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Robert Louis Bowsher, 98, died peacefully Dec. 29, 2012, at St. James Place.
He was born May 21, 1914 in Wapakoneta, the son of Louise (Fisher) and Francis Jacob Bowsher, who both preceded him in death. In 1940, he married his wife of 59 years, Gene Lois Troxel and she preceded him in death.
Surviving are a son and daughter-in-law, Robert T. and Linda Helland Bowsher; two granddaughters and their husbands, Julia Hadfield Bowsher and Sean Richard Burt, of Fargo, N.D., and Emily Collins Bowsher and Charles David Cash, of Highland Park, N.J.; and two great-granddaughters, Helen Bowsher Burt and Judith Louise Burt.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Mark Bowsher.
His family owned a hardware and farm supply business, which once employed Neil Armstrong, the astronaut, as a teenage clerk. As a student at Wittenberg University in Springfield during the Depression, Bob worked his way through college at a variety of jobs including washing dishes and selling tennis equipment. After his graduation in 1936, he worked in sales for Container Corporation of America. Aside from his military service, he remained with the company over 30 years, retiring in 1977 as the general manager of its corrugated box plant in Cincinnati. During World War II, Bob was an officer in the Navyâ€™s Armed Guard, in charge of the armaments on armed transport vessels. He served on the oil tanker, the Gulf Pride, and participated in the first successful convoy to Murmansk, Russia. Between 1977 and 1998, Bob and Gene split their time between Cincinnati and Naples, Fla., moving to Baton Rouge, La. in 1998 to be near their son and his family. Bob was a devoted golfer, sports aficionado, passionate reader and lover of travel. He and his wife traveled throughout the world, visiting Mexico, Europe, Africa, India, Japan and Southeast Asia. On a trip to Africa, Bob and Gene were trapped in the Hilton Hotel in Kampala, Uganda for three days during Idi Aminâ€™s coup in 1971.
The family wishes to thank the staffs of the Health and Wellness Center and the Companion Services at St. James Place for their loving care during his last illness.
Services are at 1 p.m. Friday at Rabenhorst Funeral Home, Baton Rouge, La.
Friends may call from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. James Place Foundation, 333 Lee Drive, Baton Rouge, La., St. James Episcopal Church, 205 North 4th Street, Baton Rouge, La., or a charity of choice.