Fallen Hero: Colonel Thomas “Tom” Bowen Jr

Jackson, MS

Funeral Home

Parkway Funeral Home

1161 Highland Colony Pkwy Ridgeland, MS 39157


The family received guests from 5-7pm Wednesday June 27, 2018 at Parkway Funeral Home in Ridgeland.


Funeral services were Thursday June 28, 2018 at First Presbyterian Church



Thomas (Tom) Henry Bowen, 88, a longtime resident of Jackson, died peacefully at The Baptist Hospital in Jackson on June 25, 2018. Tom was a retired Mississippi Valley Gas Executive, retired Colonel in the Mississippi Air National Guard, former Interim President of Chamberlain Hunt Academy in Port Gibson, Mississippi, Elder and Deacon at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, French Camp Academy Trustee and beloved husband, father and grandfather.

Tom loved people and people loved him. He never met a stranger. He had a compassionate heart for children and youth in need and spent much of his retirement time serving Chamberlain Hunt Academy and later, French Camp Academy. He enjoyed hunting and spending time at his lake house at Lake Caroline. Tom loved to share stories and good conversation. He was a member of a men’s coffee group known as the “Wrinkled Roosters”. He also loved the time he spent often with the “Cook Gang”. Tom was always an avid lover of his hometown of Port Gibson and Claiborne County. In Tom’s words, it was “God’s Country”.

Tom was the son of Thomas Henry Bowen and Carolyn Allen Bowen. Following graduation from Port Gibson High School, Tom attended Hinds Community College and met his wife of 58 years, Betty McLendon, who passed away in 2009. After his first year at Hinds, Tom was called into active service as a part of the military’s mobilization for the Korean War. Upon completion of his active service, he enrolled in LSU, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree and an Air Force Reserve Officer commission through ROTC.

Tom’s professional career began with the Southern Bell Telephone Company. Later, he began a career at Mississippi Valley Gas Company. He remained there for 28 years. Working within the administrative office, he worked his way up to Vice President of Administrative Services. He was honored by the Southern Gas Association in 1985, where they selected him the chairman of the annual conference. During those years he served on several local and state commissions and boards, including the Hinds County Youth Court Advisory Board, the State Personnel Board, the Jackson Public Schools Trust Foundation, Leadership Jackson, and the Jackson Symphony to name a few. In addition, he was an active member of the Metro Jackson Chamber of Commerce and a Paul Harris fellow with the Rotary Club. After retiring in 1994, he became the interim President of Chamberlain Hunt Academy. In his spare time, he enjoyed working as a historical tour guide and being a docent at the Governor’s Mansion.

Tom was a long time member of First Presbyterian Church where he served as a Deacon and Elder and on many committees within the Church.

Following Betty’s death in 2009, Tom met and married Norma Flora Bowen in 2014 and the two of them spent four very happy years together at St. Catherine’s Village in Madison.

He is survived by his wife Norma Flora Bowen, his daughters, Beth Bowen Pollock and Mary Allen Bowen McBride (Chuck) and grandchildren Anna Pollock Rayner (Wesley), Bowen Pollock, Melissa McBride, Emily McBride and Kelly McBride.

Funeral services will be 10:00am Thursday June 28, 2018 at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, preceded by visitation at 9:00am. The family will also receive guests from 5-7pm Wednesday June 27, 2018 at Parkway Funeral Home in Ridgeland.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Tom’s honor to French Camp Academy, French Camp, Mississippi 39745 or Twin Lakes Camp and Conference Center.