SALEM — Paul E. Bowman, 96, formerly of Columbiana and Green Township, died at a family home early Wednesday morning surrounded by family members who had cared for him during a season of declining health.
He was born September 7, 1925 on a farm in Beaver Township, Mahoning County, the son of Naomi (Shoup) and Ezra Samuel Bowman. His father died when he was seven years old. Shortly after, his mother married Irvin Bauman. Paul was raised during the Great Depression, his family moving several times for his father’s employment on the area farms. He attended several schools, including Boardman, North Lima, Springfield and Fairfield.
Paul served in the US Army Air Force during World War II in the South Pacific. His surprise at the forgiving nature of the Japanese people that he experienced immediately after the war, and then the call to a nonviolent Christian faith directed his later life towards things that make peace.
He married Ruth Arlene Detwiler on July 3, 1948 at the Detwiler farm in Beaver Township. Both were life members of Midway Mennonite Church, Columbiana, where he taught adult Sunday school, helped with building projects, and served with Ruth as a youth group counselor and on the council. of the church and the council of elders.
He worked as a kiln-placer at the Salem China Company until the company’s demise in 1967, then at a pottery in Sebring for a time. He sold life insurance for a while, did custom haulage with his own dump truck, and used his small tractor to do custom application of agricultural pesticides. After his training, he became a soil quality and livestock health consultant at Brookside Labs of New Bremen, Ohio, working with many farmers in Trumbull, Mahoning, and Columbiana counties. He later drove a straight truck to pick up eggs in Holmes and Wayne counties and then delivered food items to Columbiana, all for Landmark Foods of Columbiana. He also drove trucks for Green Valley Sod Farm of Boardman and then Panelmatic of Youngstown.
He and Ruth bought a farm on Middletown Road north of Greenford shortly after their marriage where they raised their children. There Paul developed a series of farming ventures that ended up being a flock of sheep of 100 ewes. He and Ruth moved to Roller Road in Green Township in 1988 and to Woodland Run in Columbiana in 2007. He most recently lived at The Meadows in Covington near Eastern Palestine.
He was an enthusiastic member of the Green Township Volunteer Fire Department for 49 years and was one of the first members of the department’s EMS team. He was also a zoning officer for Green Township for a time.
He is survived by his son, Greg (Ellen) Bowman of Greenford; and surviving daughter Lori, (Mark) Graber of Delavan Ill.; son-in-law John Bowman of Brookline, Ma.; brother, Lauren Bowman, of Salem; half-brothers Raymond (Judy) Bauman of Brooklyn, Ohio and David (Millie) Bauman of Telford, Pennsylvania: grandchildren Janna, Benjamin and Maria Bowman; Sarah and Phil Bowman; and Eli, Hannah, Paul and Rachel Graber; and 10 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his daughter, Joanne, and his wife, Ruth, who died on July 30, 2021.
A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Midway Mennonite Church, 13376 Columbiana-Canfield Road, Columbiana, with visitation scheduled for 10 a.m. The officiant will be church pastor Matthew Peterson. An outdoor memorial service will be held at the church on June 11.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to Midway Church or the Green Township Volunteer Fire Dept. PO Box 14 Greenford, Oh 44422. The family expresses their gratitude to the dedicated staff of Covington Rehabilitation of East Palestine and the caring and supportive staff of Ohio Living Hospice.
The family entrusted Seederly-Mong & Beck Funeral Home in Columbiana, Ohio with the arrangements for their loved one.
Family and friends are invited to visit www.seederly-mongandbeck.com to sign the guestbook or send private condolences.