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Published: Sunday, 1/18/2004

Findlay man s business aided farmers

FINDLAY - John Wesley Bowman, who owned and operated Bowman Implement for 30 years, died of colon cancer Thursday at his home here. He was 68.

Bowman Implement, founded here in 1959, and Bluffton Implement, founded in the late 1970s, sold and serviced farm equipment.

Mr. Bowman grew up on a farm and had his own farm for two years before he quit to start the company, his daughter, Beth Russell, said.

The equipment business sent him out into the fields to fix broken machinery.

“He was able to focus on helping other farmers,” Mrs. Russell said.

After 30 years, a fire destroyed the Bowman Implement building. Mr. Bowman rebuilt it, and his son-in-law, Tom Leddy, managed the company for two years before it closed for good.

Mr. Bowman was born here Nov. 5, 1935, and graduated from Findlay High School in 1953. He joined the Army and was stationed in Kansas for three years.

He was going to be shipped to Germany, but a foot injury kept him in Kansas, where he learned to refinish furniture, his daughter said. That became a lifelong hobby.

Mr. Bowman had also learned to fly in the Army, and owned an airplane for several years, his daughter said.

Surviving are his wife of 48 years, Nancy Bowman; daughters, Susan Leddy and Beth Russell; son, Steven Bowman; brother, Ivan Bowman; sisters, Joann Strauch, Mary Bowman, and Martha Bartels; and eight grandchildren.

The body will be in the Coldren Crates Funeral Home here from 1 to 8 p.m. today, with the family present from 1 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m.

Services are at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow at the church.

The family suggests tributes to Bridge Home Health Hospice, the church, or the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital in Columbus.

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