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)