Mr. Renza Gream Bowen Jr.

1939 - 2019

Renza Gream Bowen, Jr., 79 of Alexander City, Alabama, passed away on Thursday, May 23, 2019, in the comfort of his home where he was surrounded by his family.

Known to many as “Bo”, Renza was born on December 12, 1939, in Fort Deposit, Alabama, to Renza and Laura Lee Bowen. Shuffled around as a child, Renza benefited from the kindness of John and Winifred Smith who brought him into their home when he was a teenager and included him as a lifelong member of their family. After graduating from Rockford High School in 1958, he served his country as a member of the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army. While stationed at Fort Campbell, he met Martha Gayle Hillard. The two married in March 1963 and relocated to Alexander City that June.

While Renza approached each job he held with diligence, his true joy was in his relationships with others. His faithfulness as a husband and father was exceptional. Aside from his family, the years he spent serving in the Jaycees were his proudest accomplishment; the creed remained dear to him throughout his life. Much like Will Rogers, Renza seemingly never met a man he didn’t like and there were few things he enjoyed more than sharing a good joke, deejaying for friends and family from his extensive record collection, and watching the Crimson Tide roll. His gregarious nature, boundless optimism, and generous heart created a lifetime of wonderful memories. Though he will be sorely missed, his whole-hearted love of life and abiding faith will continue to inspire those who knew him best.

Renza is survived by Gayle, his devoted wife of 56 years, and their three children, Danielle, Daphne, and David (Sharon), who feel very blessed that he will always be their father. He is also survived by a sister, Shirley Hull and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters, Carolyn Gentry and Joyce Taylor.

No service is planned at this time. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that anyone wishing to acknowledge Renza’s life consider a donation to the Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega, Alabama, or to a similar organization.

Memorial messages may be sent to the family at