Aaron Thomas Bowden US Army Captain WW2 Veteran -94
Captain A. Thomas Bowden a retired Graphic Arts Supplies Executive died on his 71st Wedding Anniversary on January 10, 2013 at Senator Bob Hooper Hospice in Forest Hill, Maryland. Mr. Bowden was the son of the late Lloyd T. Bowden and Louise M. Weammert and predeceased by his siblings the late Nettie Aaron Keating and Lloyd Neal Bowden. He was a 1937 graduate of the Polytechnical Institute on North Ave. He worked under his father at the Tin Decorating Company (Tindeco) on Boston street. In 1940, he enlisted in the Maryland National Guard. On January 10, 1942 he married the former Mary Vashti Grove whom he had met at the Eutaw United Methodist Church. In early 1942 he trained at Ft Belvoir, Virginia where he completed Officers Candidate School. He served in the 27th Infantry division and was sent to Fort Meade and later served overseas for over 27 months during WW II. He participated in the invasions of the Mariana Islands including Saipan, and the Gilbert Islands on the Makin atoll of Tarawa. He was injured in the 25 day invasion and Battle of Saipan in June of 1944 and also survived a bout with Dengai Fever. First he was a Company commander and later as a combat engineer secured the Aslito Airfield on Saipan. The Aslito Airfield was strategic to the superfortress long range B-29 bombers bombing cities in Japan. In early March 1945, the US Army declared that men overseas for over two years were ordered home for a 30 day leave, he surprised his wife Vashti (thinking he was in the Pacific Islands) when he called from the Chicago train station ending the conversation that he would be see her the next day. He arrived at Baltimore’s Penn Station walking onto the train platform and embracing her in his summer Army uniform. His luck continued in May of 1945 while transporting prisoners to Seattle, WA via train, VE (Victory in Europe) was declared and all men at home on leave did not have to return overseas.
He purchased a home in original Northwood and soon after started the Bowden Graphic Art Supply Company with his brother the late Lloyd Neal Bowden of Monkton. Amongst his largest clients Continental Can, American Can, Federal Tin, Lord Baltimore Press, and Hoen Co. In 1965, the company was sold to the Tasty Baking Company (Tastycake) of Philadelphia. He was the President of the Northwood Baseball league and Eagle Scout and Scoutmaster. In later years, he purchased a horse farm in Parkton, MD and raced thoroughbred race horses. He was an avid golfer and member of the Country Club of Maryland, enjoyed woodworking and spoke of his military service, even to lecture at the Dulaney High School on his wartime service. He drove until his 92nd year and didn’t miss voting in an election. He was a member of the Boumi Temple and was on the “100 List” as a longest living member, the Scottish Rite and the American Legion. He traveled often to Chincoteague, Virginia to his summer home to see the annual Pony Penning.
In addition to his wife, Vashti he is survived by his two children, Ruth B. Mascari of Monkton and a son Paul T. Bowden and his wife Cathy C. Bowden of Bel Air, five grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren all who reside in the Baltimore area. Family and friends will honor Tom’s life at the family owned Evans Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services – Bel Air, 3 Newport Dr. (Rts. 23 & 24 – Forest Hill) on Friday, January 18, 2013 from 3-5 & 7-9 PM, a funeral service will be held, Saturday, January 19, 2013 at Salem United Methodist Church 18217 Falls Road Hampstead, Maryland 21074 beginning at 11 AM with visitation the hour prior. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions Tom’s name may be made to The WBAL Radio Kids Campaign, 3800 Hooper Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21211. Internment Geisey Cemetery, Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania.