William Jackson “Jack” Bowen, former CEO of Florida Gas Company and Transco Energy, died March 20, in Houston, TX.
Below is an obituary courtesy of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors.
jack was born in Sweetwater, Texas in 1922. His parents were the late Annah Robey and the late Berry Bowen; both of Coleman, Texas. He graduated from Waco High School in 1938 and from New Mexico Military Institute in 1940. He entered the University of Texas in 1940, and it was there that he met the love of his life, Annis Kay Hilty. He learned to fly when he was 17 and received an appointment to West Point in 1942. He graduated with his pilot’s wings in June 1945 and married Annis on the 6th of June 1945. After the war he was sent to the Pacific Theater, where he flew military transport planes. Following a brief stay in Manila, he was assigned to Okinawa. Annis joined him and they had their first child, Shelley. After serving four years, Jack resigned from the Army and went to work for Delhi Oil, a small company in Dallas formed by Clint Murchison; his first business mentor. He was in charge of building and operating a pipeline to Florida, which resulted in his becoming CEO of Florida Gas Company in 1962. After living thirteen years in Winter Park, Florida, he returned to Houston as CEO of Transco Energy Company in 1974.
During his time as CEO of both companies, he served on the boards of many organizations; both profit and non-profit. Among these are Crown Zellerback, The James River Corporation, J.B. Poindexter & Company, Baylor College of Medicine, the Jesse H. Jones School of Business Administration at Rice University, the Houston SPCA, The Smithsonian Institution, Private Sector Initiatives of Houston, Clean Houston, the YMCA of Greater Houston, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the United Way of Houston, Bank of the Southwest, The Interstate Natural Gas Association, the National Petroleum Council, the World Energy Council, the United States Energy Association, the American Gas Association, the All-American Wildcatters, and the American Petroleum Institution.
Jack had a wide range of interests. His interest in architecture was fulfilled in the Florida Gas Building in Winter Park, Florida, and the Transco (now Williams) Tower and Waterwall in Houston. He played polo at West Point and continued his love of horses at his beloved Gator Creek Ranch in Carmine, Texas. He was instrumental in starting the Character Education Partnership of HISD, and Clean Houston. Jack was an amateur watercolorist who exhibited work in Houston, New York City, Orlando, London and Mexico City.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Joan Bowen Cady. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Annis Hilty Bowen; and their four children, Shelley Hatfield and her husband, Robert, of Winter Park, Florida and Durango, Colorado; Barbara Cauble and her husband, James, of Houston, Texas; Berry Bowen and his wife, Heather, of Houston, Texas; and Will Bowen of, of Gainesville, Florida, and ten grandchildren: Marguerite, Berry, Adele, Susie, Lizzy, Adam, Hilty, Haley, Jackson and Max.
The family requests that memorial contributions in Jack’s memory be directed to the Tellepsen Family Downtown YMCA, Attention Mary Huggins, 808 Pease, Houston, TX, 77002 or the Watercolor Art Society of Houston, 1601 West Alabama, Houston, TX, 77006.