ARDELL RAY BOWMAN was born on December 17, 1944 to Victor and Marie (Olson) Bowman in Luverne, Minnesota. He was raised and attended school in Luverne, graduating from Luverne High School in 1962. Ardell entered the United States Army National Guard and honorably served from 1965 to 1971. On May 14, 1966 Ardell was united in marriage to Jayona “Jay” Collins at Grace Lutheran Church in Luverne. Ardell then furthered his education at Mankato State University in Mankato, Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business in 1969. The couple lived in Mankato, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota and Grand Forks, North Dakota until returning to Luverne in 1973. Ardell became employed at Tri-State Insurance, which later became Continental Western Group, and worked there for 43 years until his formal retirement in June 2012. On Saturday, December 7, 2019, Ardell died peacefully with family by his side at Ava’s Hospice House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the age of 74 years, 11 months and 20 days.
Ardell was baptized into the Lutheran faith as a child and was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Luverne. He was a former member of the Luverne Rotary Club and the South Dakota and Minnesota Claims Association. He enjoyed classic cars, camping and riding bicycle. Ardell cared about animals, in particular, bears; He and Jay even volunteered one summer at the North American Bear Center in Ely, Minnesota. He was an avid fan of Minnesota Gopher athletics, especially their basketball and football programs. His passion was reserved for his family and attending their sporting events. While his kids were growing up, Ardell could be found in the bleachers at their events, sometimes even running in front of the crowd with a Luverne flag to get the crowd cheering. Later in life, Ardell’s passion was spending time with his four grandchildren; including attending their events and cheering them on as their number one fan.
Ardell will be remembered for his genuine caring and compassion to all, his welcoming hugs and handshakes, and his contagious smile. He was grateful for life, the relationships that he made, and God’s beauty that shown through it in so many ways.
Grateful to carry Ardell’s spirit on include his wife, Jay; two sons, Scott (Molly) Bowman of Luverne, and David (Laura) Bowman of Mankato; four grandchildren, Gracie Bowman, Rafe Bowman, Mollie Bowman, and Sophia Bowman; two siblings, Ronald (Irene) Bowman of Dunedin, Florida, and Carole (Gordon) Hemme of Arlington, Minnesota; and many nieces, nephews, other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; and an infant sister.