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Fred Mitchell (Ted) Bowers, Jr., 92, of Cowgill, passed away from a cerebral hemorrhage on Friday, Nov. 16, 2007, at North Kansas City Hospital.
Fred was born near Cowgill on Sept. 19, 1915, the younger son of Fred Mitchell Bowers, Sr. and Ethel “Diddle” Bowers. He was raised on the farm and graduated from Easterville country grade school in 1929. He rode ponies to grade school, and five miles to Cowgill High School from which he graduated in 1933.
In childhood he had a musical talent. His mother was a pianist and accompanied him and his brother singing duets in the old Christian Church in south Cowgill. In high school he sang solos of popular music in school programs. He also played the trumpet some at that time.
Although small of stature, Ted was strong and nimble. In his youth he enjoyed serving as a jockey for some time riding racehorses at the Hamilton Fair, which was a big show in the 1920s. In army boot camp training he ran the obstacle course without effort while other recruits struggled to complete the course.
In years past young men enjoyed competing in feats of strength. Ted would back up to the rear fender of a Model T Ford and lift the wheels off the ground. Most of the crowd failed at the same feat.
In the late 1920s he went to Washington State with a Cowgill group to pick apples. Ted left the home farm in the mid 1930s and worked in Kansas City at various locations including Myron Green’s Restaurant.
Soon, WWII came and he was inducted into the army in 1941. He spent the war years in the Signal Corps in the South Pacific mostly in the area of New Guinea. After discharge, with a rank of Sergeant, he returned home to Cowgill. With G.I. Bill support, he attended a tech school in Kansas City for training in the budding air conditioning field. Following that, he was employed at Leslie Hines International Harvester dealership in Hamilton for a time.
On July 17, 1946, he married Mildred Beying, a native of Kansas. They had met while working at Kansas City before WWII. Ted then got employment with an oil pipeline building contractor transporting construction equipment in the area of Colorado and adjoining states. In a year or two, they returned to Cowgill and began a lifetime career in farming. He started on a small farm half a mile from his birthplace, gradually expanding. With a working wife and eventually, a working son, a successful farm operation was established.
Ted enjoyed hunting. The day before his fatal attack, he got a deer. In his prime, he was active in fox and coyote hunting activities. On occasion he was a judge in field trials of hunting hounds.
Through the years, he was associated with the Caldwell County Mutual Insurance Company at Kingston in various capacities. He enjoyed that work until health problems forced him into retirement.
Survivors include: one son and daughter-in-law, John Bowers and his wife, Connie; one brother and sister-in-law, Grafton Bowers and his wife, Estyl; one granddaughter and her family, Dawn Campbell and her husband, Edward, and their four children, Tyler, Brent, David and Tiffany; one grandson, Curtis Bowers; one nephew, Mitchell Bowers and his wife, Agnes; three nieces, Brenda Bonar and her husband, Forrest, Ellen Bowers, and Charlotte McCollough and her husband, James.
His parents and his wife, Mildred, preceded him in death.
Cremation. A private memorial service was held Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007 at the Cowgill Cemetery officiated by Pastor Wally Aubrey and assisted by the Polo American Legion Post.
Arrangements were under the direction of Bailey and Cox Funeral Home in Polo.