Grant Alexander Bowen
Canistota, South Dakota
September 27, 1925-September 22, 1945
Died Non-Battle at Aubagne, France
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
‘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.
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