Bobby Bowden was a hard act to follow. The former Caribbean Life photographer was genial man of many parts.
Robert was born in Brooklyn, New York on Dec. 19, 1932 to Robert and Viola Bowden. At an rearly age, Bobby developed a strong passion for music, appreciating its diversity as well as experimenting with various musical instruments.
While attending Franklin K. Lane High School he had an opportunity to perform in the school band, as a result of his ability to play several instruments.
After high school, Robert enlisted in the U.S. Army, later securing the position of secretarial liaison to an Army general until he was honorably discharged. Bobby attended college after his discharge to follow another passion of his — photography. Robert did enjoy this new endeavor but the lyrical pull and love of music — especially Caribbean music was too hard to ignore.
He chose the performing name: “Lord Bobby,” doing calypso gigs, as a DJ, and was regularly featured WLIB, the popular Caribbean music station in New York. He also achieved fame as a performer with several calypso bands and other well established groups suich as the Tito Puente group and The Mighty Sparrow’s band. His talents did not go unnoticed by others and he was able to utilize his business acumen and musical prowess to manage a rising artist named Lady Wonderk, who became the main artist on the label that Robert createxd.
Bobby was able to use his business acumen to manage several bars and clubs in the MNrew York metropolitan area. Through his many contacts he decided to become a Mason and served with honor and distinction for many years. This dedication allowed him to rise to the position of a 33 1/3 degree Grand Past Master. It is one of the highest degrees in masonry that one can achieve.
Robert returned to his passion for photography and worked as a photojournalist for Caribbean Life for several years, including coverage of the annual Trinidad and Guyana carnivals and The West Indian-American Day Carnival parade in Brooklyn.
Robert is survived by his wife Janice, daughter Barbara and son Richard; step-children: David, Ashley, Saheeda and Alexander; grandchildren: Shalon, DeShon, Robert, Raymond and Patricia; seven great grandchildren: Quinten, Deshon, Razelle, Jahlil, Xavier, Kayla and Rasheen; and nephew, John Bowden Jr.
The family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made at: Interboro Funeral Services, 544 Evergreen Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11221, c/o: Mr. Manny Faust ( 718-452-0101).
The Funeral Service will be held Sunday, Sept. 22 at the Enoch Grand Lodge, 423 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn (between Jefferson Ave. and Hancock St). Viewing is from 5:00 p.m. The service begins at 7:00 p.m. A repast will follow the service.
Bobby will be laid to rest Monday, Sept. 21 at Calverton National Cemetary on Long Island, NY..