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Jerold Russell “Rusty” Bower, Jr., age 71, of Greenville, passed away Sunday, February 21, 2021 at home.  The son of Ardis Joan (Robertson) & Jerald Russell Bower, Sr., he was born on February 17, 1950 in Greenville, where he graduated from Greenville High School in 1968.

In 1970, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, proudly serving our Nation as a Master Sergeant until his retirement in 1990.  His awards while serving included the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Outstanding Unit Award, Overseas Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Award, and the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon.

On October 11, 1980, at Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda, Michigan, he married the former Jeanne Marie Skiver and together they raised five children and enjoyed 41 years of marriage.  After his retirement from the Air Force, Rusty had a second career working with Stafford Communications and The Daily News in accounting until health issues forced his second retirement.

Rusty enjoyed riding his motorcycle, playing horseshoes and euchre, baking bread, hunting, having coffee with friends, and working on his Model A Ford (which he inherited from his grandfather and father and continues on to the fourth generation of the family’s care with his son), but most of all his family meant the most to him.

He was preceded in death by his parents.  Surviving are his wife, Jeanne Bower of Greenville;  five children, Lisa & Kenneth Clinger, Sr., Jerry Lynn & William M. Weigel, Scott & Bobbie Jo Bower, Randy & Angie Bower, and Rebecca & David Sabourin;  his grandchildren, Kenneth Clinger, Jr., Amanda Clinger, Karrisa Craigmyle,  Jeramey Craigmyle,  William S. Weigel, Samantha Weigel, Amanda Weigel, Nathan Bower, Natalie Bower, Aaron Bower, Jayden Bower, Lillian Bower, Hadleigh Bower, Jackson Sabourin, Elise Sabourin, Elliot Sabourin, and Scarlet Sabourin;  his great grandchildren, Natonya Clinger, Makayla Craigmyle, Gabryal Craigmyle, Talon Clinger, Braiden Weigel, Zoey Babcock, and Haisley Babcock;  a brother, Terry & Judy Bower;  two sisters, Beverly Hoisington and Vicky & Jim Leyrer;  and several nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life gathering, with military honors rendered by the United States Air Force, will be announced at a later date.  Instead of flowers, contributions in Rusty’s memory to the American Lung Association would be appreciated.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Rusty’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:  www.MichiganCremation.com

Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Christiansen’s Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Greenville, (616) 754-5638, exclusive providers of Veterans Funeral Care.

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17 Comments

  1. Trevor on February 22, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Where do I begin… Rusty was a distant in-law, but from the time I met him, he and his wife always remained close from then on. We talked about his service, we talked about Ford vehicles at the dealership, we talked about kids and life, we talked about his bike. Rusty was the kind of guy every young man should have in his life. His voice was soft, yet confident, experienced yet not critical. I think to know Rusty was to instantly accept him as a father figure. You know how some women are just naturally nurturing and motherly? Rusty was a gentleman who could make you a better man and make you strive to be a better man. I am so terribly sorry for your families and friends who have lost such an amazing man. You sir, are definitely on my list of people I will look forward to meeting once again when it’s my time.

    Your humbled friend – Trevor



  2. Claudette on February 22, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    Goodbye uncle Rusty you will be missed and your bread and your humor .



  3. Sheena on February 22, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    Lisa, Jerrylynn, Scott- So sorry for your loss. Thinking of you guys! 💔



  4. Tom & Kathy Sabourin on February 22, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Praying for comfort for your family.



  5. Tricia on February 22, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    Uncle Rusty you will be missed. One thing I will miss is your spaghetti.



  6. Dusten VanBennekom on February 22, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    Thank you for always being there! May you rest in peace and prayers to your family



  7. Angelique Welch on February 22, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    Uncle Rusty you will be greatly missed by many. I will forever hold on to the memories (more childhood memories then any but still memories). I love you and the rest of the family. Till we meet again.



  8. Sharon Chapman on February 23, 2021 at 8:37 am

    Rebecca (and family) – So very sorry to hear of the loss of your father. Your family will be in our prayers and know in time you will have the joy of fond memories and warm thoughts for many years to come.



  9. Darin Hobson on February 23, 2021 at 9:04 am

    So sorry for your loss. Our deepest condolences to you and your family.



  10. Erin Kosek on February 23, 2021 at 9:26 am

    Rebecca (and family) – My deepest condolences to you and your family; my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.



  11. Eric Harbison on February 23, 2021 at 11:22 am

    Rebecca, I was very sorry to hear of your loss. You and your entire family will be in my prayers at this difficult time.



  12. Kristen on February 23, 2021 at 11:52 am

    Rebecca & Family –
    I am very sorry for your loss.
    Wishing you peace and comfort in your happy memories at this difficult time.
    With Sincere Sympathy



  13. Jan Aten on February 23, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    Sending so many prayers and much love to the family. I knew Rusty, only a little, but have no doubt that he was a fine man. I worked with Jeanne, and send you my deepest condolences. May he rest in a well deserved peace.



  14. Clark Kent on February 23, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    Went to school with Rusty, Graduating with him in 1968. Very Proud to be a fellow USAF Retiree, although our paths never crossed during our Active Duty years. RIP Rusty.



  15. Jason (Brian) Churchward on February 23, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    WOW !!!! I am deeply sorry for you and your family for the loss…. I remember him from when we all were so young when Rusty and his wife were great friends with my Dad as well and they served together in the USAF in Nellis, AFB… my dad Mike Churchward use to always talk about Rusty, Jeannie and Rebecca when she was just a baby…. then one day out of the Blue…. Rebecca contacted me thru Facebook messenger and we have talk from time to time and it’s always good to hear from you as well…. Rusty was a great Guy and will always be missed….. so sorry for your loss and please tell your Mom that I am sorry as well and I wish her and your family the Best !!!!



  16. Cynthia Hicks on February 24, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Rebecca (and Family) –

    So very sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers as you navigate this difficult time. Peace be with you.



  17. sharan Newland on February 24, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    Jeanne, so sorry to hear of yours and families loss, you will continually be in my prayers. Love you



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