Ralph Keister Bowles
422nd Regiment, Cannon Company
106th Infantry Division


A RESOLUTION memorializing the late Ralph Keister Bowles, former City Council member and longtime resident of Roanoke.

WHEREAS, the members of Council learned with sorrow of the passing of Mr. Bowles on Thursday, January 4,2007;

WHEREAS, Mr. Bowles was born in Kimball, West Virginia, the son of the late Phlegar W. and Katherine Smith Bowles;

WHEREAS, Mr. Bowles was a graduate of William Fleming High School and of the American Institute of Baking in Chicago;

WHEREAS, Mr. Bowles served in the U.S. Marine Reserves for three and a half years before going into the U.S. Army, and was a World War I1 veteran serving with the 106th Infantry Division, 422nd Regiment, Cannon Company, as a radio operator and a forward observer in the Battle of the Bulge;

WHEREAS, in December, 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge, Mr. Bowles was wounded and taken as a prisoner of war to Stalag IX-B prison camp before being liberated by General Patton's troops in April 1945;

WHEREAS, Mr. Bowles was the recipient of the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster for his service in World War 11;

WHEREAS, Mr. Bowles married Elizabeth Thomas, and the couple owned and operated Bowles Bake Shop for 38 years;

WHEREAS, Mr. Bowles taught baking and cake decoration both in the US. Army at Camp Lee and in the Roanoke County Public School System;

WHEREAS, Mr. Bowles was active in the Williamson Road community and his church, Huntington Court United Methodist, for 78 years;

WHEREAS, Mr. Bowles was a past commander and active member of the Roanoke Valley Chapter American Ex-Prisoners of War and also the Virginia and the national organization;

WHEREAS, Mr. Bowles was a member of American Legion Post #68, McKenzie Post #3, Disabled American Veterans, Amvets, VFW, and was a life member of the 106th Infantry Association;

WHEREAS, Mr. Bowles was a member of the Williamson Road Masonic Lodge #163, and was recently honored with a 50-year membership pin by the Kazim Temple of the Shrine;

WHEREAS, Mr. Bowles had 58 years of perfect attendance with the Williamson Road Lions Club and was a regular volunteer at the Lion's Recycle Center, and was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellow and Life Lion Membership;

WHEREAS, Mr. Bowles was awarded the honor of Roanoke's Father of the Year in 1971, and was selected as the American Women's Association Boss of the Year in 1979;

WHEREAS, Mr. Bowles served an interim term on Roanoke City Council in 1965 and he and his wife, Elizabeth, are the only couple in Roanoke who both served their City as a member of the Roanoke City Council.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City of Roanoke as follows:

1. City Council adopts this resolution as a means of recording its deepest regret and sorrow at the passing of Ralph Keister Bowles, and extends to his family its sincerest condolences.

2. The City Clerk is directed to forward an attested copy of this resolution to Mr. Bowles' widow, Elizabeth Thomas Bowles, of Roanoke, Virginia.


City Clerk
Page last revised 09/28/2007