Richard “Dick” and Gwen Bowers recently made a visit to Newtown, where they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
The couple met in 1962, and were married the following year. They decided, said Dick, to return to the town where they met and lived during the first part of their marriage because “Newtown and the community of Sandy Hook are special places to us and we have many wonderful memories that started for us in 1962.”
Dick Bowers met Gwendolyn Gover when he was working at the former Grand Union Grocery on Queen Street.
“Gwen would come in the store each week with her parents, Harold and Catherine Gover,” he said. “Even today, I remember what she was wearing the first time I saw her. She had on a black winter coat, a black dress, and a blue scarf. My first impression of her was simply, ‘Wow!’”
Gwen’s brother Donald was also working at Grand Union those days, so Dick asked Donald if his sister was dating anyone at the time. Donald told Dick that he didn’t think his sister was dating anyone. The next time Dick saw Gwen, he asked her out.
“I asked her if she would like to go out to a movie and have some dinner. To my surprise, she said Yes,” said Mr Bowers.
The first date did not go as well as they had planned.
“She didn’t like me very much and I was not overly fond of her. Needless to say, we didn’t date again for a long while,” said Dick.
Several weeks later, Dick decided to take another chance, so he asked Gwen to go out again. That second date turned out very differently than the first.
“We talked and shared about our lives for several hours,” said Dick. “We discovered that we actually liked each other! Soon we found ourselves falling deeply in love with each other. This was truly a God moment for both of us!”
Dick and Gwen were married eight months later, on December 7, 1963, at Danbury Baptist Church. Their first home was in Sandy Hook, in “an old schoolhouse that was an apartment, years ago,” he said.
They moved from Newtown to Tennessee in 1965. A few years later they moved again, this time to Charlotte, N.C., where they currently live.
“God has blessed us,” said Dick, “with four unbelievable children, 13 grandchildren, and just recently, one great-grandson.”
The Bowers will be “joyfully celebrating our 50th anniversary on December 7, 2013,” said Dick. “We decided we wanted to return to Newtown, where we first met and our first daughter was born.”
While in the area the couple planned to visit with Gwen’s brother and his wife, Donald and Linda Gover, who still live here in town, as well as with the Govers’s three daughters, Mary Gover, Lisa Gover Dievert, and Jill Gover Tino, and their children. There were a few day trips into New York, and a family get-together to celebrate the big anniversary. The couple were traveling home on their anniversary, but that wasn’t a concern, said Dick.
“We don’t care about that,” he said. “We’re just happy that we’ll be back, and our kids are so excited.
“Our daughter was just a baby when we moved away, so she doesn’t remember anything. And the rest of the kids have never been to Connecticut,” he said.
The couple was “thrilled,” said Dick, to be sharing their anniversary with the Newtown and Sandy Hook communities.
“We have a lot of good memories from our life there,” he said.