He was born on March 1, 1927 in England, Arkansas to parents John Clifton and Norma (Wiley) Bowden.
James, a self-educated man left home at an early age. He eventually became a member of the CCC and later came to California where his family was living.
He met and fell in love with the love of his life; Bonnie Fay Stevenson. He courted her until she agreed to marry him.
They ran away to Reno, NV for the wedding, but came back to settle in Grimes where they resided in the home he built himself throughout their more than 70-year marriage.
They had two daughters; Ann and Kathy, but they also opened their hearts and their home to innumerable teens over the years. ‘
James is remembered with love and fond memories for his giving heart, his “wisdom”, his faith and the genuine care and support he gave to friends, family and anyone in need. If he had the means to help someone he would not hesitate to do so.
He delighted the grandchildren and other children with his skill of “wiggling” his ears, he always had a smile for those he came into contact with.
He never hesitated to share his faith with others. He was a testament to the Lord by the way he lived his life.
James was a land leveler. For many years James worked with Frank Gobel and later he and his brother John C. Bowden established their own land leveling business.
James is remembered by many area ranchers and farmers as being an artist among land levelers and the go-to-guy to get the job done right.
He also loved growing walnuts at the family orchard, tinkering with machinery and fixing anything that needed fixing.
James served in Germany with the U.S. Army during WW II, was a Grand Island Fire Department volunteer fireman, and a founding member of the First Baptist Church in Colusa where he became a Deacon.
He was a man of God, a prayer warrior who believed in his personal friendship with the Lord. He often said he would “have a talk with his friend Jesus” when asked for help.
James was preceded in death by his wife; his parents, three brothers; John, Jerry and Jesse, father-in-law and mother-in-law; Charley and Eva.
Stevenson and nephews Tony and Tommy Joe Bowden.
He is survived by his daughters; Ann (Samuel), Krouse, Kathy Craigo, grandchildren; Dena Macklin, Jenica (Charles) Garrett, Velvet Craigo, Tiffany (Becky) Craigo and Val (Tara) Craigo, Sonya Shepherd, Dana (Gary) Gonzales, great grandchildren Kelsi Macklin, Tyler Macklin, Mikala Kostlivy, Lea Craigo, Vaughn Craigo and Kohen Craigo, one brother: Bobby Gene (Pat) Bowden, sisters; Louise (Don) Hannah and Betty (JR) Shepherd, his sister-in-law Edna McCullough, adopted daughters; Sue (Richard) Carrion and Carol Hutsell as well as his caregiver and friend Dave Bishop, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A celebration of James’ life is scheduled for January 9 at 11 a.m. at the Grimes Community Church. A potluck lunch is planned at the Grand Island Fire Station following the celebration of his life.
Memorial donations may be made in James’ name to the Grimes Civic Association – Grimes Scout Cabin; PO Box 202, Grimes, CA 95950 or the Grand Island Fire Department.
Arrangements are under the direction of McNary-Moore Funeral Service FD-410 (530) 458-2111