Richard L. Bower, age 95, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 5, 2020 at his home in Lewisburg.
Richard was born November 10, 1924 in Williamsport, son of the late John Harvey and Lena Victoria (Avery) Bower. As a youth, Richard, known as Dick by friends and coworkers, enjoyed helping his father at the YMCA during the early years of the John H. Bower Sunday School Basketball League. Dick met the former Vesta Mae Dieffenderfer at the Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, and they married on December 28, 1951. Vesta preceded him in death on May 4, 2015 having celebrated 63 years of marriage.
Richard graduated from Williamsport High School in 1943, and within a few months, entered the United States Army Air Force where he trained as a Radio Operator/Gunner on the B-17 Flying Fortress. Richard was assigned to the 92nd Bomb Group of the Eighth Army Air Force, based at Podington, Northamptonshire, England. Richard flew 29 combat missions on his way to an honorable discharge, earning the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters. Early in his combat tour, Richard was selected for the specially trained and equipped Pathfinder crews, leading massive formations of bombers over Nazi Germany using radar and electronic aids for navigation.
Richard completed his Electrical Engineering degree at Penn State University in 1948, which enabled a 36 year career with Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania. He retired in 1985 as a Network Services Engineering Division Manager.
Richard held memberships with the Mazeppa Union Church, the Garrett Cochran American Legion Post 1, the Eureka-West Shore Lodge #302 F&AM, the Avery Memorial Association, the 92nd Bombardment Group Memorial Association, and the United Services Club of Podington, U.K. Richard participated in numerous remembrance and wreath laying ceremonies in the U.S. and U.K. honoring the thousands of Allied airmen who never came home.
Surviving are son, Dwight Bower, of Gettysburg; Leslie Pohlman Bower of Lovettsville, VA; grandchildren, Thomas Bower and Katharine Turner; sister-in-law, Irene Scott; niece, Susan B. Williams and her family; and a close family friend, Sandra Hipple, of Williamsport.
Richard was predeceased by one brother, Jack Avery Bower, who passed away in 1947.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at Mazeppa Union Church, 3200 Johnson Mill Rd, Lewisburg, with his minister, Pastor Ricky Phillips, officiating.
Burial with full military honors will follow in Mazeppa Union Cemetery.
The family is being assisted by the Cronrath-Grenoble Funeral Home, South Second and St. Louis Streets, Lewisburg.
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