Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Gary Lynn Bowman

Gary Lynn Bowman, 61, of Oxford, North Carolina, died Sunday, May 15, 2022 at UNC Hospitals after suffering a cardiac event.

Gary was born in Graham, on January 1, 1961. He moved with his family to Wallace in 1963, helping at the family livestock business, Wells Livestock Market, throughout his childhood and teen years. As a teen, one of Gary’s proudest accomplishments was achieving the rank of Eagle Scout in 1978. He did his best to live his life exemplifying the qualities of an Eagle Scout. He graduated from Wallace-Rose Hill High School in 1979.

In 1981, after their sophomore year at Carolina, 20 year-old Gary and Susan Lanier decided it was time to get married. They defied the odds and surprised many by having a wonderful, 40-year long marriage, two spectacular children with loving spouses and the best three grandchildren ever! Known as “G” to his grands, Gary loved telling everyone he met about his super-special grandchildren.

Upon graduation from The UNC-CH School of Pharmacy, Gary went to work for Mast Drug Company. Gary worked as manager of the Mast Siler City pharmacy before moving to the home office in Henderson. In 1994, Gary opened Professional Pharmacy of Oxford, which today is the only independent pharmacy in the area. Gary was very proud to serve the community he loved so much.

Born a Presbyterian, Susan convinced him to join the Methodist church after they were married. Gary held many leadership roles in each of the Methodist churches where he lived. At Oxford United Methodist Church he served as a trustee; was a member of the staff-parish committee, the endowment committee, church council, the building committee and was a senior high Sunday School teacher. He also cherished his time singing in the OUMC Chancel Choir for over 20 years.

Gary was an active member of the Oxford Rotary Club. He served a term as President, was Club Rotary Foundation Chair since 2010 and just received his Paul Harris +7 recognition pin.

Continuing his community service, Gary served as an officer of the Granville Health System foundation for 17 years, serving as president for 12 of those. He helped spearhead major fundraising campaigns, including the ER expansion, purchasing diagnostic equipment, updating medical facilities and awarding the Sam Perry Scholarship.

In 2016, Gary had the distinct honor of being awarded the John Penn Citizen Award as Granville County’s citizen of the year.

Gary always felt a strong since of loyalty to and gratitude for his education from the UNC-CH School of Pharmacy. He was a member of the UNC Pharmacy Alumni Association Board of Directors and served as president, member of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Foundation Board of Directors and he served as board chair. He was also a member of the UNC Chancellor’s Philanthropy Council. He received the Samuel B. Burris Award for Community Service for outstanding and unselfish civic, community and church volunteer service. He established the Gary and Susan Bowman Family Endowed Scholarship to support future generations of Carolina pharmacists.

The world’s most passionate Tar Heel, Gary loved to follow the Heels anywhere and everywhere. He criss-crossed the US for years cheering for (and sometimes yelling at) his beloved Heels. An active member of the Rams Club for over 30 years, he happily served on its Advisory Board. Gary established the Gary Bowman Family Endowed Women’s Basketball Scholarship in 2005.

Survived by his wife, Susan Lanier Bowman; daughter, Anna Blake Bowman Watkins and husband, Stephen Britt Watkins, of Wake Forest; son, Michael Caldwell Bowman and wife, Emily Guerin Bowman, of Charlotte; grandchildren, Elizabeth Lanier Watkins, Harris Blake Watkins and Scotland Ann Bowman; sister, Donna Bowman Powell and husband, David Powell, of Advance; sister-in-law, Sylvia Ward Bowman of Surf City; mother-in-law, Bettie Lois Lanier of Wake Forest; sister-in-law Harriet Volpe and husband Dave Volpe of Wake Forest; many nieces and nephews. Gary was blessed to have two brothers from another mother, Ross Powell and Bob Taylor. He also had two “work sisters,” Kelly Denny Claiborne and Beth Blackwell. He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Avalee Bowman and brother, Edward Neal Bowman.

A celebration of Gary’s life will be held Thursday, May 19 at 1 pm at Oxford United Methodist Church, The Reverend Jenny Wilson, presiding.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Gary L. Bowman Memorial Fund (Medical Equipment for Eleuthera), Union Bank, PO Box 429, Oxford, NC 27565. (Account # 1080007022)



  • Jan Fletcher Posted May 17, 2022 11:08 pm

    Linda and I are in shock. As we try to work through this our thoughts and prayers are with Gary’s family. May God bring you peace in this difficult time. We love you.

  • Kelly Powell Stout Posted May 17, 2022 11:55 pm

    As Ross Powell’s sister, we know how special Gary was to Ross and to so many other people. Our thoughts and prayers are with Susan and Gary‘s entire family at this sudden loss. May our creator God and the Lord over death give the Bowman family peace and comfort, and may the hope that is found in Jesus Christ full your hearts in the days ahead.

  • Susan and David Wicker Posted May 18, 2022 2:28 am

    Like everyone else, we were stunned and saddened after learning of Gary’s sudden and unexpected passing. His death is a tremendous loss for his family and the community at large. Gary contributed so much of his knowledge, generosity and leadership in everything he touched. He was a true pillar of the community. We offer our deepest condolences to Susan and the rest of the family.

  • Annette Evans Robinson Posted May 18, 2022 2:00 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with your entire family .

  • James Belcher Posted May 18, 2022 4:42 pm

    I just cant stop thinking Why this had to happen to a truly great man and his family Love from Sonny ???

  • Donna Rose Posted May 18, 2022 5:48 pm

    Jerry and I send our thoughts and prayers to the Bowman family and the Professional Pharmacy family.

  • Louis Mizelle Posted May 18, 2022 6:18 pm

    Susan, Gayle and I are so very sorry to hear about.Gary. Some of our best times were when we were working together in the Mast organization. He was always a confidante to me. Cherish your sweet memories and rest in God’s promises for Gary’s eternity.
    Grace, Peace, and Comfort, Louis and Gayle

  • Betty Blanton Posted May 18, 2022 6:53 pm

    Pete & I are so very saddened to hear. When Derry Giddings told us of Gary’s untimely heart attack we prayed God’s blessings. We just loved Gary’s parents & Bettie Lois. Susan & family, may time truly heal the hurt & void that is so present. We care. What an absolute set of hands and feet of God, your husband was. Thank you for a beautiful eulogy for all of us in Wallace & Rose Hill.

  • Katherine Belcher Posted May 18, 2022 11:23 pm

    TheBowman family are in your thoughts and prayers.May the love

    The Bowman family are in my thoughts and prayers.May love, family ,friends and memories bring you peace and comfort.

  • Angela Kashuba Posted May 19, 2022 1:43 am

    Deepest condolences to Gary’s family and friends from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Gary left us too soon. He was an incredible alum, and has left an enduring legacy of leadership and generosity. He will be greatly missed. We pray for peace and comfort for his family.

  • Bonnie Fussell White Posted May 19, 2022 1:49 am

    My family and I are so very sorry to hear about Gary. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • ernie averett Posted May 19, 2022 1:52 pm

    Gary was a fine fellow in every way. He always took time to chat with customers about sports, medicine ,or whatever. Our world would be far better off with more men in it like Gary.

  • Tim and Sharon O’Geary Posted May 19, 2022 3:17 pm

    Gary was an outstanding guy. He will certainly be missed. My wife and I are wishing you peace and strength during this difficult time.

  • Joe Haskins Posted May 19, 2022 3:18 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers to the Bowman family. It was a great experience and pleasure knowing Gary in Rotary and in his business. He was truly a great person. May God Bless you all now and in the future.

  • Tom and Diane Houlihan Posted May 19, 2022 3:21 pm

    Like everyone in our Salem Farm neighborhood we are saddened by the loss of Gary.. If you found his name in the dictionary it would say…kind, professional, community advocate, and servant leader. and of course wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. We extend our deepest sympathy to all of you in the family.

  • Brenda Ellington Posted May 19, 2022 3:23 pm

    I want to extend my condolences & prayers for Gary’s family. I never had to worry about my medications not being taken care of. I will miss seeing Gary’s smile whenever I saw him. His family have to be so proud to have had him as a husband, father, great grandfather & all other family members. God has received another “ANGEL” in Heaven🙏

  • Lisa Herring Mende Posted May 19, 2022 3:50 pm

    I’m so sorry to learn of this sad news. Gary was a fine person. He was a great husband and father. I don’t know of anyone who had a happier marriage than Gary and Susan. My condolences to the Susan, Anna Blake and Michael and to all who knew Gary and loved him.

  • Mark Moore Posted May 20, 2022 1:26 pm

    May God grant you strength each day and peace in the assurance that Gary is in heaven with our Father. Gary lived an impactful life and he left a great legacy. I am blessed to have known him. I enjoyed working with him at Mast Drug and I am proud of all that he accomplished in his personal and professional life. He will be missed. I will continue to keep the Bowman family in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Brenda Yancey Posted May 20, 2022 4:38 pm

    Family my prayer are with you and the staff at Professional Pharmacy. I have been getting my medicine at Professional Pharmacy almost as long as they been there. Gary was a wonderful and caring person. He just call me and sung Happy Birthday to me in April. Family you can be proud because the God in him showed towards all men. Gary is in the hands of our heavenly father. God received a great man of God. My the life her lived bring you comfort. God Bless You. Brenda Yancey

  • Polly Fussell Addison Posted May 21, 2022 11:49 am

    We are saddened to hear about Gary and are keeping you and your family in our prayers!
    Please know we care and can only imagine the pain this brings you. Polly and Marty Addison

  • Lisa Burton Posted May 23, 2022 10:41 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Gary was a great person. May God bless you now and in the future.

  • Ferrell Newton, Henderson Posted May 23, 2022 12:13 pm

    My deepest condolences to Susan and all the family. Mr. Bowman was one of the finest gentlemen I ever had opportunity to know while working at Granville hospital. He touched many lives and made a positive difference wherever he went. May good memories remain, and may God comfort you as only He can in the difficult days ahead.

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