John Carey “Jody” Bowman, 97, Richmond, died Tuesday, May 14, 2019, at his home surrounded by his loving family.

Jody was born Dec. 3, 1921, in Wakenda Township, Ray County, the son of William and Velva Lee “Velvie” (Still) Bowman. He was united in marriage to Julia Marie “Judy” Kraft of Henrietta on June 3, 1946. She preceded him in death Dec. 14, 2017.

At 14, Jody went to work for Tommy Clark as top hand in a coal mine. His next job was from age 15 to 18 years old, working at a garment factory. Jody then proudly served his country in the U.S. Army as a Jeep driver in World War II. After returning from the war, he worked for a short time for Lake City.

For the next 42 years, he worked in construction as a heavy equipment operator. Jody was the only 70-year member of the Operating Engineers Local Union No. 101 AFL-CIO, and he built everything from county roads to interstate highways. Jody retired in 1986.

He and Judy started playing music together before they were married and were well-known area musicians. Jody played the fiddle, and Judy played the guitar. Jody played the fiddle from age 9 to 97. He was a member of the Richmond First Baptist Church.

Survivors include: three daughters, Beverlee June (James) Duvall of Lexington, Patricia “Lynne” (Gary) Bales of Kansas City and Johnna Lee Johnson of Richmond; five grandchildren, Piper (Dr. James) Sparks, Brett Duvall, Christopher (Connie) Brown, Timothy Brown and Brandon Bales; 10 great-grandchildren, Robyn (Alfred) Tuwei, James Duvall, Cullen Bryant, Mariah (Keifer) Dennis, Lauren Bryant, Devin Brown, Jodie Marie Brown, Kathy Brown, Travis Brown and Mackenzie Brown; and six great-grandchildren, Nyla Tuwei, Emma Davis, Braxton Brown, Taraji Tuwei, Ryker Dennis and Gunner Lee McNelly.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; one brother, Ray Bowman; three half-brothers, Clyde Bowman, Reed Bowman and Gene Bowman; two sisters, Wilma Wilson and Dorothy Clark; and one half-sister, Blanche Bowman.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Richmond First Baptist Church Handicap Construction Fund. They can be left at or mailed to Thurman Funeral Home, 507 E. Main St. - P.O. Box 190, Richmond, MO 64085.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m., Monday, May 20, 2019, at Richmond First Baptist Church. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m., Sunday, May 19, 2019, at Thurman Funeral Home in Richmond. Burial will be in Wakenda Cemetery, north of Hardin, 300 feet from where he was born. Online condolences may be left at

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