Elk Creek with Rev. Scott Williamson officiating. Pallbearers were Bronson, Kevin and Robby Bowling, Gary McElyea, Robert Brooks and Rob Cox. Interment with full military honors was in the Bowling Family Cemetery under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool.
Online condolences may be made at www.egcfuneralhome.com.