Byron Oliver Bowen

March 18, 1932 ~ October 24, 2018 (age 86)
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Byron O. Bowen of New Franklin, Ohio, died Oct. 24, 2018. Byron was born in Akron, Ohio, on March 19, 1932. He graduated from Kenmore High School in 1950. In November, 1951, he enlisted in the Navy during the Korean War. Later, Byron identified those four years as "the best years of my life." In the Navy he served as an airman on the USS Sicily CVE-118 on the starboard catapult crew as a bridle catcher, bridle hook up, and eventually hook runner (one of the five most dangerous jobs in the Navy). He served in the Yellow Sea on the West Coast of Korea. Later, he served on the USS Wasp CVA-18. Byron was released from active duty in November, 1955. Returning to Akron, Byron enrolled at the University of Akron, graduating in 1959 with a degree in business. He worked for 34 years at area banks in Akron and Canton beginning as a teller with Evans Savings and Loan and becoming an assistant vice president with First Federal Savings of Canton. After retiring, Byron enjoyed gardening and was an avid reader of WWII and Korean War history. As a child he loved visiting his grandparents' farm in southern Ohio, where he acquired a deep love of animals, especially horses, dogs, and cats and supported animal rescue centers. Byron's life was characterized by his humility, loyalty, strong work ethic, and respect for authority. He will be greatly missed. Byron is preceded in death by his wife, Kay Ann Conry Bowen; mother, Florence Jenkins Bowen; his father, Joseph G. Bowen; and his sister, Betty J. Bowen. He is survived by his two faithful cats, JB and Mandy, his niece, Rebecca Bowen McCray; her husband Christopher, and their four children. His neighbors Kim and Steve Dies and their three sons have been an amazing source of friendship and support to him for many years. They can never be thanked enough. A private committal service at Manchester Cemetery with a military salute will occur Nov. 16, 2018.

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