Henry Jay Bowlan, 81, of Tecumseh, OK, was born March 28, 1940, in Shawnee, OK, to Ray and Euda (Outland) Bowlan. He passed away December 28, 2021, surrounded by his family, in Shawnee, OK.
Henry grew up in Earlsboro, OK, and graduated from Earlsboro High School. He then attended Murray State College in Tishomingo, OK, and East Central University in Ada, OK. He was awarded the Murray State College Distinguished Alumni in 2015.
Henry first saw the love of his life, Linda Lawler of Bowlegs, OK, at a Bowlegs football game in 1960. Despite threats by his future mother-in-law to call the Highway Patrol, Henry and Linda ran off to get married on August 12, 1961.
Henry had many professions including serving as a police officer with the Seminole Police Department and a sales rep for veterinary suppliers. However, his main passion in life was raising Quarter and Paint racehorses. He was introduced to Quarter Horse racing by Mike Levis in the 1970s and managed Shawne Farms in Tecumseh, OK, for Mr. Levis. During the early 1980s, he managed large Quarter Horse breeding farms in Oklahoma and Texas. In 1984, Henry and Linda moved back to Tecumseh, OK, to start their own Quarter Horse breeding operation called Bowlan Farms. Under his guidance and with his stallion, Shawne Bug, Bowlan Farms became one of the premier Quarter Horse breeding facilities. Shawne Bug was inducted into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2020.
In the early 1990s through the early 2000s, Henry started breeding and raising Paint Horses for racing. Judys Lineage was a premier Paint racehorse and sought-after sire. Judys Lineage was inducted into the Paint Horse Hall of Fame in 2019.
Henry was a lifetime member of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association and served as a board member on the American Paint Horse Racing Committee and the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association. In 2013, he received the Paul Harber Distinguished Service Award from the American Paint Horse Association and was inducted into the American Paint Horse Hall of Fame in 2015.
Henry loved his family and his Rock Creek Baptist Church family and was known for always being ready for an order of biscuits and gravy.
Henry is survived by his wife Linda, to whom he was married for sixty years; two children – Chuck Bowlan of Wynnewood, OK, and Chad (Heather) of Edmond, OK; four grandchildren – Charlsie (Blake) Record of Moore, OK, Holly (Joe) Turnbull of Tulsa, OK, Aubrie Bowlan of Stillwater, OK, and Bryson Bowlan of Edmond, OK; four great-grandchildren – Blakely, Barrett, and Bowlan Record and Wyatt Turnbull; three sisters – Joyce Wellman of Bethel, OK, Doris (Lonnie) Carter of Ratliff City, OK, and Sue (Rick) Lam of Tecumseh, OK; one sister-in-law, Donna Hayes of Flint, TX.
Henry was preceded in death by his parents and grandson Garrett Bowlan.
Services will be held at 10am Monday, January 3, at Rock Creek Baptist Church through Cooper Funeral Home in Tecumseh. Visitation will be Sunday, January 2, 2022, at Cooper Funeral Home from 2pm – 6pm. Family will be present from 2pm – 3pm for visitation.