Norris Ray Bowen, Sr. of Birdsnest

June 9, 2020
Norris Bowen
Norris Ray Bowen, Sr., 81 of Birdsnest, Virginia passed peacefully at his home on June 7, 2020.  He was born May 9, 1939 in Broadwater, Hog Island. He was proud of his distinction of being the last baby born on that Virginia barrier island.

Norris was predeceased by his loving wife Ruth Florence (Morrow), his beloved son Norris Ray Bowen, Jr. his parents Grafton and Marion (Simpson) Bowen, his siblings Gerald, Roland, and Delores.

Norris is survived by his daughter Susan Brofford her husband Kevin their children Kelsey, Claire, and Evan his daughter-in-law Denise Clayton, and her son Zachary Bowen.

He is also survived by his siblings Connie Reynolds (Darrell), Brenda Bowen (Charles Butcher ) and Robin Bowen  (Jeannie).

Broadwater Academy - It's Worth it!

He leaves behind his loyal and loving furry friend Cashew who will be well loved by Susan’s family.

A decorated veteran, TSGT Bowen was awarded a Bronze Star and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Force Medal.  He retired from the United States Air Force in 1978 after 22 years in combined Air Force and Coast Guard service. He retired from police service in 2001after serving the town of Exmore and The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

He often felt like somewhat of a local celebrity after appearing in Our Island Home and Welcome to the Table.  He took joy in regaling his fans with stories and recipes. His ties to Willis Wharf and Hog Island run deep and he has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made to The Barrier Islands Center 7295 Young Street. Machipongo, VA 23405.

A graveside service will be held Thursday, June 11, 2020, at 2:00pm at Belle Haven Cemetery with Reverend Tammy Estep officiating.  A memorial service to celebrate his life will be planned for a future date.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements were made by Doughty Funeral Home in Exmore, Virginia.


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