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R.I.P. Captain  Robert Hayden Bowes

Robert Hayden Bowes died peacefully on February 8, 2018 surrounded by his family at his home in Piney Point, MD. Bobby was born May 23, 1941 at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC. His family relocated to St. Mary’s County, MD in 1943 when the Patuxent River Naval Air Station was commissioned. He attended Little Flower School and graduated from Ryken High School in 1959. He attended the United States Air Force Academy until 1961 when he returned to Southern Maryland to marry his high school sweetheart, Patricia (Pat) Ann Usilton. They were married at Holy Face Church in Great Mills on August 12, 1961. He attended University of Maryland, was a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering in 1964. He then attended the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School (TPS) and graduated with Class No. 44 in October 1966. Bob worked in the Flying Qualities and Performance Branch of the Flight Test Division and was then transferred to TPS where he taught from 1967-1978. Due to his exemplary performance both academically and professionally, he was sent to Princeton University and graduated with a Master of Science in engineering in 1969. He was named the Rotary Wing Engineer of the Year in 1980 and was the first recipient of the Richard L. Wernecke Award for technical excellence in rotorcraft test and evaluation in 1988. He retired after 28 years of civil service on April 15, 1988.

Despite all of his education, merits, and accolades, he is best known as “Captain Bob.” Bob started a charter fishing business in 1972 with his best friend Robert Holden in order to support he and Pat’s desire to provide a Catholic education for their seven children. Bob loved being on the water and was always easy to spot with his bright yellow hat! We all have wonderful memories of boat races, fishing, overnight boat trips, and being his first mate. Over the years, Bob used his skills on the water for various activities including underwater recreational and inspection diving, renovation of SMECO power line towers, logistics support and tidal studies for the U.S. Geological Survey Team and the Naval Research Laboratory, and salvage operations. He also used his boat to give back to his community by providing fishing trips and boat rides for the children at the Muscular Dystrophy camp at Camp Maria, rides for the elderly and homeless with So Others Might Eat (SOME), and 43 years of carrying passengers to the St. Clements Island Blessing of the Fleet in support of the 7th District Optimist Club. He was named 7th District Optimist Club Waterman of the Year in 2013.

In 2015 Bob and Pat were inducted in the Community Foundation of Southern Maryland’s Philanthropy Hall of Fame for their work with Little Flower Catholic School, St. Mary’s Ryken High School, St. George’s Catholic Church, Hospice of St. Mary’s, Meals on Wheels, 2nd District Optimist Kids and Community group and driving St. Mary’s Hospital employees to work during inclement weather.

Some of his favorite times were spent with his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and dogs. D-Daddy was well known for his signature pat-on-the-back hug and a “Hey babe” in his gravelly voice. He excelled at fixing everything we threw at him, mowing his lawn down to 1”, healing wounded squirrels, building osprey nests, collecting and setting up his trains, making sure we all turned the lights off, and keeping us from running in the house.

He is survived by his wife Patricia; seven children Robert (Mary), Mark (Bonnie), Anne Taylor (Mark), Tommy (Joy), Jennifer Goddard (Mark), J. Matthew Sr. (Cindy), David (Karen Bauer); twenty grand-children Brittany Goddard, Erin Jordan (Andy), Jessica Abad (Ray), Kristin Penrod (Jason), Kelsey Patterson (Gary), Kylie Errington (Grant), Amy Latvala (Miller), Kevin Bowes (Nicole), Taylor Gladu (Tyler), J. Matthew Jr., Amanda Staufenberger (Nick), Laci, Jenna Taylor, Carly, Stephanie, Trisha, Trevor, Alexander, and Samantha; and ten great-grandchildren Morrigan Metzger, Marissa Penrod, Charlotte Williams, Bay Latvala, Sophie Williams, Crew Abad, Margot Patterson, Hailey Penrod, Harper Latvala, and Andrew Jordan, with two more great-grandchildren expected in March and April .

He is preceded in death by his parents Joseph Ford and H. Audrey, his brother Daniel, and his grandson Jason.

There is no way to fully express the rich life of Bob Bowes, or the ways he touched so many people. He was truly a man whose faults were outweighed by his generous heart, exceptional intelligence, dedication to family, and faith. He will be greatly missed by his family, his friends, and the community.

Family will receive friends for Bobby’s Life Celebration on Sunday, February 11, 2018 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at St. George’s Catholic Church, 19199 St. George’s Church Road, Valley Lee, MD 20692 with prayers at 4:00 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held Monday, February 12, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at St. George’s Catholic Church.

Memorial contributions may be made to Little Flower School 20410 Point Lookout Rd, Great Mills, MD 20634; St. George Catholic Church, 19199 St. George Church Road, Valley Lee, MD 20692; or Hospice of St. Mary’s P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650.

Condolences to the family may be made at .


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