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Obituary: Wesley G. Bowen

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1924 ~ 2003

Wesley G. Bowen, 79, passed away at home of natural causes September 2, 2003.

Wes was born in Barry, South Wales, May 7, 1924 to Fred and Emily Bowen. He was reared in England, receiving his education at the prestigious British school Queen Elizabeth Hospital. He served as a paratrooper in the British military during World War II, with extended service in India. His military service included command positions in both artillery and paratroop regiments.

Wes came to the United States in his early 20s, settling in Salt Lake and working in the broadcast industry. He married Lucille Johnson, 1949; later divorced. Although divorced, he and Lucille remained friends, sharing birthdays and holidays together with their children and grandchildren. His broadcasting career blossomed through his years at KSL radio, working as a writer, producer, and director of various programs, eventually serving as Vice President of KSL Public Affairs. His assorted jazz programs, including "Rare, But Well Done" and "Bowen, and All That Jazz" had fans throughout the West, spanning 38 states and even ships at sea. His landmark call-in program, "Public Pulse," allowed him to discuss controversial issues on air with local, national and international celebrities including James Stewart, Sir Edmund Hilary, former British Prime Ministers Edward Heath, Harold MacMillan, and numerous presidential candidates. He won the Utah State Bar Media Award for Outstanding Service in the Interests of Justice Award five times, the Law Day Liberty Bell Award, and numerous public service awards.

After leaving KSL, Wes worked on many business ventures, including bio-chemical, auto-finish and golf related products, and poetry and music CDs. He also continued in the broadcast industry with a popular jazz program on KUER.

Wes enjoyed most things, including music, history, politics, travel, food and sports; but certainly his favorite things were his family and the game of golf. He spent all birthdays and holidays with his family and was a fixture at his children's homes during all four major golf tournaments and the Ryder Cup. His golf "disease" as he called it, included traveling to Augusta National Golf Club with his boys to enjoy "the Masters." Heaven for Wes was combining family and golf for a round at Wasatch.

Wes is survived by his sister, Audrey Beams; sons, Gordon (Barbara), Kent (Becky), Scott (Janene), John (Patty); daughter, Lisa (David) Waterman; grandchildren, Brooke, Amanda, William, Taylor, Connor, Lily, Caleb.

Memorial service will be Fri. Sept 12, 2003, 12 noon Garden Park LDS Ward chapel, 1150 E. Yale Ave (1080 S). In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Humane Society of Utah, or Choice Humanitarian.

The family wishes to thank all who have sent condolences and shared memories of Wes. For example, as Mark Noble e-mailed the family, "One of the things I loved about Wes was his eagerness to dream big. His mind was filled with books to be written, with jazz ballets to be choreographed, with ideas for music, with desires to travel again, as well as with love of his family and friends." A special thanks to Wes' great friends, Gene Minshall, Gordon Hanks, Bob Crawford, Steve Williams and Mark Noble for their love and support.