Don S. Bower

Don S. Bower

Don S. Bower passed away at Oregon Manor on January 27, 2018 at the age of 86.

He was born September 10, 1931 in Boscobel, WI, the second child of Caro and Eunice (Kephart) Bower.

As a youngster, Don often helped his parents in their successful furniture-making and upholstery business. After graduating from Boscobel High School in 1950, he moved to Madison and attended Madison Business College earning an Associates Degree. When the Korean War broke out, Don enlisted in the Army and served honorably as a company clerk in Augusta, Georgia.

On his return to Madison, Don worked at Mautz Paints and began learning data processing. A position at CUNA during the punch-card era allowed him to travel all across the United States and Canada, leading training sessions and making many business friends, a time he recalled fondly. Don finished his work career at the eastside K-Mart store, where he managed the shoe department.

In 1967 Don met the love of his life, Ed Walters, a pianist who taught music at Edgewood College. Don and Ed made a wonderful life for each other, often focused around music, piano performances, and hosting groups of international music students. Don especially loved Broadway theater and show tunes. They both enjoyed travel, whether it was day excursions around Wisconsin, hunting for antiques, or a special late-life trip to London.

For a few semesters during the 1990’s, Don realized a dream of teaching continuing education classes on Broadway theater. Don invited several amateur performers from the community to visit the class and each present a song and dance from a Broadway show.

The advent of gay marriage came too late for Don and Ed, as Ed was already living with his final illness. During the seven years of his partner’s decline, Don was a tireless and loving caregiver, maintaining Ed at home for all but the final few months of his illness.

Don is survived by his older sister, Doris Bower Ward; and by his close friends and caregivers Floyd Duranceau, Tess Mulrooney, and David and Marilyn Peters.

A Celebration of Don’s Life will be held at 6pm on Monday, February 5, 2018 at Ryan Funeral Home, 2418 North Sherman Avenue, Madison. A visitation will be held from 5pm until time of services on Monday at the funeral home.

Don’s friends are grateful to Dr. Christine Seibert, Agrace Hospice, Brightstar Healthcare, Ryan Ambulance, and Oregon Manor for their care and kindness during the final weeks of Don’s life.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Agrace Hospice or the Alzheimer’s Association. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:

Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services
2418 N. Sherman Ave.