Cover photo for William "Bill" L. Bowen's Obituary
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1933 William "Bill" 2021

William "Bill" L. Bowen

September 15, 1933 — September 17, 2021

William “Bill” L. Bowen, 88, of Rockford, IL, passed away on Friday, September 17, 2021. He was born on September 15, 1933 in Dodgeville, WI to Thomas and Edna (Holland) Bowen. He was the youngest of 8 children. Bill grew up in Lancaster, WI and graduated from Lancaster High School. In 1952 he joined the US Navy and served his country until 1956. He proudly served on the USS Wasp. After serving in the Navy, Bill graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Platteville with his Bachelor degree in Education. While attending college he met the love of his life, Barbara Vinger. The two of them married in August 1960 and then moved to Rockford, IL. Bill attended and graduated from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, IL with a Master Degree in Education. He was a lifelong educator and worked many years in the Rockford Public School district. He was a Teacher, Counselor, Assistant Principal, Principal, and ended his education career as a Superintendent. Education was very near and dear to Bill’s heart and he wanted all of his children to go to college and they all did earning their bachelor degrees, which he was very proud of. Bill loved Rockford, IL and told his family that “Rockford has always been very good to our family”. He was an advid Antique collector and enjoyed woodworking, camping, and his Bulldogs, Max and Spike. Bill wore and always looked good in hats; his nickname was “Hatman”. He loved spending time with his family. Bill and his wife, Barbara often took trips to Colorado and North Carolina to spend time with their three children and grandchildren. Bill will be missed by all that knew and loved him.

Bill is survived by his wife of 61 years, Barbara; his children, Thomas (Kelly) Bowen of Grand Junction, CO, Andrew (Diane) Bowen, of Rockford, IL, and Jennifer (Andrew) Laase, of Fruita, CO; his grandchildren, Will Stephens and Owen Stephens, both of Colorado; his sister, Alice Gibson, of Lake Forest, IL; his brother, Bruce Bowen, of Birmingham, AL; and numerous brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings, Thomas, Jack, Louise, Betty and Helene.

Cremation rights will be accorded. There will be a private memorial service with family and friends at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the family for a memorial to be established at a later date. Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory assisted the family. 1860 S. Mulford Rd., Rockford, IL 61108. Share online memories and condolences at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William "Bill" L. Bowen, please visit our flower store.


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