Angelina Co. historian and author Bob Bowman dies at 77

(Source: Discover Magazine)
(Source: Discover Magazine)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Bob Bowman died this weekend at the age of 77.

The icon known by many as Mr. East Texas will leave behind a legacy and vision for Angelina County. East Texas News spoke to Bowman's son and many of his great friends today.

"No one replaces Bob Bowman," said Lufkin Mayor Bob Brown.

Brown has sought advice from Bob Bowman for the past 35 years and is truly going to miss the man who knew so much about East Texas.

"He has given me some very good personal advice through the years, and he was a great historian, but more than that, he was a great visionary," Brown said. "Bob and I got along very well, and he mentored me as to what the culture was in Lufkin as well as the East Texas Culture."

Bowman was a local author and a Lufkin leader who loved everything about the Pineywoods.

"Daddy enjoyed history in Angelina County and all over East Texas matter of a fact, said Jimmy Bowman, Bob Bowman's son. "That was his livelihood; he lived for the history."

Over the years, Bowman and his wife, Doris, wrote more than 40 books.

Trey Henderson, the president of Angelina Hardwood, had the chance to read written drafts of the various unusual East Texas stories that were later published.

"He was a great writer and great use of vocabulary, which is obviously what he calling was to writing the books he did. I don't know if everyone can really appreciate how much time and effort he and Doris took," Henderson said.

The well-respected historian wrote his own obituary according to his son Jimmy.

"That's the way he was," Jimmy Bowman said. "He stayed on top of things and made sure things were right and done his way."

Bowman won numerous awards and served on many different boards in Lufkin, and working behind the scenes was something he was most known for.

"You very seldom saw him out front; that's the way he wanted it," Henderson said. "He loved to get behind and support the community activities and endeavors."

And because of that he will truly be missed.

Friends and family say Bob Bowman never let his illness hold him back but pneumonia recently set in and he died late Saturday.

"Bob has been sick. He's had a lot of different issues that have afflicted him but he's never let that become a problem as far as his ongoing day to day life," Henderson said. "He certainly wasn't going to let it be an issue for his friends and family, and ultimately, pneumonia set in on him."

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