Peter Palmer Bowler, born Feb. 16, 1935, in San Diego, CA, to parents George A. and Dorothy Palmer Bowler, an only child. Peter took his last flight on July 30, 2016, at the age of 81.
Peter attended many schools across the country and up and down the East Coast before his folks retired to South Portland in 1949. Peter graduated in 1952 from South Portland High School and in 1955 from Maine Maritime Academy with an engineering degree and his commission in the U.S. Navy as an ENS. In September 1955, he entered Navy Flight School in Pensacola, FL. He married Allene Brookes in April 1956, in South Portland. He received his wings for multi-engine aircrafts in Hutchison, KS, in 1957. His first duty station after receiving his wings was Brunswick Naval Air Station, VP 26. From there it was Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA, and then on to the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., VP7, USS Saratoga #61 and several tours in Iceland and Jax Naval Air Station, FL. Retiring as Lieutenant Commander in 1975, he moved to Gorham with his family where Peter attended USM and earned his Masters in Business Administration. He continued flying, joining the Civil Air Patrol and then a flying club in Portland, he was a flight instructor. He opened the H&R Block office in Gorham in 1981, and owned it for more than 30 years, later turning it over to his daughter, Wendy Bowler. He joined the Mason 1976 heading all York Right Bodies. He was Grand Commandery of Maine in 1999-2000. In 2005 at the age of 70, his son-in-law, Paul Rollins, taught him to scuba dive and went diving all over, including several trips to Bonaire. Peter was a self taught oil painter, painting many light houses and ocean sceneries. He did wood carvings and carved tulips in the kitchen cabinet doors. The family raised Old English Sheepdogs, Herefords for several years and many other animals and always chickens and a veggie garden. They were active in the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust for many years.
He was predeceased by his parents; and brother-in-law and wife, Homer and Terry Brookes. He leaves behind his wife of 60 years, Allene B. Bowler and their children: son, Steve R. Bowler and wife, Jayne, and their children, Amy and her husband, Derrick Allen, and son, Jacob H. Bowler; son, Dan R. Bowler and his wife, Linda, and their children, Kyle Bowler and Allison and her husband, Alex Stroshane; daughter, Wendy A. Bowler and her husband, Paul Rollins, and his son, Jeffery; son, John W. Bowler and his stepchildren, Angel, Victoria and Michael; four great-grandchildren, Maggie and Finnegan Allen, Sabrina Bowler and William Stroshane; along with his brother-in-law and wife, Spencer C. Brookes and Mary Ellen of NH.
A heartfelt thank you to all the staff at the Barron Center Alzheimer's Care Complex, especially those in the Oakdale pod. His wife, Allene and family can not thank you enough for all the care you gave Peter and your concern for the family, it was greatly appreciated.
Masonic services will be held 3 p.m. Friday, August 5, at Harmony Masonic Hall, 33 Cressey Road, Gorham, with a reception to follow at the Lodge. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Peter's name to Harmony Masonic Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 382, Gorham, ME 04038.