Robert Bowman, 1942-2017

Published 1:00 am Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Memorial services for Robert “Bob” E. Bowman, 74, of Hollandale will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home. The Rev. Kent Otterman will officiate. Interment will be at Hollandale Cemetery. Friends may greet the family from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Online condolences are welcome at

Bob passed away Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in a traffic accident near Des Lacs, North Dakota, where he was custom combining.

Robert Bowman

Robert “Bob” Eugene Bowman was born April 10, 1943, in Rockford, Illinois, to the late Eugene and Vera Bowman. He moved to Hollandale in 1946, graduated from high school and immediately joined the family farming business.

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He met Ann Redding at Terp Ballroom in Austin shortly out of high school. The couple was engaged four days later. They married the following year at St. John’s Lutheran Church and were married for 53 years. Over the years Bob farmed his own acreage in Hollandale, owned a dairy and hog farm and operated Bowman Harvesting with his son, Ryan — a custom combining business with a wheat run from Texas to Canada. He was also active in Rice Lake Quarter Horses of Hollandale with his wife, Ann.

Bob enjoyed traveling within the United States as well as internationally and made friends wherever he went. He met famous horse people in Europe, rode camels in Africa, researched his ancestry in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, swam with the alligators in Australia and stayed in youth hostels and homes of friends across the globe.

During the 1980s farm crisis Bob testified before the Minnesota Senate and helped change the laws to help farmers. He loved piloting his Cherokee 6-300 airplane and driving his Corvette. He took comfort in his animals: Rascal the dog, Dirty Paw the cat and Legend the horse. His bear-like hugs were legendary, as was the way he would chat with everyone he met. He overcame numerous physical obstacles, including open heart surgery and found friends in the doctors of Mayo Clinic. He took joy in a cup of coffee with someone he loved, was proud of his children and enthralled with the activities and accomplishments of his grandchildren. He trusted God would guide him, was satisfied with his life, and said his home and family exceeded all his childhood dreams. He never spoke cross words and his needs were few — family.

Survivors include his wife, Ann Bowman, of Hollandale; and three children, Robert Bowman (Kirsten) of Aachen, Germany, Christine Keely (Chris) of Bloomington and Ryan Bowman (Diane) of Hollandale. He also thought of Devin Wilfong of Hiram Rapids, Ohio, as family.

He was honored to have eight grandchildren, Sandra, Timothy, Brandon, Andrew and Theodore Bowman, as well as Joseph, Jessica and Kevin Keely. Both Andrew and Theo helped with Bowman Harvesting. He is also survived by his two brothers, Gary Bowman and Bill Bowman; sister, Judy Degen; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents.