Cover photo for Harry L. Bowen's Obituary
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1931 Harry 2017

Harry L. Bowen

June 25, 1931 — June 22, 2017

Harry L. Bowen of Ruckersville, Virginia passed away on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at the age of 85.

Harry was born in Norway, Maine on June 24, 1931, son of the late Harry Lawrence Bowen and Bessie Murphy Bowen.

Harry attended New Gloucester High School where he excelled in both basketball and baseball. In the early spring of 1949 he was invited to attend a tryout for the Boston Red Sox later than summer, but Harry contracted polio and missed the tryout.

Harry was admitted to the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center in Fishersville, Virginia during his rehabilitation therapy and while there he met his future wife and soulmate, Linda, and the pair was married on June 21, 1957. They enjoyed the next 59 years together until Linda’s death on February 4, 2017.

Harry became a bookkeeper and office manager and worked for a number of automobile dealerships in the area.

In 1982, Harry joined the newly formed Charlottesville Cardinals wheelchair basketball team and quickly became one the team’s outstanding members. Harry became the primary fundraiser for the team and one of his first projects was to persuade many of the automobile dealerships to buy a sports wheelchair for the team, with their logo painted on the back of their chair. Harry retired from playing in 1999 but continued his active participation with the team until his death.

Harry joined the Board of Directors of the Independence Resource Center of Charlottesville, Virginia in 1987 and became a very strong advocate for the rights of people with disabilities in the region. He stepped down from the Board in 1994 but his advocacy work never diminished. He rejoined the Independence Resource Center in 2006 as peer advocate and retired in April 2017.

Harry was also employed by Carmike Cinema for many years and was “Employee of the Year.” He warmly greeted everyone there with a smile.

Harry is survived by his son, Sam Bowen and his wife, Yang; brother, Edward Bowen and his wife, Gail; grandson, Samuel Peterson.

Memorial contributions may be made in Harry’s memory to the Independence Resource Center of Charlottesville, 815 Cherry Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22903.

At Harry’s request, all services will be private.

An online guestbook is available at

Ryan Funeral Home of Ruckersville is in charge of arrangements.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harry L. Bowen, please visit our flower store.


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