Frank Bowen

March 1, 1928 – August 5, 2018
Frank had a busy life from the time he was a young boy. Born in Denbigh, N. Wales, his family moved to Speke Liverpool in 1938.

On his 16th birthday in 1944, Frank signed up with the Royal Navy. He did two years as a boy Telegrapher, followed by twelve years in regular service – nine of which were in the Submarine EService. He obtained the rank of Petty Officer in 1958. Frank served in Australia, Hong Kong, Falkland Islands and Korea. His Home Ports were in Scotland, Ireland and Devenport. Frank played Rugby for the Navy when in Port.

In 1960, Frank met Sylvia in Toronto. They married in England in 1962. In their almost 56 years of married life they covered many miles living in North Bay, Ontario; Masset, Queen Charlotte EIslands BC; Karachi, West Pakistan; and Ahwaz and Shiraz in Iran. They also travelled to Switzerland, Kuwait and Hong Kong.

Frank worked on the Mid Canada Line in Northern Canada, the D.E.W. (Distant Early Warning ESystem) Line, and fulfilled a contract in Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands for the Canadian EGovernment. While working on a microwave system to broadcast the Olympic Games in 1968, Frank took the family on an adventure to Mexico. He also had a work stint in Karachi, West Pakistan.

The family spent a number of years in Iran where Frank worked for an American Telecommunications Company with a contract to build Iran’s first telecommunication system in time to broadcast the 2500th Anniversary of PERSIA to the World. About sixty Heads of State attended, including Prince Phillip and Princess Anne. Frank became zone manager, over a third of the country, responsible for 140 microwave sites. His responsibilities included: construction of all buildings, erecting towers, installation of plant and radio multiplex equipment and more.

Highly recommended for his ability to make quick decisions, resourcefulness in manpower and managing material and methods for achieving his objectives and his quick thinking to maintain and implement schedule; for example, shipping by dhow in the Persian Gulf or up riverbeds during the monsoon season. 

Along the way, they had three daughters, Susan in North Bay, ONT., Davina in Karachi, West Pakistan and Frances in Ahwaz, Iran. In the early 1970’s, he managed to take the family on a trip around the world. Soon after, Frank and Sylvia decided to return to Canada and settled down in Qualicum Beach. 

Frank worked at Macmillan Bloedel in Port Alberni. At this time the local Royal Canadian Legion in Qualicum wanted to extend their building. Frank was working twelve hour shifts as a heavy-duty Eelectrician, but took on the job volunteering his time and, with help from members of the Legion and Eseveral volunteers from the Community, the job was a success. His wife took a flask of coffee and Esandwich for him on his way home, for a few more hours of work.

Frank and Sylvia retired to Cowichan Bay where they spent twenty-five years overlooking the water and enjoying his workshop and garden. He was a member of the Royal Naval Association in Duncan and enjoyed spending time with his Navy cronies on their outings. Just over a year ago, they decided to return up Island, and have spent the past year in Parksville.

Frank was more than just a hard worker with highly acclaimed abilities. He took excellent care of his family and sent money home to help his mother for years when he was a young man in the Navy. He was happy with the family dog in his beautiful acreage of food garden he built and created for himself at the family home in Qualicum Beach – they never had to buy vegetables, fruit, flowers or herbs from a food store in well over 20 years. Frank was the most solid figure in his grandson Cai’s life. When Frank gave his word, you know he would keep no matter what. 

Frank passed away in Nanaimo Hospital. He is survived by his loving wife, Sylvia; daughter Susan, son in law, Gary and grandson, Russel; daughter, Davina; and daughter, Frances and grandson, Cai; his last surviving sibling, Doreen in England; as well as many nieces and nephews; and his sister in law, Gwyn and family of Port Alberni.

His family hope he was met by his four brothers, (Arthur, Jack, Geoff and Stan), with a Guiness in hand and his old dogs who loved him too: Ruffy, Shep, Jet 1, Jet 2, Blondy, Blossom and (Frances and Cai’s) Charlie. 

A Memorial Service will be held in Frank’s honour at 2:00 pm on Saturday, August 25, 2018 in the Allsbrook Room at Yates Memorial Services, 1000 Allsbrook Road in Parksville.

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Yates Memorial Service 250-248-5859

 “Lives Cherished and Celebrated”.
 Yates Memorial Service

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