Thomas J. ‘Tom’ Bowen, 88, retired surface warfare officer

Thomas J. ‘Tom’ Bowen

Thomas J. “Tom” Bowen, 88, passed away Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019. He was the son of the late Thomas J. Bowen Jr. and Johanna (Doody) Bowen. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, he attended parochial schools through high school. In 1950, Tom received a Navy Scholarship to Columbia University and was commissioned as an ensign, U.S. Navy, in 1954.

He served as a surface warfare officer throughout his career of 20 years. During the Vietnam War, he commanded two guided missile destroyers. Ashore, he served three headquarters tours in the National Capital Area and was honored to serve as a White House Social Aide from 1960 to 1961. In 1963, Tom was one of the first unrestricted line officers assigned to pursue the MBA degree at Harvard University, which he received in 1965. He was also a diplomat (1972) of the U.S. National War College. Upon his military retirement in 1974, he joined the staff of a national trade association, from which he retired as a vice president in 1987. Tom maintained his permanent residence in Vienna from 1967 until 2006 when he and his wife Marlene relocated to a beachside home in Virginia Beach, a goal of his from childhood.

He is survived by Marlene, his wife of 55 years, and their three children, Kim Wagner (John) of Traverse City, Michigan; Sean (Carol) of Washington, D.C., and Paige of Fairfax. He’s also survived by seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and five nieces and nephews.

Tom was preceded in death by his only sibling, Dolores, and her late husband, retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral David Donohue, of Norfolk.

A funeral Mass for Tom, a lifelong and committed Catholic, will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, Virginia Beach. He will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery at a future date.

Share online condolences with the family at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts.

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