William Ezra Bowers
William Ezra Bowers
  • August 31, 1920 - October 10, 2017
  • Charleston, West Virginia

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William Ezra Bowers was born at Bowers Crossroads near Littleton, NC, on August 31, 1920. He grew up working on the farm that had been in the family since before the Civil War. At 17, he took a job with the Rural Electric Association wiring houses in his area as the power line came through, going on to wire houses on his own. He earned an Associate’s Degree at Lewisburg College, completed Bliss Electrical School in Silver Spring, Maryland. “Bill” made his career with the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company, starting June 1941 as a Frame Man, progressing to Power Man and Central Office Repairman.

December 4, 1942, he married Lillian Bernice Felton of Arlington, VA, the pretty telephone operator who won his heart. Bill joined the Navy in May 1944, serving as a radar man on the Destroyer Escort USS Lee Fox in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of operation. He loved his Navy years, and published his first book “Memoirs of a World War II Destroyer Escort Sailor” in 2013.

On February 25, 1946, he returned to his job with the telephone company in Alexandria, VA. Promoted to Engineering Assistant, he accepted a job in Charleston, WV in May 1955. He enjoyed the rest of his career there as Dial Equipment Manager, Data Processing Manager, Internal Auditor and General Trade Products Manager for the West Virginia Company until his retirement in 1981. He was proud to say he was a “West Virginian by adoption”.

Bill was active in church and community activities as well as the Telephone Pioneers, and the “Telephone Choraliers.” After retirement, he expanded his activities to work with the Make a Wish Foundation, the Young at Heart church group, the Sawdust Gang, teaching AARP Driving Courses, and others.

Bill and Bernie are survived by children, Sallie Sublette (Rick McCracken) of Pocatello, Idaho, George Bowers of New Port Ritchie, Florida and Linda Austin of Charleston; two grandchildren, Lowell Austin and Jessica Harmon, step granddaughter, Shon Price; and three great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at Oakwood Baptist Church, 855 Oakwood Road, Charleston, 25314, Sunday, October 15, 2017, where he was an active member since moving to Charleston from Cross Lanes 46 years ago. Visitation is at 2:00 p.m. with funeral service at 3:00 p.m. with Pastor David Moutz officiating, followed by a hot dog dinner at the church by his request.

Graveside services and internment will be at 10:00 a.m. Monday, October 16, 2017, with Military Honors at Graceland Memorial Park, South Charleston.