Obituary: Donald Francis Bowdren, 83, of Milford

Donald Francis Bowdren of Milford, CT died at age 83 on Saturday March 15, 2014. He spent his last days at the Connecticut Hospice in Branford, CT, where he was well cared for.

Donald was born to William Bowdren and Marie Reilly on April 15, 1930, and grew up in Washington Heights, NY. His siblings were Gerald and Margaret. He was married to Ann Conboy in April 1962, and she later passed in May 1970.

He attended Cardinal Hayes High School where he played football. He received his B.S. from Fordham University, Bronx, NY, and his M.A. from Columbia University, New York, NY. He was a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, stationed at Fort Meade, New Jersey. In 1973, he moved his family from Greenwich Village, NY to Huntington, CT to raise his two children Catherine and John, and to continue his media-market research firm, Don Bowdren Associates. His most notable clients were Forbes Magazine, Time, The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated and Connecticut Magazine.

He encouraged Cathy’s interest in the arts, and enjoyed coaching John’s Babe Ruth Baseball and Bob Cousy Basketball teams. He enjoyed ice skating, swimming, skiing and golfing. He once hit a hole-in-one at Tashua Knolls in Trumbull, CT.

In addition, he was a certified sailor and navigator as a member of the Milford Power Squadron, and enjoyed racing lasers out of Westport, CT. Also, he was an avid windsurfer for over thirty years. His favorite windsurfing locations were Dewey Beach, DE, Ocracoke Island, NC and Punta Gorda, FL.

After retirement, Donald spent six months of the year in Punta Gorda and later in Tarpon Springs, FL. He enjoyed teaching the local children how to swim. Donald loved following the New York Giants so much that, before the advent of satellite TV, he would ask his devoted partner Sheilah Slattery to mail him video tapes of games. Donald also loved the arts. He played the piano and was a passionate lover of classical music and he also hosted his own Baroque Musical Hour on WMNR Fine Arts Radio once a week.

One of his favorite ways to spend his time was at the library where he would read every crime drama and murder mystery under the sun. Later in life, Donald undertook the learning of Spanish to enhance his windsurfing trip to Marguerita Island, Venezuela.

Donald is survived by his daughter Catherine of Nantucket, MA his son John and his beloved, long-time partner Sheilah Slattery, both of Milford, CT.

He was predeceased by his brother Gerald and his sister Margaret.

Donald’s memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 22, 2014 from 2: 00 p.m. - 5: 00 p.m. with Full Military Honors at 5:00 p.m. at the Cody-White Funeral Home 107 Broad Street Milford, CT. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, Donald’s family would appreciate donations to Connecticut Hospice at 100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT 06405. Cathy, John and Sheilah would like to recognize the extraordinary care and compassion exhibited by the doctors, nurses and caregivers of Yale-Smilow Cancer Center, Milford Healthcare Center and Connecticut Hospice.

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