Gene C. “Smokey” Bowman, 76, of Baker City, died March 9, 2005, at his home after a year-long battle with cancer. His wife and children were at his side.
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His memorial was at 1 p.m. today at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel. Pastor Lennie Spooner of the First Church of the Nazarene officiated.
Interment was at Mount Hope Cemetery at the foot of his granddaughter Sophia’s grave.
Gene was born Sept. 10, 1928, at Checotah, Okla., to Floyd and Maude Bowman. The family moved to the Gooding, Idaho, area where Gene attended school until he was 15, when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
After his time in the service, he worked on many ranches in Idaho and Nevada — always a top hand among the crew. He began to rodeo at an early age and won his first buckle in bull riding at Bliss, Idaho. He spent many years following rodeo in bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bulldogging. He was a pretty fair team roper, too.
Gene owned his own airplane and would fly over the family ranch and knock the tops out of the cottonwood trees to tell the family to pick him up at the airport. He also owned and operated several bars and restaurants over the years.
Gene married Betty Woods and they had three children: Becky, Dave and Brad. They later divorced.
On May 8, 1981, he married Shelley Hack at McDermitt, Nev. They spent their honeymoon in a branding camp with Cisco’s. They started raising quarter horses and showing “Pepper,” Gene’s good yellow stud horse in cutting.
Gene did many things in his life, from being a cowboy to running heavy equipment to learning silversmithing. He was a truly remarkable and talented man.
He was preceded in death by his beloved parents, Floyd and Maude Bowman; a brother, Wayne Bowman; and a granddaughter, Sophia Noel Hack.
Survivors include his wife, Shelley; his daughter, Becky Goff, and her husband, Rex, of Spring Creek, Nev.; sons, Dave Bowman, Brad Bowman and his wife, Lori, all of Elko, Nev., and Ed Hack of Oregon; sisters, Thelma, Wilma, Mary and Ethel of Gooding, Idaho; one brother, Otis Bowman of Utah; grandchildren, Josh, Nick, Mandy, Donita, Sara, Nicole, Kristen, Hope, Holly, Beau, Michelle, Cheyenne and Skyler; numerous great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children through Gray’s West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, March 18, 2005
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor