Cover photo for Willie Lee Bowie's Obituary
Willie Lee Bowie Profile Photo
1945 Willie 2021

Willie Lee Bowie

August 1, 1945 — March 19, 2021


A loving husband and father, an awesome brother, a wonderful grandpa, uncle, brother in- law, and friend; Willie L. Bowie lived a beautiful life filled with laughter, love, and giving freely to family and friends. He was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on August 1, 1945 to the late Celestine Wade Bowie and Roy Bowie Sr. He was the third of ten children.

Willie was always ambitious and goal-oriented. During his high school years, He ran track, was on the Cheering Squad, and worked at Vince’s Liquor Store. He graduated from Scotlandville High School, Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1963. Upon graduation, he traveled to Battle Creek Michigan with friends and found meaningful work. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1966 and proudly served a tour of duty in the Vietnam War. He collected and wore a variety of Vietnam caps for all occasions. The family had to insist that he take his cap off at certain events, much to his chagrin. (LOL) In addition, he loved assisting other veterans in taking advantage of all benefits that were available to them.

After leaving Vietnam, Willie returned home to attend college and work. During his college years he worked in a variety of food service venues, “The Ground Patty“, The Camelot Club”, and “Jack Tar Capital House. These jobs enabled him to provide help to his beloved mom “Madea” and his younger siblings. His Love for “Madea” and his family was pure, genuine and real. It was very inspiring.

Willie took advantage of all of his army benefits. He used the G.I. Bill to fund his education. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Nutrition and Food from Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana on January 31, 1973.

He married the love of his life Audrey Minor on November 24, 1973, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After marriage, Audrey joined Willie in Baltimore, Maryland. Two sons were born to this union, Victor L. Bowie and Vaughn T. Bowie. The family moved to Nashville in 1980 to work and raise their sons. They shared 47 wonderful years of marriage, that included some ups and downs but most of their time was filled with much joy, love, and laughter.

Willie enjoyed a very fulfilling career in the food service industry. He held management positions at several universities; LSU, Morgan State University, The University of Maryland, and Tennessee State University. He also enjoyed a successful career as Food Services Director for the State of Tennessee for 25 years. He was blessed to retire in 2007.

After retiring from the State, Willie worked for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools as a bus monitor for Exceptional Education Students. He retired from this position in 2014.

Willie was always skillful, witty, versatile and comical. These skills were displayed as he played poker, tonk, and outdoor sports with family and friends. His luck, competitive spirit, and winning ways were marvelling. He coached Vaughn’s basketball teams at the YMCA for several years. He was described affectionately as: THE EXPERT, SMART, MAN OF WISDOM, THE GOVENOR and TOO COOL.

Willie transitioned March 19, 2021. He leaves to cherish his memories, wife, Audrey Bowie; 2 sons Victor L. Bowie, and Vaughn T. Bowie; 3 grandchildren, Julyah J. Wilson, Taylor J. Wilson and Victoria A. Bowie; 6 siblings: Lloyd Bowie, Celestine Bowie, Johnnie (Joyce) Randall, Brenda Bowie, Lawrence Bowie and Carol Bowie; In-laws; Lucille Bowie, Rozelia (Judge) Clark, Harry (Lucy) Minor Jr., Russell (Jackie) Minor, Vivian (Andrew) Smith, Hallie (Celestine) Minor, Clifford (Suzette) Minor, William (Amy) Taylor, Natasha (Sam) Eames, Darryl Minor, and Jeremy (Crystal) Minor, a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and other loved ones. He was preceded in death by his mother Celestine Wade Bowie, Father Roy Bowie Sr. Siblings; Herman Bowie, LeDell Bowie, Roy Bowie Jr. and brother in laws; Ralph Minor and Michael Taylor. He will be sorely missed, but so many happy memories will remain.
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