Tributes for

Bowman, Mel

Everette (Mel) Bowman, born July 25, 1938 in Granite Falls, North Carolina, passed away Friday, October 13, 2017, at the Blue Water Vista Board and Care in Corona del Mar, California after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Mel is the youngest of four children. His mother worked in a cotton mill in Brookford to support the family. Mel’s father wasn’t around when Mel was growing up. Mel was called Junior as a kid and some family members still call him Everette. He didn’t like either one so started going by Mel in high school.

Mel was industrious, earning his spending money with a paper route. He got his first bicycle by fixing up one that had been thrown away. He capitalized on this experience by charging others when he repaired theirs. He went to junior high school in Hickory North Carolina then went to live with his brother, Pete, in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he attended high school. He worked in a men’s clothing store the first summer and Stamey’s BBQ. He went to Pete’s Beauty School and later learned to sew in a tailor shop.

October 27 of 1954 Mel joined the U. S. Air Force. His mother was delighted to not only give her permission for him to join but lie about his age since minimum age would be 17. He went to boot-camp at Lackland Airforce Base in San Antonio, Texas. Sent to Keesler AFB in Biloxi Mississippi and went to electronic school. After graduating he went to Forbes AFB in Topeka Kansas Strategic Air Command. The B-47’s just came out. Mel did electronic maintenance. He did a lot of flying when in-flight maintenance was required to troubleshoot problems. At Forbes, his real age was revealed. He was offered a discharge but refused it since he would have most likely been drafted into the army if he took it. He was honorably discharged October 26, 1962 after 4 years of active duty and 4 years in the active reserves. After active duty Mel went to college at Washburn University in Topeka Kansas graduating in 1962 with an Electrical Engineering (EE) Degree. He supported himself with the GI bill and tending bar at the officers club.

Upon graduation Mel was immediately recruited by telecommunications firms. He was a technician and production foreman at Motorola. This was the time when the technology for the first microchips was being developed and Mel was part of the pioneering force that led to what is now known as Silicon Valley. In the seventy’s Mel moved to Mountain View, CA and worked first at Fairchild Semiconductor and later at Teledyne Semiconductor. At Teledyne, he was responsible for Teledyne’s Far East manufacturing operations which included factories in Hong Kong and Singapore, employing thousands of people producing complex electronic devices.
Mel next moved to San Diego, where he opened and operated a factory dedicated to developing ceramic packaging for semiconductors for Teledyne. Mel continued as Plant manager when the facility was later sold to Kyoto.
Mel was able to fulfill all these roles because he was a creative and committed individual who believed that for every problem there is a solution and he sought it out. Mel was an entrepreneur who started and ran several small businesses and invested in real estate in Arizona.
In 1985 he established Mel Bowman and Associates, Inc., a sub-chapter “S” corporation, marketing, manufacturing, and sales of Stainless Steel Metal tactile dome switches.

Mel married Ruth Ann Baker Thomas in 1968. His career took them to live in different parts of the world before settling in Newport Beach. Ruth passed away in June of 2000 after a long battle with cancer. Mel and Ruth had no children. They raised Ruth’s daughter, Kelly, and later doted on Kelly’s daughter, Julee.

Mel was introduced to Nanette by their mutual housekeeper in September of 2000. After a couple of dates Mel visited Nanette at St. Paul’s as she was working pastries at the Festival. He took a church tour led by Father Timothy and decided this was his home. After Chrismation he served on the Parish Council and as a member of St. Paul’s Foundation.

He and Nanette married in January of 2002 at St. Paul’s. They especially enjoyed traveling -visiting Mexico, Hong Kong, pilgrimages to Greece/Italy and Israel/Egypt, Phoenix, Seattle, North Dakota, New Orleans, house boating, cruising on his boat, visiting family and festive holiday gatherings. Mel enjoyed a good time but seemed to get his greatest joy from solving business challenges. Therefore, his unique title while serving on St. Paul’s Parish Council and the Foundation was “Special Ops”.

A prime example of Mel’s kind and generous heart is the day he hired Brian Bora to work at Mel Bowman and Associates. Brian was the bar tender at the Newport Beach Tennis Club where Mel and Ruth spent many hours playing tennis and socializing. Brian’s girlfriend, Renee, had a triple transplant (heart and two lungs) making medical insurance coverage pretty much impossible. Mel promised to take care of that coverage with Brian as his employee so Brian and Renee married on 10-18-1996. When Mel decided to retire in February 2012, he transferred Mel Bowman and Associates to Brian.

Mel was a fair and true friend who could always be counted on and he will be sorely missed by those that were privileged to know him.

Mel is survived by his wife, Nanette, granddaughter Julee (Ryan) Yokoyama, stepdaughter Renee (Bill) Cooper, step-granddaughter Nicole Wood, stepson Alan Kuhn, sister Betty Mays, and nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Pete and Billy, his first wife Ruth, and stepdaughter Kelly.


Mortuary: McCormick and Son Mortuary

Florist: La Tulipe