Tolman Bowen

Tolman Laurence Bowen

1953 - 2024

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Obituary of Tolman Laurence Bowen

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On March 17, 2024, on a day when the skies over Rowe Hill in Morrill, Maine put on a display of every kind of weather- rain, thunder, hail, and finally sunshine- Tolman (Tom) L. Bowen, following a period of declining health, took his leave of this realm. Born August 5, 1953, Tom was the youngest of three children born to Laurence and Marjorie Bowen. His early childhood years were spent in Camden, Maine where he made many life-long friends. When Tom was in his teen years, he relocated with his family to Waldo County, graduating in 1971 from Belfast Area High School where he formed many new and enduring friendships. 


 For much of his career years, Tom was self-employed in the field of installing carpeting and flooring. His work was deemed of the highest quality by customers in Waldo County and beyond. He followed up on this career chapter by becoming employed during the final decade of his active employment as a guard, first at the Maine State Prison and then at the Bolduc Correctional Facility. Upon retirement, Tom wasted no time in thoroughly immersing himself in enjoying the good life on his small Rowe Hill farm. Tom rarely strayed far from home once he retired, preferring the beauty and peace he found in his own backyard. He could typically be found mowing his lawns and fields and caring for his many beautiful flowering shrubs and trees, which he maintained in a park-like condition. Similarly, he was often viewed engaged in activities involved in preparing the soil, planting, tending and harvesting produce grown in the organic vegetable gardens he shared with his sister The two sibling retirees looked forward each year to garden season during which they would experiment with adding and raising at least one new type of crop. They especially enjoyed sharing the produce raised in their garden with family and friends.


Tom was all of his life a very intelligent, creative, and curious individual who liked the challenge of figuring out how things worked, with a mind directed toward making improvements upon the functioning of his tools, equipment, and belongings. It was rare to find Tom not working on one project or another up on Rowe Hill. He would stop his work long enough to sit and visit and discuss the state of the world with anyone who stopped by; however, the visitor would soon sense Tom’s desire to return his attention to the task upon which he was working. Tom was not one to be subtle and his friends always understood and appreciated his uniqueness. 


Tom was a generous man who loved to share his interests and talents with his family and friends. His children have fond memories of their dad constructing home-made swimming pools in the backyard, one of which on a hot summer day, burst at the seams, spreading a river of water across the yard, scattering the screaming children.  He loved to cook for his loved ones. Among his specialties were his blueberry pancake breakfasts, lobster and clam feeds, and his famous fresh scallop stew. 


Tom had many special qualities that endeared him to his friends. He was insightful, generous, and non-judgmental. He saw the humor in situations and enjoyed a good laugh. He possessed a strong and independent character that often masqueraded the more gentle, loving, and compassionate side which he revealed to his most loved ones. 


Throughout his life, Tom enjoyed the companionship of a continuous stream of special dog friends. Chief among these relationships was the one between Tom and his German Shepard Luther- a constant companion who accompanied Tom to his job sites. More recently another beautiful and fine-spirited German Shepard came into Tom’s life. Beau provided Tom with a devoted companionship during Tom’s final years on Rowe Hill. 


Much of Tom’s retirement was spent in solitary pursuits. He was a voracious reader, bringing home from his weekly trips to the library stacks of books. Now and then, he enjoyed an early morning solo ride on his Harley Davidson over the backroads of Waldo County. He loved nothing more than sitting on his lawn chair watching the sunset over the mountains and viewing a full moon on the rise.  


There were times when Tom sought social outings. He made many wonderful memories with his good buddies on fishing trips and he was an accomplished fisherman. He loved good music and enjoyed attending live music performances. For a few years, Tom hosted the locally-renowned invitation-by-word-of-mouth Fourth of July Farm Party. The quiet little town of Morrill was memorably shocked by the presence of a huge crowd ascending upon Rowe Hill where the beer ran freely and where loud live rock music rained down over the valley from the farm party in Tom’s hillside fields. 


 A strong independent Maine man, Tom stayed true to his nature right to the end. While choosing to take care of his own needs, his illness forced him to accept some minimal assistance. He greatly appreciated those helpers, including Janice Scott  R.N. of Gentiva Hospice, who provided the level of assistance that allowed Tom to continue living his final days in the home he loved. A humble man, he requested that upon his passing, there be no public memorial service. His family will respect these wishes and will honor his memory privately. 


Tom was pre-deceased by his parents and by his daughters’ mothers with whom he had maintained special friendships, Shari Lawrence Wight and Julie Nickerson Gray. He is survived by his four children, Chris (and Lisa) Bowen, Kevin Bowen, Jasmine Bowen, and Malory (and Adam) Clark. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Grant Bowen, Luke Bowen, Brooke Bowen, Kaeleigh Bowen, Madden Macleod, and Eliza Clark.  His siblings Darrell (and Janet Schlegel) Bowen and Linda (and Daniel) Brissette also survive him, as well as his nephew Benjamin Bowen and nieces Heather Jackson, Heidi Hurd, Lara Mather and Marissa Markham. Tom’s life was blessed with many wonderful friends. Among his most cherished were his friendships with Lloyd Ratten and Harriet Wing.

Our pain at the loss of our loved one is balanced by our knowledge that Tom is at peace. 


Arrangements are in the care of Riposta Funeral Home of Belfast, Maine.  Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at













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Tolman Bowen

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Tolman Bowen

1953 - 2024

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