Robert Neal Bowers, Lt. Colonel United States Air Force (Ret.), passed away on
Sunday, September 2, 2012 at his home in Vienna, VA. He was the son of Neal and
Vera (Baker) Bowers, and spent his childhood in the Fishers and Noblesville areas.
He attended the original Fishers High School and graduated from Noblesville High School in 1953. He attended Purdue University and was commissioned in the United States Air Force as a Second Lieutenant. He became one of the Air Force’s top navigators, and went on to attain his dream of becoming an Air Force pilot, flying both helicopters and fixed wing airplanes. Robert was assigned to the 38th Aerospace Rescue Recovery Squadron as a search and rescue helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. He was a decorated Vietnam veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. His final assignment was with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon where he retired with 26½ years of service. After retirement, he worked in auto sales and management, and was a licensed real estate agent.
Robert is survived by his wife of 54 years, Shirley Pickett Bowers; children, Kimberly Griffiss and Mark Bowers of Vienna, VA; and grandson, James Griffiss, US Coast Guard. He is also survived by sisters, Margaret Roberts and Sharon Johnson of Noblesville; nieces and nephews, Carole (Phil) Collins, Breanne Scherer (Greg Oakes), Terry (Julie) Roberts and Ryan (Kelli) Scherer, of Noblesville, and Rob (Julie) Johnson of Orlando, Florida; five great-nieces, and three great-nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Sherilee Sue, and brothers, Terrence Kay, Keith Eugene, Terry Glenn and Leland Kent.
A celebration of Robert’s life was held in Vienna, Virginia on Saturday, September 15, 2012. He will be buried on January 24, 2013 in Arlington National Cemetery.
Memorials may be directed to the Wounded Warriors Project, www.WoundedWarriorProject.com, or mailed directly to P. O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675.
Acknowledgements may be directed to Shirley Bowers, 9808 Bridle Ridge Court, Vienna, Virginia 22180.