Keith Bowden

Celebration of Life Services for Phillip “Keith” Bowden, 83, West Plains, Missouri, will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, July 6, 2019 in the Rose Chapel, Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.

He entered into eternal rest on July 2, 2019 in West Plains, Missouri.  Mr. Bowden was born March 23, 1936 in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of the late D. C. Bowden and Helen Lemons Bowden.

Keith graduated from the Birch Tree High School, Birch Tree, Missouri in 1954.  He later attended Southwest Missouri State College (SMSU) in Springfield, Missouri.  In 1957, he married Juanita Thomas; from this union, two children were born: Scott Bowden and Elizabeth Bowden Simpson.

Mr. Bowden was a business man and community leader in Birch Tree for many years.  He served several terms as president of the Chamber of Commerce and of the City Board, was a leader for the Royal Ambassadors’ youth organization, and was appointed as a Deacon in the First Baptist Church in Birch Tree.  Later in his career, he became involved with Missouri Community Betterment and received the title of Missouri Ambassador for Life in 1993.  He worked as chief loan officer and vice-president for the Bank of Birch Tree, an institution established by his grandfather, Charles Bowden, in 1911.

On December 26, 1987, he was married to Janice Lafevers Langston in West Plains, Missouri.  After their retirements, Keith and Janice became world travelers, visiting 108 countries, the latest one in February of this year.  Keith and Janice also worked as CASA volunteers for ten years and received the Dea Daniel “Hall of Fame” service award in 2018.  Keith was a member of the First United Methodist Church in West Plains, Missouri and established a church scholarship fund in 2008 for college students and women returning to education.  He was also instrumental in the development of the FUMC columbarium in the church prayer garden.  He was a member of the Seeker’s Sunday School Class for many years.

Keith is survived by his wife, Janice, of the family home; children, Dr. Scott (Marsha) Bowden of Mountain View, Missouri and Dr. Elizabeth (Rick) Simpson of Lee’s Summit, Missouri; step-children, Matthew (Mallory) Langston of  Kansas City, Missouri, Jon McKamie (Ida Kay) Langston of West Plains, Missouri and Amber Langston of Portland Oregon; grandchildren, Alan (Colleen) Simpson, Joe Simpson, Alicia Bowden, Anna Bowden, and Finn Langston; one great-grandson, Max Simpson; a brother, Doug (Kathy) Bowden of Birch Tree, Missouri; many  former CASA children; two retired racing rescue greyhounds, Maestro and Garnet; and a stray cat, Katya.

Visitation will  be from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m., Saturday, July 6th, at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.  In lieu of flowers, contributions to the following charities would be welcomed: 37th Judicial CASA, the Alzheimer’s Association, the First United Methodist Church Scholarship Fund, the Greyhound Pets of America  or a charity of your choice and may be left at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.

Mr. Bowden will be laid to rest in the First Untied Church Prayer Garden Columbarium at a future time.

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