Jim Bowers
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Jim Bowers, age 71, of Yankton, South Dakota, passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 2, 2014 at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Mass of Christian Burial is 2:00 PM, on Monday, October 6, 2014 at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Yankton with Reverend Ken Lulf officiating. Visitation is from 2:00 to 5:00 PM, on Sunday, October 5 at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton with a vigil service at 4:00 PM. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the funeral at the church.

Jim was born on February 15, 1943 to Clifford and Jean (Fitzgerald) Bowers in Coldwater, MI and then grew up in Quincy, MI. Jim attended Adrian College and studied Biology completing his master's work in physiology at Michigan State University. His degree in physiology opened the door for teaching positions at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse, the College of St Mary in Winona MN, and to Mt. Marty College in Yankton, SD where he taught in the Natural Sciences division for 33 years. On August 20, 1992 he married JoEllen Hilfiker. Together they raised two daughters Ann and Sarah. Jim believed in service to others. He was on the advisory board at Big Friend Little Friend, at the Cramer-Kenyon Historical Home, a member of the Yankton Community Forum, and volunteered at Habitat for Humanity. Jim loved being on the water and spent his summers as a young adult working for the Branch County Sheriff's Department patrolling the chains of lakes in Michigan. Once settled in South Dakota he enjoyed many hours sailing on Lewis & Clark Lake. He enjoyed spending time with his family, reading, gardening/landscaping and radio controlled airplanes. Gathering around the table at dinner time was important to him and he enjoyed trying out new recipes. He had a great love of nature and a strong belief of protecting the environment. Going for a drive and observing wildlife brought serenity to him. At home he had a shop where he spent many hours woodworking. He was also the master of DIY projects. He loved Saturday college football. Over the years of Jim's teaching career at MMC he had students coming back to him after their graduation to share their accomplishments in their fields of specialty. He was so proud of his students' successes. In retirement, he looked forward to having breakfast each Thursday morning with Jack, Pam and Ruby.

Jim is survived by his wife, JoEllen (Hilfiker) Bowers of Yankton; two daughters, Ann (Maly) and Jarrod Smith of Mukilteo, WA and Sarah (Maly) and John Tacke of Sioux Falls, SD, one granddaughter, Clara Jo Smith; two brothers and their spouses, Clifford and Sandy Bowers of Coldwater, MI and Bruce and Danelle Bowers of Quincy, MI; one sister, Johanna Hippensteel of Quincy, MI; and many nieces and nephews.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents.

Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.

Dear JoEllen, Sarah, & Ann,

You and Jim are in our thoughts and prayers! We hope that the passage of time will heal the void created by Jim's passing and that the pleasant memories of this kind man will heal your spirits!

Linda & John Stene

Dear family of Mr. Bowers,

In my opinion, he was one of the best teachers I ever had. He made learning anatomy and physiology fun! I consider myself blessed to have had him as one of my teachers. I know there are many other students who feel the same way I do. You have my deepest sympathy.

Pam Hegge, Dell Rapids, SD

Dear JoEllen...

will miss Jim GREATLY...he was a good friend. My sympathy to you, Sarah and Ann.

Ruby Goede

JoEllen & family,

So sorry for your loss. Our thought and prayers are with you all.

Allan & Irma Arens

Jim was a wonderful teacher and friend to all of us. Personally, he helped me believe that I was capable of learning science, especially, Anatomy and Physiology. He made learning fun. I loved his labs. What a great man he was! Rest in peace Jim

Carrie Rothones MMC '83

My sympathy to your family.

Dr. Bowers was an extraordinary professor. He expected the best out of all of us and in turn gave us his very best.


Pat--MMC class 1987

Dear Family of Jim Bowers,

I was a student of Mr. Bowers in the mid 80's when I attended nursing school at Mount Marty. He was one of my favorite professors, and also one who challenged me the most. I still remember so much of the information he taught me. He was a truly gifted professor and will be deeply missed by all. I pray that God would comfort you and your family.

Carolyn Goodson

Sending heartfelt thoughts and prayers to your families. May your memories of Jim provide you comfort in the days ahead. As a MMC alum, I have many great memories of Jim.


Jodi Goeden and family

Know that Jim will be remembered as the man who was brillant and always with a greeting in the passing. Everyone received his attention and now you know that we appreciated him. God Bless His soul and welcome him into Heaven.

Kathy & Paul Harens

Bowers Family,

You are in my family's prayers. Jim was one of my favorite professors at MMC. A lot of great memories. Go gently into that great good night.

Justin Kucirek MMC '97

I was a student of Jim's A&P class; and his TA for 2 years assisting in the lab and tutoring. He was one of the most important people in the pursuit of my career. There hasn't been a time since I graduated that I haven't thought about him.

Tim Kirby, MMC 1984

I am so sorry for your loss. Your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Jim was one of my favorite professors at MMC. He challenged us to be our best.

Leanne Nicholls, MMC 2004

Jim was a dear friend, colleague and a wonderful teacher to work with. He always supported me and I loved the hours of "coffee time" in front of the fire place in his office area. Could not of asked for a better division chair and friend when I was hired for my first faculty position. I am now a program head at SDSU, and I have alot of thanks to give to him for his continued support of my career after leaving MMC. Those were some of the best times in my teaching career. He will be truly missed.

To JoEllen and the girls as well as the rest of his family, you can certainly smile as I know Jim is smiling at us, knowing his life impacted so many young people and others in a very positive way. Love and miss him, as I am sure all do!

Pat Tille

My heartfelt sympathy to you Jo Ellen and family.

Jim Bowers was a GREAT instructor! and person. I am so thankful that I got to know him and learn from him.

Zita Hans 1986

May Jim rest in peace.

We enjoyed many coffees and conversations (sometimes gossip) in his office. God bless you all.

Leon Cantin

Dear JoEllen and family,

I am so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. He was one of my favorite instructors while I was at MMC. I have many memories of him and his jokes in A&P. I learned so much from him. I will keep you in my prayers.

Terri Koletzky Lenser 1991

Bowers family

My sincere sympathy at your loss. He was my A&P instructor in 1982,I learned so much and have great memories of him in class. He was truly one of a kind professor. Class of 1982

May Schaefer

To Jim's family,

There is far more that should be said than can be in this forum. As my comrade in Biology, I cherished Jim as the exceptional teacher he was. He made a critical difference in the lives of countless students, which is tremendous legacy. However, we spent much more time together outside school than we did at work. We took students on several memorable Interim trips to Florida, which I will never forget. We spent a GREAT deal of enjoyable time working together on home repair projects. But my fondest and most treasured hours with Jim were spent working on our sailboats and sailing together every opportunity we had. Those are among the happiest memories of my life! Jim was an integral part of my and my family's life in Yankton. He was like a brother to me and was "family" to us for many years. Jim will live in our hearts forever. He was truly a WONDERFUL man! We pray that God send His healing grace to all members of his family. With our deepest sympathy for your loss and wishes that your cherished memories of Jim will help sustain you during this time,

Jim and Mona Rasmussen and family

I'm so sorry to hear of Jim's passing,

My heartfelt sympathy to you Jo Ellen and family! He was a great TEACHER! I will keep you all in my prayers!

Sr. Auxilia Hokororo

I love to see all the messages about what an impact Jim had on his students. Though I wasn't a student of his, Ann Maly Smith and I were so very close and still are. I always thought so highly of Jim and will miss him dearly. He was such a good man and loving person to his wife, Ann, and Sarah. Jim, May you rest in peace!

Abby Muxfelt

So sorry to hear of Jim's passing.

One of the best faculty I have ever had. He introduced me to coffee at Mount Marty is his MMC office. He changed the lives of so many in all his years at Mount Marty. I will never forget the stories and memories of all my classes with him. Including are 7 AM classes in advanced bio. I am a better person because of him. Blessings to Jim and his family.

Ryan Hajek. MMC 2007

We re sorry for your loss. Jim. was such a great person, great conversationalist, and great teacher, he will live on in our memories as someone so special he can never be forgotten.

Nancy and Dick Reddy

I was in Jim's first A&P class at MMC in '77. He was tough, but excellent. I was a lab assistant for 2 years and went on to get a Masters in Biology because of his inspiration. He teased me all the time about being a small town farm girl. He then hired me back many years later as an adjunct professor of Biology at MMC. I will never forget him.

Carol Ryan, Class of 1980

Dear JoEllen -

am sorry for your loss

Karen Chesley

Our dear JoEllen and girls.

Please know we are thinking of you all and please accept our deepest sympathies and condolences during these difficult days. My heart is saddened to hear of your loss. Love Jeannine, Chad, Matt, Andy and our angel Nick.

Jeannine Hickey (Taecker) Reuer

Thinking of you and your family during this difficult time!

Jim was an instrumental role model to many students, me included. Rest assured he is in a better place watching over us all!

Rebecca Davis- MMC Class of 2007

JoEllen and Family,

I am so sorry to hear about the death of Jim. He and you all have been in our thoughts and prayers. Please take care and God Bless.

Joleen Herrboldt


So very sorry to hear of Jim's passing. Heaven just got brighter. Wishing you peace and sending hugs from Michigan.

Katrina Bowers

I met Jim as I was leaving MMC in 1977 & had the privilege of being able to call him a colleague when I returned to MMC as an instructor in the Respiratory Science program in 1985.

He was an inspiration to SO many MMC students including 9 Wagners who attended MMC. He was a mentor & Great resource to this new college educator! I'll never forget his influencial care for his students, He was a model of educational mentorship. I'll never forget his summer of "86" riverboat project with a few of my Respiratory Therapy students. I was green with envy of his adventurous "can do" spirit.

He touched & inspired so many! Know that those many are with you and praying for you in your time of grief.

Dan Wagner


In the late 70s and early 80s, my husband, Dr. William D Burnett (Business Prof), taught at MMC. Jim and Bill became close friends quickly. We spent a lot of very enjoyable time with Jim. He had a great sense of humor, was sensitive and caring, and could hold his own in economic debates.

Jim was dearly loved by his students and the faculty. I am sure he is enjoying meeting with the ones who have gone to heaven before him. May you find peace and comfort in the support of family, friends and especially in God.

Vicki and Bill Burnett

JoEllen and family,

Sending my prayers for peace and comfort.

Jill Fuchtman

The only teacher I had at either USD or MMC that really challenged me and respected my opinion. He would listen to what I had to say when we disagreed. Sometimes he would stand firm. Sometimes he changed.

Barbara Wielenga Class of 2002

JoEllen and family,

we are so saddened on your loss of Jim! May it help to lean on others during this time and remembering all the positives he was in your lives! Hugs and hang in theres from us! Prayers sent..

Cindy Sage

I am saddened to hear of the loss of Jim.

He was one of the best teachers I had at MMC. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Becky Sullivan Class of 1997

Bower family,

You are in our thought and prayers. I hope you feels the Lord's presence and comfort during this time.

Gary and Jen Tschetter class of 2004

Was sorry to hear of your husband's passing. You are in our thoughts during this sad time.

Bev Kumm

Jim was one of the best professors I ever had. I saved my Anatomy & Physiology and Biochemistry text books for 20 years- two of my favorite classes. He was an extraordinary professor who always knew the answers, but a warm human being that was always approachable and considerate and kind. My sympathies for your family. He was a wonderful man.

Barbara (Bogner) Lee MMC 1984

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