It is with mixed emotions that I must report the passing of my father John Ryburn Bowden. He has made is final flight toward the heavens and will be missed by all who knew him. Missed for his kind spirit, his love of aviation, and for the way he generously shared that passion with others. Yet we are relieved that he will no longer suffer through his courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease and other illnesses.
Many aviation enthusiasts have fond memories of attending one of the annual fly-ins hosted by my Dad and Mom over a span of 14 years from the late 1970's through the early 1990's. Some of those years, there were two (2) fly-ins. Attended by folks from all over the United States, these events grew to include over a hundred planes and several hundred visitors and participants. This was Dad's way of contributing and sharing in the promotion of grassroots aviation, antique airplanes, and sport flying.
We are so very proud of dad and all of the ways he taught us and cared for us. He lived life to its fullest and made every day a new adventure. His aviation accomplishments alone are marveled by many. Yet these were only small chapters in a life of countless achievements. One newspaper account of his life stated, "Many of us dream of doing things. John Bowden did them." This is an understatement.
Such a story is impossible to tell, short of a biography book. Perhaps one day this will happen. but for now, we will hold to his memory and be thankful for the time we spent with John R. Bowden.