Bob Bowman's Legacy
By Deborah Burkett
A legacy is built of good works and interactions with one's fellow man. Some deeds make a huge splash, others are quite small unassuming acts never noticed by the general public. Bob Bowman's legacy included both.
Owner of Bowman & Associates, a Lufkin based agency which served clients throughout the U.S., Bob was also one of Texas' notable historians and a long-time community leader. His philanthropic efforts included scholarships supporting budding journalists. He and his wife Doris were the authors of more than 45 books about East Texas.
A synonym for legacy is gift. Bob left behind many gifts such as his books; stories meant to put a smile on your face. In fact Bob's book, If I Tell You a Hen Dips Snuff (1981) will make you laugh out loud.
While attending the memorial service at the Calvary Baptist Church in Lufkin I was struck by the heartfelt comments shared by Historian Dan K. Utley, "Bob and I became friends in the 70s when we served on the Texas State Historical Commission…Bob was the epitome of a good ole East Texas Boy, had a dry sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye…"
Closer to home, Bob and Doris Bowman made an everlasting impact when in 2009 they published A Century of the History of Troup 1850s - 1950s. Those of us serving on the book committee were neophytes to say the least but Bob and Doris held our hands every step of the way.
A quote penned by Mrs. Navoleine Roddy and printed on the acknowledgement page of the Troup history book reads, "The legacy of a community is preserved through the efforts of its people" and one might add through the efforts of a good publisher too!
(Bob Bowman, June 3, 1936 - July 13, 2013)
History of Troup Book Committee,
back row L. to R: Doris Bowman, Deborah Burkett, Mary Anne Coney, Bobby Neel and Bob Bowman.
Front row L. to R. Mildred Steele, Navoleine Roddy and Bonnie Hinkle. (Photo courtesy, Suzanne Loudamy, Tri- County Leader.)