Heath and Vaughn Funeral Home - Champaign Il

Today is

Lawrence (Larry) Bowden

Lawrence (Larry) Mervin Bowden, 83, of Champaign, passed away peacefully at bowden5:50 p.m., Monday, April 23, 2018, at home, surrounded by his wife, daughter and family friends.

As per Larry’s wishes, his body will be cremated. Heath and Vaughn Funeral Home, 201 N. Elm, Champaign, is handling arrangements. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Mr. Bowden was born March 1, 1935, in Champaign, a son of Howard Bowden and Rosa Lee (Geralds) Bowden Pealer.

Larry married Fonda Gail (Gawthorp) Warren on August 6, 1983, in Urbana. They were best friends for years and were looking forward to marking their 35th year of marriage. They had one beloved daughter, Tracy Gail Bowden, of Champaign. They both survive.

He is also survived by his one sister, Doris Williams, of Chicago; one brother, Kenneth Bowden, and step mother, Odessa Bowden, both of Boston. Other survivors include nieces, nephews, family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and four brothers; Howard Bowden, Kenny Pealer, Kurtis Pealer, and Rodney Bowden.

Upon graduation from Champaign High School, class of 1954, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served his country during the Korean Conflict, stationed in Japan. He was honorably discharged from active duty on July 27, 1957, and from the Marine Corps Reserve July 27, 1962, at the rank of Corporals (E3).
When he returned home, Larry worked for U.S. Postal System as a Clerk/Carrier for 11 years. Beginning in 1966 he had the opportunity to work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he retired as Director of Mail Services, December 31, 1997, with a total of 36 years of service.

Larry always had a smile and an encouraging word or joke. He loved his family and took it upon himself to make sure they were taken care of. He loved traveling, beautiful fast cars, music, Illini football and basketball, the Bears, and dogs.  He was a wonderful cook and loved sharing his cooking with others. In his younger years he was known for throwing “pig roast” parties on Memorial Day weekend to which he invited everyone. He never seemed to meet a stranger. Larry will be missed.
Fonda and Tracy acknowledge and express their profound gratitude for the excellent care and support provided to Larry during the past 4 years by the staff of the Carle Home Hospice Services.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Hearts, P.O. Box 91, Thomasboro, IL 61878, or to the Carle Hospital Home Hospice Services.

Condolences to the family may be offered at www.HeathandVaughn.com.


Dearest Aunt Fonda and Tracy,

We are sorry to hear about Uncle Larry’s passing. May God keep you strong in these difficult times.  I remember visiting when I was a teenager and Uncle Larry always calling me “Tex.”  Please know your Texas kin are all praying for you.


Tim and Francie Dugan and family


Our deepest sympathies and prayers. Larry was a friend and fellow U of I employee, which I had the pleasure of knowing for many years. His infectious laugh and sense of humor will be missed.                      

J.C. & Marcia Hopper


I was so sorry to hear os your beloved husband's and father's death. I am happy that he had the family he always wanted and that he lived a good life. My husband passed away 10 years ago. It is a loss that cannot be expressed. My sincere sympathies.

—Nancy Moenk