Charles W. "Bill" Bowler


March 20, 1926 -  December 17, 2013

Charles W. "Bill" Bowler, 87, died the evening of December 17, 2013, at his home on the shores of Lake Delta in the town of Lee. He is remembered by his family as one of those individual heroes that in America we have come to call the Greatest Generation.

He was born on March 20, 1926, in Fitchburg, MA, the son of the late Charles and Susanne Smith Bowler. During World War II he dropped out of high school and enlisted in the Army. He served as an airplane armorer gunner on B-24 heavy bombers in Italy. He had over 300 hours of flight time in the European Theater. After discharge, he returned to school for his high school credits and then attended the Utica campus of Syracuse University for a degree in education. He went on to earn a masters degree in education from Cortland State. In 1951 he signed his first contract to teach elementary school in the Rome Public Schools and spent his 35-year career as an educator teaching at Columbus School in Rome.

A few years after moving to Rome, Bill met Elizabeth Sullivan and on June 26, 1954. Bill and Betty were united in marriage in St. Peterís Rectory, Rome.

In addition to his jobs Bill enjoyed an array of hobbies including downhill skiing, boating, swimming, traveling, and others. He was a member of the Griffiss Ski Club, the Rome Retired Teachers Association, and the Rome Historical Society. He had an interest in a wide variety of cultural and historical organizations and contributed to many organizations. He was also a member of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Lee Center, where he served as an usher.

He is survived by his loving wife Betty; nephews Mark S. and wife Debra Puffer, Rome, James D. Puffer, Pompano Beach, FL, and Richard A. and wife Sylvia Puffer, Hartsville, S.C. He was predeceased by his nephew Thomas M. Puffer, wife Mary of Rome. The family wishes to thank and extend special recognition to caregivers Kim, Tashia, Shawn, Jessica, Allisha and Tara.

A Funeral Mass will be held beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 21, 2013, at St. Joseph Church, Lee Center. Family and friends are invited to attend calling hours on Friday 4-6 p.m. at Strong ≠ Burns & Sprock Funeral Home 401 North George Street, Rome. Interment will take place in Evergreen Cemetery.

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