JOHN WATTS BOWDITCH

Posted on Mar 07, 2012 - 04:12 PM

John Watts Bowditch of Gloucester, died from a massive coronary after a successful bilateral lung transplant in Durham, N.C., on Feb. 29, 2012.

John was born on Oct. 12, 1944, the son of Willits Henry and Marian Hornsby Bowditch.

Awarded a football scholarship, he attended The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., "the holy city," and claimed the class of 1967, while graduating in 1968. John spent most of his life in the automobile business. He was the owner of McGinness Chevrolet-Buick, and since retirement was associated with Hutchens Chevrolet.

John attended Abingdon Episcopal Church where he served in numerous capacities—as senior warden three times, church trustee, and sang with the choir one Christmas until they started hiding the practices from him. He taught the largest teen Sunday School class on record because he recruited two friends to assist them and forced all their respective children to attend. He was known for making ham biscuits for church functions. John’s greatest gift was one of friendship often accompanied by his wonderful homemade bread.

John was involved at many levels in Boys Scouts of America from serving as the Troop Leader of his son’s troop to receiving the Order of the Silver Beaver. He helped found the Gloucester-Mathews Free Clinic. More significantly John attended every wrestling match, football and soccer game in which his sons ever played.

John is survived by his wife of 40 years, Margaret ("Peggy") Runnels Bowditch, and his son, Sherwood Hornsby Bowditch; his brothers, David Bowditch and wife Rene of Williamsburg and Gloucester Point, and Phillip Bowditch and wife Lee of Newport News; his sister-in-law, Catherine ("Kay") Runnels Merriland her husband Steve of Clifton. His son, Leland Coffey Bowditch, predeceased him. He delighted in his numerous nieces and nephews and his godchildren, whom he adored.

Funeral services conducted by the Rev. Sven L. vanBaars and the Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple were held at 4 p.m. Monday, March 5, 2012, at Abingdon Episcopal Church. Interment followed in the church cemetery.

In John’s memory, contributions may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Gloucester, 7066 Hayes Shopping Center, Hayes, Va. 23072 and Abingdon Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 82, White Marsh, Va. 23183.

Arrangements by Hogg Funeral Home and Crematory, Gloucester Point.