James A. Bower Sr., 90, of Ligonier, PA, formerly of Madison, PA, passed away due to complications of the COVID-19 virus on Monday, April 13, 2020 at Excela Latrobe Hospital in Latrobe, PA. He was born December 4, 1929 in Irwin, PA. Son of the late Earl Guy and Florence V. Bogue Bower. As a youth, he participated in the 4H Youth Club. After graduating high school, Jim went on to join the U.S. Navy, serving during war time of the Korean War. He then went on to be self-employed, working for the circulation department at the Tribune Review for thirty-five years. He was a member of the Downtown United Methodist Church in Madison, PA where he was a pillar of the church. He joined the Irwin Male Choir later in life because of his love of singing and beautiful voice. He was the mayor of Madison Borough where he proudly served for twenty-two years. Jim was a huge Pirates fan through thick and thin. He often would take his children to Forbes Field to watch baseball games, often seeing famous baseball players such as Roberto Clemente. He would also take his children camping in their younger years to Crooked Creek State Park. He enjoyed drinking black coffee with his daily newspaper reading, gardening, hunting and loved the outdoors. He taught his sons how to hunt and enjoyed a trip together to Colorado to elk hunt. He and his wife traveled all over the U.S. including Hawaii, Alaska and all the major national parks out west. Jim was so proud to have rebuilt his home that was 250 years old. It was the Mill Ghrist home. He is preceded in death by both parents, six brothers - Rev. Seth Paul Bower, David Eli Bower, Carl Amos Bower, Fred Thomas Bower, Ivan Dale Bower and Donald Merle Bower. He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years – Gertrude Jean Lynn Bower of Ligonier, PA, one daughter – Bonnie Hoffer and fiancé Paul of New Stanton, PA, four sons – Jim Bower Jr. and wife Nancy of Ruffsdale, PA, Terry Bower and wife Debbie of Greensburg, PA, Ron Bower and wife Bonnie of Pleasant Unity, PA and Ken Bower and wife Tammy of Greensburg, PA, eight grandchildren - Ashley Bruce, Shalane Baker, Samantha Bower, Natalie Toman, Autumn Sutty, Riley Hoffer, Morgan Hoffer and Rhett Hoffer, four great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all services will be private. A private service will take place at the Beatty-Rich Funeral Home, Inc. Rt 136 Madison, PA – Ronald A. Rich Sr., Supervisor – Ronald A. Rich Jr., Funeral Director. A private interment will take place at the Mars Hill Cemetery in Sewickley Township. A celebration of life will be held at a later date yet to be announced. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes donations to be made to the Downtown Madison United Methodist Church PO Box 86 Madison, PA 15663.
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