Hillis Duane Bowen

Hillis Duane Bowen, 95, Hiawatha, Kansas, peacefully passed away Saturday, December 30, 2023, at McCrite Plaza in Topeka, KS.

He was born July 9, 1928, to Phil and Edna Bowen. He graduated from Hiawatha High School in 1946 and went to college in Enid, Oklahoma, before returning to Hiawatha to marry the love of his life, Mary Beth Nottingham on September 3, 1950. They enjoyed 72 years of married life together.

 Hillis and Mary began farming just after they were married. He was involved as a 4-H leader in Nebraska for many years, as well as a member of the Army National Guard. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge in Rulo, Nebraska, achieving the rank of Master Mason. After 2 children and 6 years of farming, they sold it all and moved to Manhattan, KS, and Kansas State University. There, Hillis obtained a bachelor’s degree in Milling Engineering. Hillis’s milling career took the family to many destinations, including Toledo, OH, Lambertville, MI, Omaha, NE and Lenexa, KS. He was an Association of Operative Millers member for over 70 years. Eventually, he designed and built his own mix plant, Kate Industries in Gardner, KS before his retirement.

Hillis was involved in church activities wherever they settled. He was always glad to teach a Sunday School class or volunteer to help when needed. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Hiawatha.

He had 30 years to enjoy his retirement. He and Mary Beth moved to the family farm in Hiawatha, rebuilt the home and with his green thumb, cultivated large gardens, both vegetable and flower.

Hllis was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Beth, his parents, brother and sister-in-law Delayne and Marjorie Bowen, and daughter-in-law Georgia.

He is survived by his son Terry, Hiawatha, KS, daughters Beth (Mark) Scheve, Topeka, KS, Karen (Dale) Bruemmer, Jefferson City, MO, and Katherine (Harold) Wingert, Ottawa, KS, brother Ronald (Mary Lou) Bowen, Muscotah, KS, and many nieces and nephews. All will greatly miss him, especially his 12 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 6, 2024, at 11:30 a.m. at Hiawatha First United Methodist Church.  Pastor Dan Norwood will officiate.  A register book will be available to sign Thursday and Friday at Chapel Oaks Funeral Home until 5 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be given to Fairview Willing Workers 4-H club or Prairie Winds Hospice, in care of Chapel Oaks Funeral Home, 124 S. 7th Street, Hiawatha, KS 66434. Private graveside services to be held at a later date.

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