ATWOOD, Kansas -- Lyle W. "Smitty" Bowles, 87, died Thursday (May 6, 2010).
He was born April 5, 1923, in Rawlins County, Kan., to James A. and Methja J. (Buck) Bowles. He attended Atwood schools, graduating in 1942.
He also attended Colorado University in Boulder, Colorado, and then joined the U.S. Navy, becoming a part of the Naval Air Corps, training to be an aircraft carrier pilot. When World War II ended he transitioned to signalman in the Pacific, off the coast of Japan. He was honorably discharged March 8, 1946.
Returning home, he became part of the Atwood Implement (John Deere) dealership with his father and brother, Jim, formed in 1945.
On Sept. 9, 1947, he married Rita Mary Sabatka. In 1962, he took over the family farm.
He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the American Legion, Elks, and the Kansas Senior Golf Association.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Bud and Jim; and sisters, Betty and Marcella.
Survivors include his children, Dwight and wife, Susan of Hays, Kansas, Brad and wife, Martha of Atwood, Mary and husband, Brian of McCook, and Chad and wife, Janette of Overland Park, Kansas; sister, Ada Lee and husband, JB of Atwood; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Mass of Christian burial was today at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Atwood with the Rev. Stephen Folrunso officiating. Interment was at the Atwood Fairvew Cemetery.
The rosary was Monday.
Memorials may be made to Atwood Good Samaritan Society and Rawlins County Health Center.
Williams Funeral Home of Atwood is in charge of arrangements.