A Celebration of Life service for Ronnie L. Bowers, age 62, of Mount Juliet, TN will be held on Monday, June 25, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at The Donelson Fellowship, 3210 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN. The family will receive friends from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., prior to the service. A graveside service with burial will be Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 11 a.m. Wilees Chapel United Methodist Church, 3650 Cooper Creek Rd, Woodlawn, TN 37191. with a 10:15 AM processional from McReynolds -Nave & Larson Funeral Home in Clarksville, 1209 Madison Street, Clarksville, TN to Wilees Chapel in Woodlawn, TN. Ronnie passed away at his home on the morning of June 23, 2018 after a 2 year battle with Pancreatic Cancer.
He was born on October 22, 1955 in Clarksville, TN. Ronnie is preceded by his father Carrie Bowers, mother Ruth Bowers, sister Betty Hall and father-in-law Franklin Burkhart. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Gayle Burkhart Bowers, brothers Roy (Sandra), Mike (Susan), sisters, Betina (Scott) Sitter and Belinda (Joe) Lyle, his precious nieces and nephews, Kim Marek, Wendy Corriveau, Seth & Samuel Sitter, Brian and Mendy Bowers and Dillon & Jacob Burkhart, mother-in-law Audrey Morrow Burkhart, brother-in-law Tony Burkhart and five great nieces and nephews.
Ronnie earned his B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from Austin Peay State University in 1983 and began his career with the State of Tennessee in October 1983. He held many positions with the Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), including the Solid Waste Management Division, the Hazardous Waste Management Division, the Superfund Division and the Water Pollution Control Division. Ronnie also served as the Department of Transportation’s Environmental Coordinator for a number of years. Most recently he was the Special Project Manager for TDEC, reporting directly to the Commissioner of the Department. Throughout his career Ronnie focused on improving the environment and, in turn, the lives of many people.
Known for his ability to design and implement creative and sustainable projects in the natural environment, Ronnie has been the driving force behind many wetland and stream restoration projects that will preserve valuable land and protect water quality and sensitive ecosystems for years to come. His successful projects are enjoyed on a daily basis by Tennesseans from Memphis to Sevierville and many places in between, including the Eastern Flank Battlefield in Franklin, Calvary Church in Cordova, Oakley Farm in Overton County, and many, many more. Some of Ronnie’s most impactful work has been in conjunction with the Tennessee State Parks. Projects include reestablishing Swan Lake at Dunbar Cave State Park, TO Fuller Stream Bank Restoration, Wetland Expansion at Seven Islands State Birding Park and restoring a 65 acre wetland at Henry Horton State Park in Chapel Hill.
In 2016, Ronnie received the Green Tie Award from the Tennessee Environmental Council for his many years of work in stream, streambank and wetland restoration. In addition, plans are underway to officially name the recently restored wetlands at Henry Horton State Park, the “Ronnie Bowers Wetland”.
For the past 25 years, Ronnie and Gayle have lived on Old Hickory Lake which provided a sanctuary as well as a playground for them with boating, fishing and always the gathering of friends for fun and fellowship. Ronnie loved being outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman, and loved spending time with his precious Cocker Spaniels, Bella and Halle and love his life, Gayle. His heroic battle with pancreatic cancer has been a testament to his, faith, strength, courage and unbreakable will. He will be deeply missed, but the life he loved and lived will provide precious memories for so many that loved him. His greatest joy in life was doing for others. To Ronnie, it was definitely more blessed to give than receive.
Pallbearers are David Burke, Ryan Vickers, Mike Kirby, Ron James, Todd Hughes, Jeff Duke, Doug Miller, Gary Mitchell, Dennis Mitchell, Dwight Hinch, JJ Hollars and Joe Sanders. In Lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Donelson Fellowship, 3210 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN.