In Memory of
Army Pfc.
Grant Alexander Bowen
Canistota, South Dakota
McCook County
September 27, 1925-September 22, 1945
Died Non-Battle at Aubagne, France

Grant Alexander Bowen

Grant Alexander Bowen was born September 27, 1925, in Canistota, South Dakota. Grant was the only child of Edith and James Bowen. He was a black haired, black-eyed boy who graduated from Canistota High School along with 23 other students. “Us kids were a very close knit group,” said classmate Dorothy Neuberger. Marie Hartman added, “Grant was a fun loving person and got out class into trouble a few times. When someone would do something behind the teacher’s back, his hearty, robust laugh would give it away.” While in high school, Grant played three years of varsity basketball and ran two years of varsity track. He was also involved with many declam contests, three plays, journalism, and was nominated the freshman class president.

Another classmate, Mary (McGregor) Cook said, “Grant was a very self-assured boy. He had a lot of self-confidence, and did well on the basketball court, inspite of his lack of height. He wasn’t particularly interested in the academic part of school and yet he made it through without flunking anything. He seemed to enjoy life and was one of the popular ones in our small school.” He graduated from Canistota High School in 1943.

“Grant was a happy, wonderful person,” said Dorothy Neuberger. He never married or had any children. Now, the only other living relative and closest friend to Grant throughout his life is his cousin, Chad Reid. Everyone described them as brothers because they were so close. The two boys, at age 19, entered the army shortly after graduation in December 1943. He was sent overseas on October 1, 1944. The rank he held was Pfc and he had seen battles in both Germany and France.

Grant perished on September 22, 1945, in Augbagne, France, shortly after the war got over. He and his cousin Chad got into a truck accident. Chad survived, but Grant wasn’t as lucky. He was buried in the Canistota Cemetery at 2:00 P.M. on Wednesday, June 16, 1948. “It was a calm day and the whole town was in a very solemn mood especially when the evening train pulled in bringing Grant home,” said Marie Hartman.

In the class prophecy it says:

‘Grant Bowen, a dark and burley fellow,
With a heart both soft and mellow.
Alas-I see him aged and gray;
Aha-Twas women that made him that way. (Vernon & Neva Koepp)-10/29/01

I will always remember the sacrifices that Private Grant Alexander Bowen took to help and defend our country and nation.

Grant Alexander Bowen, memorial cross photo

This entry was respectively submitted by Melissa S. Baker, 10th Grade West Central High School, Hartford, SD, March 7, 2002. Information for this entry was provided by Mrs. Mary Cook, Lavelle Dekramer, Marie Hartman, Dorothy Neuberger, and Vernon and Neva Koepp. All of these who were former classmates and friends with Private first class, Alexander Bowen