PASSAGES Jerry Bowman of Springfield dies 2017-06-05
Jerry Dean Bowman, 62, of Springfield, died June 3, 2017 at Memorial Medical Center.
Jerry was born Feb. 21, 1955 in Jerseyville, the son of Harold and Shirley Gross Bowman.
He married his longtime partner Buff Carmichael on Sept. 20, 2014 in DeWitt County, soon after marriage equality was legal in the Land of Lincoln. Both Jerry and Buff have been a critical part of the push for statewide LGBT equality in Illinois. Sept. 20, 2017 would have marked their 25th anniversary together, and three years of legal marriage.
Jerry graduated from Southwestern in Piasa and attended Robert Morris Business School in Jacksonville. He was employed with the state of Illinois, Department of Human Services until his retirement in 2009 after 33 years of service.
He was a member of Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation since 2014 and a member of Heartland Metropolitan Unitarian Church. Jerry was a leader and pioneer in an effort to secure marriage equality. He published the LGBT newspaper, Prairie Flame, with Buff, and was co-chair of GLAD. He also volunteered at the 5th Street Renaissance/ SARA Center and various other community resources throughout his years in Springfield. He enjoyed camping and spending time with friends. The couple have also been part of CORAL, the Coalition of Rainbow Alliances, and many more organizations
He was preceded in death by his father, Harold Bowman.
He is survived by his husband, Buff Carmichael; mother, Shirley Bowman; siblings, Sonny ( wife, Debbie ) Bowman, Donna ( husband, Don ) Phillips, Rona ( husband, Danny ) Krueger, Keith ( wife, Diane ) Bowman, and Richard ( wife, Amy ) Bowman; two aunts; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Visitation: Family will receive friends from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 7, at Kirlin-Egan & Butler Funeral Home, 900 S. 6th St., Springfield.
Funeral Ceremony: 7 p.m. Thursday, June 8, at Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 745 Woodside Rd., Springfield with Rev. Martin E. Woulfe officiating.
Graveside Ceremony: 10 a.m. on Friday, June 9, 2017 at Oak Ridge Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to: 5th Street Renaissance/SARA Center, 1315 N. 5th St., Springfield, Illinois 62702.
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