Date of Birth
Date of Death
Ronald “Ronnie” Lee Bowgren, age 80, of La Fox, passed away unexpectedly at his home, Tuesday, January 31, 2017. Leaving without being able to say goodbye, we are left with memories and the sure and certain hope that he is looking down on us as our guardian angel.
Ronnie was born on January 26, 1937, in Geneva, IL, the son of Verner and Grace (Patterson) Bowgren.
He grew up in La Fox, on the family farm, just next door to where he would eventually live the rest of his life. Ronnie attended local schools and graduated from Geneva High School with the class of 1955. Before graduating, Ronnie became known for his play on the football field, and the speed in which he drove his black and yellow convertible, “Bumble Bee”.
Ronnie had farming in his blood, so it was natural for him to work on the family farm and continue the legacy. Ron would work the fields and tend to the livestock from sun up to sun down. Every spring and fall, you could always find Ron on the tractor, but when he wasnâ€™t on the farm, several side jobs held his attention, but his love of the land always called him back home. It was another legacy that would lead him to meet the woman who would cross the finish line with, Beverly Doll.
Their courtship began with Beverly sitting in the bleachers watching Ron race at Sycamore Speedway. Despite his speedy driving, she never let him get away as they were united in marriage on September 12, 1964 in Hollowayville, IL . They began their new life together in Geneva for a year until they built a house on Bunker Rd., just next door to Ronâ€™s childhood home. Many memories were made on the homestead. First the birth of his children, then later his grandchildren, who became the apple of his eye. Beverly was called home to Heaven in 2008, leaving an empty space in his life and his heart. In recent years, Nancy Wilkison helped to bring a spring to his step and a sparkle in his eye.
As a young man, Ron was bit by the racing bug. His fever only began to wane in 1975, but not before taking the checkered flag more times than not, especially during the 1960â€™s. In fact, he missed being crowned champion at Sycamore Speedway only because of a broken tie-rod, a loss that continued to haunt him for years. It isnâ€™t a surprise that Ron was an avid Dale Earnhardt fan, and one can only imagine the conversations that are being had, even now, with Ron and Dale looking under the hood of the sweetest race car you have ever seen! His favorite races, however, were those between himself and his children, tucked into custom Go-Carts and laughing through every turn. Ronnie was one of a kind who never missed a chance to be with his grandchildren, even if it was only a half hour. He was the ultimate mentor and teacher to the next generation and knew the meaning of determination. He was first in line when someone said “it canâ€™t be done” and no one smiled bigger when he proved them wrong. His hands, so use to working on farm machinery, were also adept at almost anything else, just donâ€™t ask him to mess with the T.V., change the time on the microwave or have anything to do with technology in general. Ron loved playing the slot machines at the casino, his favorite being Jumerâ€™s in Rock Island, and more, he was good at it! La Fox will be poorer for Ronâ€™s loss but everyone was richer for having known him.
Ron was a proud member of the Loyal Order of the Moose, St. Charles #1368 and the Kane County Farm Bureau.
He is survived by his three children: Steve (Gaye) Bowgren and their children, Cody and Jessica; Mike (Jackie) Bowgren and their children, Nick and Allyson, and Mark (Traci) Bowgren and their children, Hunter and Jase; one sister, Janet Callaghan and special friend and companion, Nancy Wilkison and several nieces and nephews and a community of close friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Beverly, one grandson, Travis Bowgren and one daughter, Lori Bowgren.
Visitation will be from 3-8 p.m., Friday, February 3, 2017, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. A funeral service to celebrate his life will begin at 10 a.m., Saturday, February 4, 2017 also at the funeral home. Interment will follow the service at Garfield Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Ronâ€™s name. Checks may be made to the “Ronald Bowgren Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address, the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page, or at www.conleycare.com.
A funeral service to celebrate Ron's life will begin at 10:00am, Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the Conley Funeral Home.
Visitation will be from 3:00-8:00pm, Friday, February 3, 2017 at the Conley Funeral Home.
Interment will follow the funeral service at Garfield Cemetery in St. Charles.