Leroy H. Bowman

Photo of Leroy H. Bowman

Leroy H. Bowman


     Leroy H. Bowman, 95, died peacefully Saturday, Apr. 6, 2024 after a day filled with visits from sons and grandchildren.

     He was born in 1928 in Brecknock Township to the late Martin B. and Maggie Horst Bowman, then married Lydia Ann Horst in 1946.

     Leroy was a farm boy, who left school after eighth grade to work on the family farm. But his profound respect for education showed when he earned his GED late in life; he would even do some college courses.

     Leroy was an ordained deacon for many years at Sunnyside Mennonite Church, where he was renowned and respected for his love of people and his community work until the day he died.

Growing up in the country, Leroy had a lifelong passion for the outdoors and loved hunting and fishing, catching his final fish at 95. He spun tales of youthful exploits about trapping skunks, opossums and muskrats.

     He particularly loved deer hunting as much for the family and communal aspects as the hunting. He loved trout fishing in the Pennsylvania mountains, especially on White Deer Creek and Pine Creek. He found solace in the mountains, as the place where he could grab a tree and cry out to God or sit by a spring at the old family cabin and contemplate life.

     Much of his working life, Leroy worked in limestone quarries or concrete plants, where he was adept at working with the machinery. He found joy in showing and explaining big earth-moving equipment to his children, grandchildren or anyone who would listen.

     He volunteered for more than 10 years in Lancaster County’s Volunteers in Probation and Parole program and earned Volunteer of the Year in 1993. In retirement, he was well known for piecing and sewing more than 1,000 comforters for Mennonite Central Committee.

     Leroy was a long-time resident at Brethren Village Retirement Community in Lititz, where he volunteered for less-able residents.

     He was preceded in death by his wife Lydia Ann, their daughter Janet Elbalghiti, brothers Eugene, Paul, Martin, Melvin, Walter and Dallas and sisters Mabel Burkholder and Blanche Polychronis. He is survived by his sister Anna Mae Miller of Elizabethtown, his sons James married to Linda (Hoober) of Hacks Point, Md, Richard married to Elsie (Hamilton) of Harrisonburg, Va., Elvin “Bo,” married to the late Consuelo (Inesta) of San Antonio, Texas, Dale married to Karyn (Hirschberg) of Manteno, Ill., and Leon married to Debi (King) of Strasburg, and 20 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

     In lieu of flowers, send donations in his memory to MCC (mcc.org/donate) or Tenfold (wearetenfold.org/beth-shalom/).

     Leroy’s Celebration of Life will be at 2 p.m. April 20, 2024 at Wolfe Auditorium, Brethren Village, 3001 Lititz Pike, Lititz.

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