Richard H. Bowen ’71
EAST WAKEFIELD, N.H. — Richard H. Bowen, 62, died Sunday, May 16, 2010, at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine, after a valiant two-and-a-half year battle with pulmonary fibrosis and a recent diagnosis of cancer.
Born in Waterville, Maine, on Aug. 2, 1947, the son of Paul and Justine (Hall) Bowen, he was a graduate of Lawrence High School, Bridgton Academy and a 1971 graduate of Maine Maritime Academy — with a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering — where he was commissioned as an officer. Rick began his engineering career as a powerhouse supervisor at Christ Hospital in Jersey City, N.J., before accepting a position as a planning coordinator at Jersey City Medical Center in New Jersey. From 1975 until 1979, he served as the assistant plant superintendent at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Conn., where he helped design a renal dialysis unit and special care nursery. In 1979, he accepted the position of director of engineering at Wentworth Douglass Hospital in Dover, N.H., where he remained for almost 30 years. He was instrumental in guiding the hospital through multiple and complex building projects and renovations. He was loved and greatly respected at the hospital and in the community. Due to his passion and dedication to the hospital, he even volunteered a few hours a week after retirement when his health permitted.
Rick was a member of the New Hampshire Society for Healthcare Engineers, New England Healthcare Engineering Society, American Society for Healthcare Engineers, and the National Fire Protection Association. He was also the safety officer at Wentworth Douglass Hospital. He was a recipient of the Trustees Award and also the 2002 President’s Award, chaired the Environment of Care Committee and served on several committees including one of his favorites, the Picnic Committee.
Rick was very modest and never wanted accolades. He was soft-spoken, kind, and generous, always putting other people first in his personal and professional life. If you were lucky enough to know Rick, you were lucky enough. He was the epitome of what a human being should be. He always had a twinkle in his eye and a wonderful smile. Rick loved spending time with his wife, children, grandson, and his faithful black Lab, Sydney. He loved living at the lake, fishing, boating, reading, and enjoying friends and family. He will be terribly missed by everyone.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 36 years, Sharon (Willett) Bowen; his son, Jim and his wife, Erin, of Dover, N.H.; his daughter, Katie and her husband, David, of Dover, and close member of the family, Rebecca Gordon of Nashua, N.H. He was the very proud “Papa” to his wonderful 20-month-old grandson, Rylan. He is also survived by his loving sister, Paula Dulac and her husband, Scott, of Belgrade Lakes, Maine; his brother-in-law, Dick Willett and his wife, Mary, of Skowhegan, Maine, and his uncle, Malcolm Kenniston. He had many wonderful nieces, nephews and cousins whom he greatly enjoyed.
He was predeceased by both of his parents.