Marion H. Bowler
Public & College Service
Marion H. Bowler (1917-1998)
Marion Bowler was born and raised in Gunlock, Utah, the son of Francis J. and Annie P. Bowler. In 1940, he married Jennie Wadsworth and they had five children. After the death of his first wife, he married Etheleen Shell in 1987. He lived his entire adult life in St. George, Utah, and was devoted to his family, church and community. Throughout his life he served and promoted St. George, Dixie College, Washington County and the state of Utah. He graduated from Dixie High School in 1937.
Following graduation he worked for the Southern Utah Power Company, becoming a division manager in 1943. He was drafted into the United States Army in May of 1945. When World War II ended a few months later, he was discharged and returned to St. George, where he began his own appliance business, Dixie Appliance, which he owned and managed for 45 years. He also managed Dixie Theater for 35 years. On three separate occasions, he was honored by the St. George Chamber of Commerce as the outstanding merchant for the success of his Dixie Appliance business. He served on the board of directors of Washington Savings and Loan and he was also a cattleman, who once wrote, “as long as I could ride a horse and work with cattle, I was happy.”
He joined the St. George Lions Club in 1941, and was an active member his entire life. He joined the St. George Chamber of Commerce in 1948 where, over a period of 45 years, served as president and member of the board of directors. He became a member of the St. George Volunteer Fire Department in 1948, was a member of the Elks Club for over 40 years, and was the first Red Cross representative in St. George. He was appointed to the St. George City Council and subsequently served as mayor of St. George form 1966-74. He served on the Mayor’s Council for the State of Utah under Governor Calvin Rampton, and was a member of the board of trustees of Dixie Regional Medical Center. For his many years of service, he was recognized with numerous awards and honors.
Marion was possibly best known in St. George and throughout the state for his beautiful tenor voice. Labeled the “Singing Mayor” by a state newspaper, he sang at literally thousands of funerals, weddings, church, civic and college events throughout Utah. His appliance store would often be closed because Marion would be singing at a funeral, performing with the Dixie Program Bureau, responding to a fire alarm, chairing the Lion’s Club Roundup Committee or the committee raining money for an iron lung, or fulfilling a responsibility as the city’s Red Cross representative or mayor.