Richard Jack Bowers III, 71, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, passed away on Monday, September 25, 2023, after a nearly 15-year battle with cancer. His wife of more than 40 years, Karin Nelson, was by his side.
Jack was a dearly loved man. He valued his many deep friendships and left a lasting impact on those he met throughout his life. Jack cherished his marriage with Karin and was beyond proud of his two children, Amanda and Jackson. He enjoyed rooting for the Duke Blue Devils, St. Louis Cardinals, and New Orleans Saints, spending time in the Outer Banks, and simply being around his family, friends, and his dog Layla.
Born on January 1, 1952, to Sarah Wahl and Richard Jack Bowers Jr. in Laramie, Wyoming, Jack grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, graduating from East High School in 1970. He received an engineering degree from Duke University and earned his MBA from Tulane University, where he fell in love with New Orleans.
He worked for many years in Manhattan at Merrill Lynch and met Karin in New York City in 1980. They married on August 27, 1983, in West Hartford, Connecticut. Together, they raised Amanda and Jackson in Montclair, New Jersey.
He leaves behind many legacies. In Montclair, Jack sat on the board of housing nonprofit HomeCorp, served as an elder at the Presbyterian Church of Upper Montclair, and was an enthusiastic coach and supporter of youth softball.
Jack was passionate about helping New Orleans rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. Through his work with Habitat for Humanity, he was instrumental in the founding of Musicians’ Village, a neighborhood that housed displaced musicians.
After retiring in Chapel Hill, Jack continued his involvement with Habitat for Humanity, served on his condo’s HOA, and visited Duke Hospital with Layla as part of the hospital’s pet therapy program. He also continued his lifelong interest in learning by attending multiple classes at UNC with Karin.
Of his many roles, the most important to him was being a present and engaged father to Amanda and Jackson. He was a coach, friend, and mentor to them to the end.
He is survived by his wife Karin Nelson, daughter Amanda Bowers, son Jackson Bowers (Kate), mother Sarah Schade, sister Cindy Cook (Rob), and brother Joe Bowers (Sherrie).
Jack loved to talk about family memories and took pride in preserving family history. We ask that you keep his memory and legacy alive by talking of him fondly and often. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Heat It to Beat It, a cancer research nonprofit led by his amazing surgeon Armando Sardi at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore.
We will be organizing a celebration of life for Jack in the coming months.