My father William Emery Bowen was born on August 19, 1910 to Mr. Wilfred Farmer Bowen and Mrs. Ethel Blanche Jane Bowen, daughter of John Frost Emery and Jane Tucker Emery. Wilfred and Ethel were emigrants from Abergavenny, Wales who were employed as itinerant railroad cooks at the time of their son's birth in the state of Washington.

The Bowens made their permanent home in Spokane, Washington, where Emery attended Franklin Elementary School, Lewis and Clark High School, and Kinman Business University. He graduated with a diploma in Business Administration in February 1931.

Emery's first adult job began on May 16, 1931 with his employment in the National Park Service at Glacier National Park. He worked there as a civil service clerk until August 6, 1936. At that time, he resigned his position and began a new job with the United States Forest Service on August 10, 1936 at Salmon, Idaho.

While skiing one winter day with a group of friends, Emery met a young schoolteacher named Marie Jane DeWinter, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Adrian DeWinter of Moscow, Idaho, who was out on a lark with her sisters and friends. Mom would later tell us that she fell in the snow, and when her sister tried to help her, she was told to go away so that the tall, red-headed guy would come over and help. He did, and he shared a Hershey bar with her.

They were married on July 3, 1939 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with Emery’s Mom acting as a witness. Because she was a married woman now, Marie’s teaching position was terminated by the school board. Even so, the newly married couple was able to buy their first home.

When it became apparent that they would become parents, Emery found a better paying job as a civilian supply clerk with the United States Army Air Force at Gowan Field in Boise, Idaho. He began work there on April 1, 1941. They bought a small home, and their first son was born.

In 1944, Emery joined the United States Navy, and Marie moved with her son William to Spokane, where they lived with Emery’s parents. Marie worked at the Naval Supply Base at Velox, and Bill stayed home with grandmother, helping her bake cookies and play the piano. The Bowen home on Mt. Vernon Street was a magical place of books, flowers, forest, music, and loving family. The only worries were for the safety of Emery and his younger brother Harry, both of whom served in the navy.

After his return from the service in 1946, Emery was re-employed by the Air Force as a civilian at Walla Walla Air Field. He moved his family there in April 1946, and they lived at Fort Walla Walla while he helped direct the closure of the base.

In January 1947, Emery transferred to Travis Air Force Base, where he would remain employed until his retirement in 1972. At that time he was serving as the Comptroller of the 60th Air Base Group. As a testament to his intelligence and financial acumen, he was promoted to this position even though it normally required a Ph.D. or equivalent degree. His outstanding work was officially recognized by the Air Force on several occasions. In 1972, he was awarded the Military Airlift Command’s Outstanding Achievement Award for resources conservation.

William Emery Bowen died peacefully early in the morning of October 8, 2000 as a result of complications from severe pneumonia and congestive heart disease.

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