Natchez lost legend with death of Clarence Bowlin

Published 7:18 pm Thursday, May 20, 2021

Clarence Bowlin dedicated his life to helping the youth of Natchez have access to athletics. When he died Tuesday at the age of 93, “Natchez lost a legend,” Chip Sturdivant said.

Bowlin is from a generation of men who went above and beyond in their service to the community, country and family. He wanted every child in Natchez to be able to play sports no matter the circumstance or athletic ability.

Last Friday, Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson spoke at Adams County Christian School’s graduation. He told them, “The two most important days of your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.” Bowlin’s why was to serve and care for others, his son Steve Bowlin said.

Clarence always found time to go to his kids’ ball games. Bowlin cared for his wife, Mary, and would go visit her grave everyday, Newt Willis said.

Last Sunday, Bowlin was in attendance at Jefferson Street Methodist Church, Steve said. Clarence was a man who Steve could always go to for advice on life even as he got older.

One piece of advice Clarence gave to him was the importance of spouses telling their kids they love each other. Steve said a lesson people can take from his dad’s generation is to keep your family together.

As Clarence and many other men like him depart from this world, they leave stories, wisdom and lessons behind.

Tuesday morning, Steve said he could hear his father’s voice in his head say ‘It’s OK to feel sorry for yourself, just don’t over do it.’