Sept. 25, 2019 — It is with great honor and heartbreak that his family announces the death of Dr. Fred Bower, age 93, on Aug. 25, 2019.
Born April 25, 1926, Dr. Bower left this world the same way he entered into his 67 1/2-year marriage, holding the hands of his beloved Julie as she declared her love for him one last time.
Over their six decades together, Julie was the center of his world. Together they raised three sons (Brad, Ed and Fred) and taught them the importance of love and family, ran a thriving medical practice, traveled and welcomed 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren (with one on the way), all while remaining very much in love.
A fixture at the Florence Events Center and in the Rhody parade, they were happiest when together, where Julie’s fun-loving and outgoing nature was the perfect compliment to Fred’s quiet, thoughtful manner.
A student and a soldier.
A healer and a hunter.
A hiker and a sailor.
A lover of poetry and corny jokes.
Like the crew cut he sported for 50 years, he was classic, steadfast, reliable and timeless. His desire to learn and explore never waned, and he enjoyed nothing more than sharing a recent article or book he’d read.
He was strong in his beliefs but maintained an open mind, unless it came to such topics as the Ohio State Buckeyes or the Beavers clear superiority over the Ducks.
Fred wasn’t one to brag about his accomplishments, so we’ll do it for him.
A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Fred graduated Summa Cum Laude in Bacteriology from Ohio State and received his Doctor of Medicine in 1953. He gave back to the medical community as a Board Diplomat with the American Board of Family Physicians, as a member of the American Academy of General Practice, and as a Board Member for Western Lane Hospital for 13 years.
He served in the Air Force as a ham radio operator during World War II and was a Civil Air Patrol Commander. In his free time, Fred served as a Troop Guide for the Oregon Trail Council Boy Scout Troop #777, and restored both a 1931 Model A and 1914 Oldsmobile (a Stanley Steamer was in process at the time of his death).
As an antique car aficionado, he was a member of the Horseless Carriage Club, the Model T Ford Club and the Model A Ford Club, and a Charter Member of the Rhododendron Festival Booster Club. He also authored several published articles about old cars and ham radios, sharing both his knowledge and his unfailing quick wit.
A funeral mass celebrating his well-lived life will be held Saturday, Oct. 5, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary, Our Lady of the Dunes Catholic Church in Florence.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to the St. Mary’s Youth Program or to Boy Scout Troop #777.
Additionally, here are a few suggestions from his family on how best to remember Dr. Bower: Take a hike, restore an antique car, go sailing, read a book, go camping, use puns frequently and with abandon, show kindness and compassion, go hunting, operate a ham radio, go fishing, or have a piece of apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese on it.
And coffee — black.