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JOHN MAXWELL BOWMAN

Born: May 24, 1925

Date of Passing: May 22, 2005

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JOHN MAXWELL BOWMAN May 24, 1925 - May 22, 2005 John (Jack) died Sunday at Grace Hospital with family at his side. He was predeceased by his wife Constance May, his parents, Maxwell and Marjorie Bowman, his son John Murray and his granddaughter Susanne Elizabeth Pokotylo. He is survived by his daughters, Catherine Pokotylo (David), Anne Bowman (Randall Rogalsky), Mary Margaret Mazzei (Edwin), his son Thomas (Susan); grandchildren, Heather and Jonathan Pokotylo; Jean, Lindsay, James and Lauren Rogalsky; Bridget and Julie Mazzei; his brothers, Bill (Peggy), Donald (Patricia), Ken (Liz), and sister Nora Bowman (Alan Rae). John met Constance while attending Gordon Bell High School. He graduated from the University of Manitoba Medical College in 1949 and married Constance in the same year. Subsequently, he completed his internship in medicine and went into rural general practice in Oakville, MB, where Constance was not only his nurse but also his bookkeeper and accountant. After two years in Oakville he took post-graduate training at the Children's Hospital of Winnipeg; at the Winnipeg General Hospital's Newborn Service and Rh Laboratory; and at the Babies Hospital of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Centre in New York City. Certified in Pediatrics in 1956, he spent a year studying and lecturing in clinical pediatrics at Queen's University and then returned to Winnipeg in 1957 where he joined his brother Bill in the Pediatric Department of the Manitoba Medical Clinic. At that time he also became a part-time associate working with Dr. Bruce Chown of the Rh Laboratory and a part-time member of the Department of Pediatrics of the University of Manitoba. In 1961 he became Medical Director of the Rh Laboratory and in 1967 he left the Manitoba Clinic to become a full Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Manitoba holding both positions until his retirement in 1996. During this period he served as the Medical Director of the Manitoba Red Cross Blood Services until 1982. Through his work at the Rh Laboratory he became a world renowned expert in the treatment and prevention of Rh Disease of the Newborn and touched hundreds of lives directly and hundreds of thousands indirectly with his research. One of his proudest accomplishments was the development of WinRho which is used all over North America to prevent Rh Disease of the Newborn. John also helped form the Rh Institute which furthered research of Rh Disease and today continues to help fund research in a variety of departments of the University of Manitoba. For his achievements in the research, treatment and prevention of Rh Disease he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1983. Throughout his medical career John displayed the greatest of care and compassion for his patients and was always available to them, no matter the time of day or day of the year. As a Professor of Pediatrics he greatly enjoyed teaching the Residents, Interns and Medical Students both on the wards and in the lecture theatres at home, across Canada and around the world. He gave his last lecture in Saskatoon just three days before his death. In his retirement he maintained an active interest in, and support of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The Winnipeg Symphony and the Manitoba Theatre Centre. He took great pleasure in his morning and afternoon seven mile walks through the Assiniboine Park and Forest, his time at the Lake of the Woods family cottage and his time with his cats Tamara and Oliver. Throughout John's life he displayed great loyalty, honesty, integrity and love for his family which he in turn has passed on to his children. The family wishes to thank Drs. Joseph Wiatrowski and Terence Bergmann and the nurses of Grace Hospital Emergency for their care and compassion in dad's last hours. No flowers by request. Donations may be made in John's memory to the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, CE501-840 Sherbrook St., Winnipeg, MB, R3A 1S1, or a charity of your choice. Cremation has taken place. A celebration of his life will take place on Thursday, May 26 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Andrew's River Heights United Church, Oak and Kingsway.

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on May 25, 2005

Condolences & Memories (8 entries)

  • Dr. Bowman is the reason I am alive today. I was an RH baby, born in 1968, and were it not for him, I would not be here. I never had the chance to meet him, but both my parents always spoke about him in such glowing terms. I owe him my life. He was an amazing human being. - Posted by: Michael Okrainec () on: Mar 31, 2014

  • John was a factor in our life and I will never forget him or his brother Bill who were the driving force in the RH program that was instrumental in my Daughter Brenda's reasonably miraculous birth on July 14th 1987 as only a few years before the success would not be possible. We went out to Winnnipeg twice for umbilical blood transfusions and I marvelled at the expertise and dedication that Dr. Bowman and his brother and team displayed to help our family. God Bless you all and thank you Karl + Jo-Anne and Brenda Pilatzke - Posted by: Karl Pilatzke (Acquaintance) on: Aug 11, 2005

  • The Bowman family is greatly on my mind as I remember the birth of my daughter Gillian 31 years ago. Dr. Bowman pleaded with his daughters to let him hold and coo at this healthy normal baby. This week we welcome her child into our world. Jack and Connie were good friends and great roll models. I shall miss them but with a smile. - Posted by: Shelley Saidman (Friend) on: Jun 17, 2005

  • To the family of John Maxwell Bowman - I met your father in the fall of 2001 when I was in Winnipeg researching the Bowman family. I recall how much I enjoyed my visit with him. He was such a wise man and he contributed so much to so many lives. He will be missed. Jim Bowman, Waterloo, Ontario - Posted by: Jim Bowman (Family) on: Jun 04, 2005

  • Jack, we owe you the lives of our twins, Maryanne and Christian. Thanks to you the treatment was successful and they were born on December 31, 1982. You will always live in our hearts. God bless and keep you and Constance in peace. Love, Sakai Family - Posted by: Paulo and Maria Sakai (Brazil) (Friend) on: May 28, 2005

  • We are deeply saddened to hear that Dr. Bowman has passed on. He was a wonderful man and doctor. If not for him, we would not have had the blessing of our wonderful daughter, Rebecca, for the last 30 yrs. (RH baby). He was such a compassionate man. We will miss receiving our yearly Christmas card and note. We thank God for Dr. Jack Bowman! We wish to send our deepest condolences to his family. - Posted by: Faye and George Skean (Friend) on: May 28, 2005

  • Dr. Bowman holds a special place in our hearts. He worked with Dr. Frank Friessen to save the life of our gravely ill son in 1984. Our son will turn 21 on Sunday. He graduated from High School and is just finishing Carpentry Apprenticeship at Red River College. Despite a rough start, Tim is physically and cognitively intact and we attribute that to the skillful work of Drs. Bowman and Friessen. Our thoughts and prayers are with you today. I can only imagine how proud you must have been of him and his accomplishments. We are forever indebted to him. - Posted by: Shelley Watts (Acquaintance) on: May 26, 2005

  • Our deepest sympathy on the passing of Dr. Bowman. He was a most important mentor, teacher, scholar and leader to me and so many others. He provided me with an incredible opportunity for a life long career in life sciences and drug development. Dr. Bowman was a brilliant, devoted, accomplished medical doctor, researcher and humanitarian. His commitment to the treatment and prevention of Rh disease of the newborn is internationally renown. His dedication to others is seen in the unique legacy he left behind. We pray for God's blessing and strength for Dr. Bowman's family. Bert and Lee Friesen - Posted by: Bert Friesen (Friend) on: May 25, 2005

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