Bill was born in Dunbar, VA, one of Appalachia’s many coal camps. He loved this community and always had a funny story to tell about when he was a young boy. He graduated from Appalachia High School in 1957 and was a true Bulldog. It was at AHS where he received his nickname “HardRock”. After Bill and Tine married, they purchased Darnell Lumber, in Big Stone Gap, and renamed it Bowers Lumber and Supply Company. After 15 years at the lumber company, the family relocated to Orlando, FL but would later return to their native Virginia. Bill’s great golf talent allowed him to become a Senior Golf Pro during the nine years they lived in Orlando where many fond memories were made at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Hardrock cherished his friends and stayed in close touch with all of them throughout his lifetime. He was preceded in death by his parents, William Gabriel Bowers and Alta Mullins Bowers, and his two siblings, Lucille Berry and Carl Bowers, and his precious dog, Spencer. Bill joined the US Army in 1957. He spent most of his active years in Alaska.
After he was discharged, he moved to Blountville and worked at Sperry Rand. At this time, he met his loving wife of 55 years, Margaret Ernestine Wolfe Bowers. Together they had one son, Shane Bowers (wife, Tracie Stanley Bowers) of Carolina Beach, NC and a daughter, Amber Bowers Rich (husband, Ed Rich) of Big Stone Gap, Va.
Bill loved everyone but had immense love for his family. His wife, Tine, and his children, Shane and Amber, were his greatest loves but his 3 grandchildren, Jake Rich (his best buddy), beautiful Tessa Marie Bowers, and the youngest, Ethan Rich, were his greatest pride & joy in life. He had a precious dog, Parker, who was by his side until the end.
Tine, Shane & Amber, and family will forever cherish his memory. There was no better husband, father and provider. We loved him dearly and look forward to one day being reunited again.
The family will receive friends at Cedar Ridge Freewill Baptist Church in Cracker’s Neck on Tuesday, April 23rd from 5-7 pm and the service will follow immediately officiated by Pastor James Ray Holcomb assisted by Pastor Joe Green. Music will be provided by Beth Green. Honorary pallbearers will be Jake & Ethan Rich (grandsons), Jim Cornett (best friend), Ed Rich (son-in-law), Dennis Stanley, Brian McKinney, Todd Giles, Stacey Doyle and John Day.
In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cedar Ridge Freewill Baptist Church, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Mountain Empire Older Citizen’s fuel fund.
Roy A. Green Funeral Home, Appalachia, VA, is in charge of arrangements.