Bobby Dean Bowen of Newbern died October 12, 2021, at Jackson-Madison County
General Hospital. He was 89.
Born March 13, 1932, in Gibson County, Mr. Bowen was the son of Thomas Boyd
“George” Bowen, Sr., and Mamie Lee Dawson Bowen. At the age of two, his family
moved little more than a mile east onto the family farm in the Churchton
community of Dyer County. He graduated from Trimble High School in 1951, where
he was a member of the Trimble FFA Chapter and was named FFA’s West
Tennessee Star Farmer his senior year. He raised cotton, hogs, chickens, honey
bees, and black Angus cattle.
Upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Army, serving during the Korean War. He was
stationed for much of his tour as part of the motor pool division at Camp Carson,
outside Colorado Springs, Colorado. He later served in the Tennessee National
Mr. Bowen received his bachelor’s degree from Bethel College and master’s degree
from Murray State University. He completed an additional 45 hours of graduate
work from the University of Tennessee Martin. He worked for his entire 32-year
professional career with the Dyer County Schools, serving much of those years as
principal at Lenox, Dyer County Central, Roellen, and Newbern elementary schools.
He began his career teaching 6 th grade at Finley School and was a member of many
professional organizations, including the Dyer County Education Association, West
Tennessee Education Association, Tennessee Education Association, National
Education Association (life member), and the National Association of Elementary
He continued his lifelong farming operation following his retirement in 1991, raising
row crops and his beloved black Angus cattle. He later added pumpkins and
Katahdin breeding sheep. He was the fourth generation of his family to work the
farm, which has been in his family for 125 years and is listed in the Tennessee
Century Farm program. He was a member of the American Angus Association,
Tennessee and National Cattleman’s Association, Katahdin Hair Sheep
International, and Dyer County Farm Watch. He also completed the University of
Tennessee extension’s Master Beef and Advanced Master Beef programs.
He was a member of Mt. Carmel Methodist Church. He loved to hunt, fish, collect
tractor models and antique cameras, and work on cars; he traveled extensively,
including trips to Europe, Mexico, and Canada, as well as more than 35 states.
Funeral services for Mr. Bowen will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, October 16, in the chapel of
Johnson-Williams Funeral Home in Newbern, with Brother Tyler Neely and the Rev.
Mike Hickman officiating. Burial will follow at Yorkville Cemetery. Visitation will be
held Friday, October 15, from 5-7 p.m. at the funeral home.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Catherine Fay Travillian Bowen of Newbern;
two daughters, Patsy Bowen Peckenpaugh (Kim) of Dyersburg and Katherine “Katie”
Bowen Madden-Bruketta (Mark) of Dyer; one brother, Thomas Boyd Bowen Jr., of
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin; three sisters, his twin, Betty Jean Bowen Cannon (James
Russell) of Nashville, Joyce Ann Bowen Webb (Jim) of Hot Springs Village,
Arkansas, and Peggy June Bowen Reasons (Gaylon) of Eads,Tennessee; five
grandchildren, Cathryn Peckenpaugh French (Preston) of Newbern, Mary Evelyn
Peckenpaugh Ramsey (Skylar) of Covington, Zachery Wallace Bruketta (Cortney) of
New Orleans, Louisiana, David Austin Bruketta (Jessica) of Dyer, and Justin Mac
Bruketta of Dyer; and two great-grandchildren, Emma Kate French of Newbern,
and River Rhea Ramsey of Covington.
Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by one sister, Thelma Bowen Love.
Pallbearers will be Tim Hassell, Timothy Hassell, Troy Holder, Steve McLean, David Bruketta, Mack Zarecor, Keith Sims, Alan Sims and Perry Grills.
Online condolences may be made to the family at johnsonwilliamshome.com.
Johnson-Williams Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Bobby Dean Bowen
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