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Paul Bowers
September 12, 1928 - May 13, 2019

Paul Bowers, 90, of Sioux City and formerly of Oelwein, passed away on Monday, May 13, 2019 at Brookdale Assisted Living in Sioux City.  Visitation will be from 4-7 PM on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at the Geilenfeld Funeral Home in Oelwein.  There will be a Masonic Service at 7 PM.  Funeral services will begin at 10:30 AM on Friday, May 24, 2019 at Grace United Methodist Church in Oelwein.  Interment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery at Oelwein.  A memorial fund has been established.

Paul Edward Bowers was born on September 12, 1928 in College Springs, IA to parents George and Phyllis (Livengood) Bowers.  He graduated from Amity High School in College Springs with the class of 1946. From working at the jewelry store to the railroad, he started his career working for Brown’s Shoe Fit Co. in Clarinda, IA in 1949.  He joined the Army National Guard and served his country honorably.  On July 28, 1947 he was united in marriage to Carolyn Reed in Omaha, NE.  In 1956, Paul and family moved to Oelwein where he owned and managed Brown’s Shoe Fit Co. until his retirement in 1990.  Following his retirement, Paul worked as a Funeral Home Assistant with the Geilenfeld Funeral Home and as driver for the Oelwein Ambulance for many years.  Paul enjoyed fishing, camping, travelling, gardening, and was a skilled woodworker.  He loved Oelwein and served faithfully as a member and president of Rotary Club, Oelwein Industrial Development Corporation, Chamber of Commerce and as their ambassador, Oelwein Downtown Betterment Corporation as well as other community groups.  Paul was named Man of the Year, Business Person of the Month, and Personality of the Week. His church was important to him and was a faithful member while serving in various church positions. Paul was a longtime member (1957) of the Hebron Masonic Lodge #374 and Eastern Star of Oelwein. With his charm and charisma, Paul had a heart of gold when it came to children.  He could get babies to smile and kids to giggle and no one could turn down the Treasure Chest filled with goodies at the shoe store. Paul volunteered at Harlan School reading to children after he retired. He was very creative and the shoe store was decorated for holidays to The Teen Scene to the children’s circus platform. Paul won first place in the nation for his window display for a national brand boot company. His creativity showed at home as well as he won many contests for his outside Christmas decorations and the waving Santa. Paul loved people, but most important in Paul’s life was his family. From his children to grandchildren to his great grandchildren, he left priceless memories for all.  He was a legend with many stories and smiles.

Left to celebrate Paul’s life is his wife, Carolyn; his children: Steven (Shari) Bowers of Waterloo, Susan (Ron) Didier of Le Mars and David (Kathy) Bowers of Mingo; his grandchildren: Dr. Thomas (Michelle) Didier, Kathy (Patrick) Vigneron, Ryan Bowers, Elizabeth (Nick) Burgus, Shawn (Jaclyn Resh) Bowers, Spencer (Madi Peters) Bowers, Krista (Jeremiah) Keltner and Dr. Amy (Dr. Dalton) Ebel; his 15 great-grandchildren; his sisters: Mary (John) Hixson and Delores Bragg; his sister-in-law Rose Blok and several nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother Kenny Bowers; his brothers-in-law: Dick Blok and Harold Bragg; and his sister-in-law Darlene Bowers.

Thank you to Hospice of Siouxland, to the staff at Brookdale Assisted Living, and to Chuck at Geilenfeld Funeral Home for their love, support,and care of Paul. 


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Jon Gillespie on May 25, 2019 at 3:49 PM said:

So sorry to hear of such a great man leaving this earth, but so happy to know where he sits today. The man that gave me an opportunity to not work for him, but to work beside him. A young man in high school, he not only taught me his trade, taught me to trout fish, taught me to laugh, taught me about life. Paul did not tell you what or how you should do things, but lived his everyday life as a shining example to follow. He was steadfast in all he did, and all he believed. I look at his list of accomplishments, those were not so much the things he did, but they were him. Think about it, when you say Brown's shoe fit, do you think of the shoe store downtown or do you think about Paul. What about Rotary club, what about his church, what about his family? Paul Bowers. Although the years took me in my own path and i did not know Paul as he served in some of the things in his later life, I'm pretty sure the answer is the same. I have told a hundred different people over the years about memories of my time with Paul. Even now i find myself reflecting back. I find myself remembering just how much he directed my life. We will miss you Paul.
Sheryl Gosse, Dick/Dalene Gosse on May 22, 2019 at 9:31 PM said:

Susan and all family: We all feel your loss. Your dad was a good man, parent, neighbor and friend to many. Many memories shared here, on the Oelwein page and in the next few days. It was a pleasure to work with your dad amongst other Oelwein businessmen when I worked at Chamber. Enjoyed shopping at your dad's shoe store. Take care of mom, glad she is closer to you all. Cherish all these memories you will hear in the next few days. Be close to family always, you all need each other. Your angel in heaven. See you soon. Same goes from friends who wrkd with your mom: Sherrie and Susan.
Barbara (Hill) Sudduth, Jean Hill on May 19, 2019 at 10:17 AM said:

As the neighbors across the street on 7th Avenue NE we were always so fortunate to have years of friendship. Paul was always ready to join in a friendly conversation at the end of the driveway....willing to render a hand...and flash a warm smile. He was one of those people who was a positive influence on others.
We all can think abuot those who come into our lives....there is always a reason. We are meant to learn from one another.Paul's enthusiasm and genuine interest in others is most definitely a lesson he shared with us.
Paul has earned his Heavenly reward....many times over. To Caroline, Steve, Susan and the entire family the Hill family extends our support and thankfulness . We are better for having known you all. We offer our prayers that you will fin d comfort in God's love. Mom (Jean Hill) is quite elderly, suffering from dementia and heart failure. She remembers Paul and was saddened by his passing. God Bless you all, Barbara Hill Sudduth
Pat Arthaud on May 19, 2019 at 7:16 AM said:

To the Bowers family:
Please accept my sincere sympathy on the passing of Paul. He was a special person who always put others first in what-ever he participated. All of our family were customers at the Brown's Shoe Fit store. His smile radiated his personality. My sister enjoyed being his employee for he treated her very well. Heaven has received an angel.
Suzette Hurst (Foster) on May 17, 2019 at 9:29 AM said:

I am flooded with memories reading this. What a treat it was to go to Brown's & get a treat from the chest. His window displays were amazing. He was one of a kind! My sympathies to his family.
Nancy & Lyle Miller on May 17, 2019 at 5:42 AM said:

Please accept our sincere condolences. Paul was a great community supporter. May the Lord be with him.
Ruth Ann Meyer on May 16, 2019 at 6:29 PM said:

While I didn't know Paul personally, I do remember him as being kind and always getting me shoes that fit correctly as was growing up. He was also the man who fit our daughters for their first white high top shoes, and yes I remembered the treasure chest. Heaven has another angel.
GEORGE WHALEN on May 16, 2019 at 3:30 PM said:


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