Obituary: Bud Bowersock
Charles “Bud” Bowersock was born in Wellsville, Ohio, on March 8, 1938. When Bud was 3, his father, Floyd Bowersock, was offered a job with Lockheed as a machinist. He had his choice of working either in Southern California or in Hawaii - at Pearl Harbor. Bud’s mom, Margaret, said she was not flying across the ocean to Hawaii, so Southern California it was. The family moved just months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Bud joined the Navy at 17, and served for most of his four years on an aircraft carrier, the USS Shangri-La. Many years later, he found out that a young Jim Lovell of Apollo 13 fame was on the ship at the same time, although their paths did not cross then. They met later on, and reminisced about being on the ship.
Bud and his family moved from LA to Medford, Oregon; then to Flagstaff, Arizona; then Tucson, Arizona; Camp Verde, Arizona; and finally Kanab, Utah. It was in Medford that Bud got his first taste of skydiving, something he loved and indulged in over the course of his lifetime. He made dozens of jumps in several locations, the last one being a tandem jump he made over the Grand Canyon just last year when he was 84 years old.
Bud loved Tucson, but increasing growth, traffic and heat drove them out. They moved to Camp Verde, a town that fit him perfectly. Bud volunteered at Fort Verde for years. Bud’s duties at the fort included maintenance work as well as re-enactments on special days. He frequently worked the solemn flag retirement ceremony where they respectfully burned old and tattered flags. For several years, the couple worked the Christmastime Candlelight Tours, wearing period clothing and posing as the camp commander and his wife, allowing guests to tour their “home.” In addition, Fort Verde assembled a vintage baseball team and Bud played every game, either pitching or catching or occasionally first base. He was still playing at the age of 81. Prior to that, Bud and his oldest son attended several fantasy baseball camps over the years, coached by former MLB players, with his grandson in the bleachers. Years later, Bud got to play a vintage baseball game with both his son and grandson, three generations of Bowersocks on the same roster.
Unfortunately, Bud developed vascular dementia in his 85th year. This is a horrible disease that robs the victim of memory, clarity, the ability to communicate, energy and balance. Unlike Alzheimer’s and some other dementias, vascular dementia progresses very quickly; within a matter of months, Bud needed round-the-clock care, and very soon entered into Hospice. The end came quickly and, thankfully, peacefully. He was surrounded by family, and could feel their love. Even when he was no longer responsive, he could hear their heartfelt goodbyes. He did not linger. He passed on Sept. 14, 2023.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Melissa; his sons Tim (MJ Nelson), Ken, and daughter Brenda (Mark) Tettemer; his five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He will always be celebrated as a good and kind man of great integrity.
Information provided by the family.