William Jewell College lost a dedicated servant-leader with the passing August 28 of Dr. Richard P. Bowles ’49.
“Dick Bowles exemplified the very essence of what we hope William Jewell College stands for,” said President David Sallee. “He was a man of faith, devotion and abiding love for his family. He enjoyed a long career as a gifted and caring physician, serving his fellow man as a healer and comforter. He was as kind and generous a friend as many of us will ever know.
“Dick cared so very much about Liberty and William Jewell College. His long list of accomplishments and accolades speak eloquently of his work and service. His wise counsel, experience and knowledge have helped make this city and our college strong institutions that truly serve the common good. His memory will inspire generations to come.”
Dr. Bowles served on the college’s board of trustees from 1979 to 1999, when he was named trustee emeritus. During his tenure on the board, he served as secretary/treasurer to the Executive Committee and held membership on the Athletics Committee, Student Affairs and Religious Life Committees, Honorary Degrees Committee and Finance Committee. He also served as Chair of the Development Committee, and gave generously of his time and talents as College Physician for 34 years. Dr. Bowles received the college’s highest award, the Citation for Achievement, in 1972.
A gifted student-athlete and chemistry major at Jewell, Dr. Bowles lettered in football, basketball and track. Among his Jewell student honors was the “Colonel Alexander Doniphan” designation as senior male most likely to succeed and the Cecil R. Martin award as “Athlete of the Year” in 1949. He graduated from the Washington University School of Medicine in 1953 and served in the U.S. Army before beginning his 30-year service as a private family practitioner in Liberty in 1958.
Dr. Bowles’ father, R.E. “Dad” Bowles, was a Jewell alumnus who served the college as coach and athletic director from 1912 to 1947.
Dr. Bowles was past president of the Clay County Medical Association and was a member of the American Medical Association, the American Board of Family Practice, the American College of Sports Medicine, Rotary International and the Liberty Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He was inducted into the Missouri Sports Medicine Hall of Fame in1989 and was named to William Jewell’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.
Dr. Bowles is survived by his wife, Pauline “Polly” Quick Bowles, also a member of the William Jewell class of 1949, along with four sons and 13 grandchildren.
Gifts to honor the memory of Dr. Richard P. Bowles may be made out to William Jewell College and mailed to Bowles Memorial Gifts, Office of Institutional Advancement, 500 College Hill, Box 1032, Liberty, MO 64068-1896.