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Gary Wayne Bowe

November 6, 1951 May 4, 2022
Gary Wayne Bowe
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Obituary for Gary Wayne Bowe
Gary Wayne Bowe, recently of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Omaha, Nebraska, but a central Illinois resident for over 50 years, sadly left his adoring family on May 4, 2022, He was born November 6, 1951, in “almost heaven” Charleston, West Virginia, the son of Marie Bowe and Frank Domokos.

He moved to Washington, Illinois, in 1967 and graduated from WaCoHi in 1969, but remained a West Virginia Mountaineer his entire life.

An outstanding athlete, he attended Bradley University on a baseball scholarship. Inspired by many of his great former coaches, he graduated with a degree in education.

He began his teaching/coaching career at Pleasant Hill Grade School, Peoria, and then Central Grade School in Washington before coaching baseball and basketball, and serving as athletic director at Germantown Hills Middle School for over 30 years.

He married Shirley Ayers in Washington, Illinois, in 1978, and together they raised two wonderful daughters, Gable Holderness of Hobart, Wisconsin, and Kelsea (Jimmy) Bernasek, of Bennington, Nebraska.

He was “Poppy” and “GBowe” to Derrik, Rachel, Brayden, and Tinley Bernasek, and “Papa” to Donovan, Eli, Spencer, and Reid Holderness. Gary was also big brother to Denise, Julie, Shellee, Debbie, Sarah, Bruce, and Tammy. In addition, he leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, in-laws, cousins, and many, many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents.

“Bowe” was a man of few words, but had a quiet charm and a great sense of humor. He reigned in his garage man cave and was known to have the coldest beer on tap — Busch heavy, of course. He relished his friends and took enormous pride in his family.

In the summers, and after his retirement, Gary mowed the sport fields of Eastside Centre...a job he enjoyed for 20 years.

Sadly, his last years were spent fighting cancer, but he is once again fishing with Fatboy, playing golf with Aunt Betty, and baseball with Ducker and Michael.

Raise a toast to Gary’s life, and share your memories with his family and friends, on Thursday, May 12, 2022 at the East Port Banquet Center, East Peoria, Illinois, 4-8 pm. (Remarks at 5:00).

Memorials may be made to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 1600 Hunt Drive, Suite C, Normal, Illinois 61761. Gifts received will go to help support the baseball, softball, and basketball teams of Game Seven, a Christian-based sports club.

Friends and family may sign the online guestbook by logging onto
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Previous Events

Celebration of Life




4:00 PM 5/12/2022 4:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 5/12/2022 8:00:00 PM
East Port Banquet Center

703 Mariner Way
East Peoria, IL 61611

East Port Banquet Center
703 Mariner Way East Peoria 61611 IL
United States

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