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Wendell's Story

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Wendell Bowers passed away on October 18, 2017. He was a Green Valley resident at La Posada since 1999 and was formerly from Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Wendell was born at home and raised on a farm near Danville, Illinois on September 21, 1926 to Lela and Ross Bowers. After graduating from Potomac High School, he entered the Navy V-12 program and received officers' training at Notre Dame, Indiana State University, and the University of Illinois. Wendell received his commission in 1947. He returned to the University of Illinois to complete a B.S. and M.S. degree in Agricultural Engineering.

On September 18, 1948 Wendell married Dorothy Peterson.

Wendell spent 16 years on the faculty at the University of Illinois and 18 years at Oklahoma State University as an Extension Agricultural Engineer. In 1968 Wendell was awarded the Superior Service Award from the United States Department of Agriculture. In 1971 he reached the grade of fellow, the highest level, in the national Agricultural Engineering Society. He authored numerous books and publications specializing in farm machinery management. Wendell retired in 1985.

Wendell and Dotty moved to the La Posada retirement community in Green Valley, Arizona in 1999. Wendell was passionate about service to others and also valued the importance of education. He immediately started working to establish a Scholarship Program for the La Posada employees to further their educations. As the program grew and developed, it received local, state, and national recognition. In 2004, Wendell received the Volunteer of the Year award from AZAHA, a state association working on behalf of those serving seniors in Arizona and in 2006 he was honored with the national Community Champion Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. An endowment has been established in his name.

Dotty passed away on September 19, 2006. Wendell married Sue Poppaw on March 31, 2012. Wendell had many hobbies: traveling, golfing, gardening, fishing, camping, and playing cards, just to name a few. He loved following all types of sports teams, especially his Chicago Cubs and his Oklahoma State Cowboys. Wendell had a wonderful sense of humor and was a great story-teller. His generosity was felt by all who knew him. But most of all, Wendell loved his family. By far his favorite thing to do was to spend time with them.

Wendell is survived by his wife Sue. He is also survived by his three daughters Betsy Aldridge of Mount Vernon, Washington, Louise (Collin) Fry of Odessa, Texas, and Kristin (Richard) Nelson of Olathe, Kansas. He is survived by five grandchildren, Kerry Aldridge, Bellingham, Washington, Jackie (Bryce) TeBeest, Olathe, Kansas, Kevin Peterson, Odessa, Texas, Kelley (Wes) Strouts, Mission, Kansas, and Kate Peterson, Austin, Texas. He is also survived by three great- grandchildren, Valerie Nyman, Karl Aldridge, and Everly TeBeest.

There will be a celebration of life service in the La Vista Madera Room at La Posada at 2:00 p.m. on November 11, 2017. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the La Posada Scholarship Fund at 350 Morningside Dr., Green Valley, Arizona.
Published on November 2, 2017
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