Thomas Edward Bowen, 73, died March 4, 2014, from a heart attack in his sleep due to complications from his long existing condition of COPD.
He will be interred at Fort Rosecrans Cemetery and will join Sue overlooking the ocean. There will be no service.
He was born March 29, 1940, to Edward D. and Betty Basford Bowen in Marion, Ohio. After graduating from Harding High School in Marion, Tom enlisted in the Navy for four years and performed aircraft maintenance aboard the USS Ranger. Upon leaving the Navy he moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he attended Ohio State University while also learning to fly. It was there that he met and married Sue Cole, of Columbus, in 1963. They had two children, David Andrew and Diane Elaine.
In 1964, Tom enlisted in the U.S. Army to become a helicopter pilot and was sent to Fort Rucker, Ala., and then Fort Wolters, Texas, for flight training. Following completion of his training Tom was sent to Vietnam as a pilot in the UHID armed helicopter (HUEY) gunship (121st company), stationed in Soc Trang province. Returning from Vietnam he worked for American Airways as a flight instructor and spent many years in the Army Reserve.
He then went to work for Edo-Aire Mitchell in Mineral Wells as a test pilot. Following an aircraft accident in 1972, due to unreported icing conditions, he suffered a broken hip and eye damage. He then started working for Rotor and Wing magazine and the family moved to Duluth, Minn. But having enough of the cold climate, he and the family moved to San Diego, Calif., in 1975, where he entered Western State Law School, earning a juris doctorate degree.
In 1977 he moved the family to Fallbrook, Calif., to begin work at Aero Publishers, an aviation publishing firm, as vice president of sales. He later began working for Hughes Helicopter as an aerospace engineer until they relocated to Mesa, Ariz. Following that he started working for General Dynamics in the same capacity and retired from that firm.
Tom is missed very much by all who knew and loved him.
He is survived by his second wife since 1977, Ardis; daughter, Diane Hicks (David) of Tennessee, grandchildren Brittany Dotson and Zachary Hicks and great-grandchildren Nicholas, Noah and Benjamin Dotson; and son, David Bowen and grandchildren Christine and Michael Bowen.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Sue; his sister and nephew, Judy and John Velandra.