In Memory of





Obituary for Colonel Forest I. Bower

Col. Forest I. Bower, 105, of Louisville, passed away on Dec. 2, 2023. He was born on Nov. 21, 1918, on the family farm in Holgate, Ohio, as the middle child of Jacob and Anna Bower. He was a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, which he attended on a full scholarship of $60 per year. He was the first person in his family to graduate from college. In WWII, he served as a staff officer in the theater headquarters of MTOUSA. He stayed in the U.S. Army Reserves after the war and retired as a colonel.

Forest married Sue Miller Bower in 1941, and they had three children – Robert (Sonya) Bower, Mary Ann (Tom) Schubert, and Susan (Dennis) Dolan. Susan predeceased him. He was also preceded in death by Sue and his second wife, Odessa Bruin Newman Bower, whom he married in 1987.

Forest deeply loved and doted on his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He is survived by six grandchildren: Amanda (Ross) Jackson, Matthew (Ami) Bower, Michelle Wright, Amy (Rob) Cornelius, Lisa (Colin) Schubert Nowling, and Kristen (Tyler) Shaw; and six great-grandchildren: Katie Jackson, Hadley Shaw, Corinne Shaw, Gracyn Wright, Sophia Wright, and Rachel Nowling.

Forest taught high school agriculture in Ohio for six years right after the war. From 1950 to 1971 he worked for the Farm Credit Administration in Ohio and Kentucky. He then worked for the Federal Land Bank in Louisville until his retirement in 1978. After retiring he bought a farm in Shelby County. He grew some of the best sweet corn, tomatoes, and lima beans in Kentucky.

Forest was a farmer at heart and loved gardening. He was a lifelong learner who could devour at least a book a week, along with the daily newspaper. He was a fabulous story teller who loved irony, dry wit, and plays on words.

While he marveled at the changes he saw in 105 years, he was able to adjust to them. His life motto was “roll with it,” and he was a man of faith, grace, integrity, and principle. He treated all with dignity and respect. He will be greatly missed.

Since 1959 he was an active member of St. Matthews United Methodist Church, 319 Browns Lane, Louisville. He taught Adult Sunday School and was involved in many other activities of the church. His funeral services will be held there on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 11 a.m. Visitation will be at 10 a.m., and the burial will follow the funeral at Resthaven Cemetery. The service will also be livestreamed:

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to your favorite charity.