Cover photo for Billy Bert Bowen, Jr.'s Obituary
Billy Bert Bowen, Jr. Profile Photo
1957 Billy 2024

Billy Bert Bowen, Jr.

December 12, 1957 — July 5, 2024

Billy Bowen Jr. of Ocala, Florida passed away peacefully on Friday, July 5, 2024 after a 4 year battle with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (kidney cancer). He was 66.

Billy was born December 12, 1957, in Ocala, Florida to Billy Bert Bowen Sr. and Irene Bowen (Stansiky). He married the love of his life, Karen Jean Bowen (Baer) on June 7,1980. Billy was a salesman by trade, but his true passion was the time he spent on the water as a Professional Bass Tournament Angler. Billy fished all over the country and was known by many as Big Bass Billy. Many would consider him a Fishing Legend and a strong competitor on the tournament circuit. His tournament achievements included a 5 time All American Qualifier, 2-time BFL Regional Champion, Tournament of Champions winner in San Diego, California, 27 top ten wins, numerous top 10 finishes in the FLW and Everstart Series tournament trails and 141 lifetime events fished with the Operation BASS Tournament Trails, now known as the MLF Tournament Trail. Billy along with his friend and fellow competitor, Glenn Browne, helped design the BB Cricket (Browne and Bowen). Billy also had a favorite lure shade, Bowen’s Silver, which was his favorite color to use on Lake Okeechobee. Billy was a family man and had a passion for the outdoors. He enjoyed and took great pride in teaching his children and his grandchildren all about the sport of fishing. He also cherished the time he spent traveling with his wife. He always enjoyed spending his evenings on golf cart rides stopping to talk with all his neighborhood friends with his beloved furry companion Belle. Billy was genuine with a big-heart and he left an impact on all of those he met. 

Left to cherish his memories and all his fishing stories are his wife, Karen; daughter, Emily Merritt (Jonathan); son, Andrew Bowen (Shelby); grandchildren, Justin Merritt (Melissa), Haleighann Merritt, Brady Merritt, Lakelynn Bowen, Holden Bowen, Lawson Bowen and Hudson Bowen; great grandchildren, Beau and Huck Merritt; sister-in-law, Sandi Lorenson; brothers, Larry Bowen and Greg Bowen (Marsha); sister, Joyce Smoker. Numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and great nephews, as well as all his many cherished friends.

A memorial service for Billy will be held on Saturday, July 20, 2024 at 1pm at Countryside Funeral Home in Anthony, Florida. Please feel free to wear your favorite fishing attire or come as you are, as Billy wouldn’t want it any other way. In lieu of flowers, the family is grateful for memorial donations made to H.U.G.S. Charities, Inc.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Billy Bert Bowen, Jr., please visit our flower store.


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