Jeffrey John Bowe , Jr.

  • Born: September 8, 1923
  • Died: February 3, 2021
  • Location: Melrose, Massachusetts

Robinson Funeral Home

809 Main Street
Melrose, MA 02176
Tel. (781) 665-1900

Tribute & Message From The Family

Jeffrey John Bowe Jr, 97, of Melrose passed away on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at his son's home in Boston, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his devoted wife of 18 years, Marion (O'Neil) Bowe and his children, Brian P. and wife Susan of Reading, Louisa M. Gray and husband Jay of Roswell, GA, Kenneth R. and wife Lori of Jacksonville, FL, Timothy M. and wife Elaine of Boston, Christopher T. and wife Laura of North Andover, and Gregory W. and husband Timothy Grobleski of Hull. He leaves behind dedicated children-in-law Vinette M. Bowe and Tina M. Bowe of North Andover, and James A. Moore of Walpole, in addition to 17 treasured grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Jeff was predeceased by his cherished first wife, Elizabeth M. (Herlihy) Bowe, their beloved children, Jeffrey J. Bowe III and Elizabeth M. Bowe, and his brother, Robert L. Bowe.

Jeff was born on September 8, 1923 in Worcester to Jeffrey J. and Agnes (Looby) Bowe. The family lived with Jeff's maternal grandparents until 1932, when they relocated to the Boston area, spending several years in Quincy before settling in Brighton. Jeff was accepted to Boston Latin School, graduating as a member of the Class of 1941. He enrolled at Boston College that fall, before taking a leave of absence to enlist in the US Army. After completing his basic training and additional technical schooling he was chosen to serve as part of a top-secret group developing covert Army communication equipment at Bell Labs in New York, eventually stationed at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Jeff returned to Boston College in 1946, graduating with a B.A. in Mathematics in 1947. He enrolled in a master's program at Brown University that fall, focusing his coursework on statistical demographic probabilities (while taking Babylonian and Egyptian mathematics courses just for fun), and earned his M.A. in Mathematics in 1949. Jeff was accepted to a doctorate program at Boston University that fall, where he majored in relativity and quantum physics. After completing all necessary coursework for the degree during the summer of 1950, Jeff joined the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut as an assistant physics professor for the 1950-1951 schoolyear. During his first week on campus, he met his colleague and future wife, Betty, at a faculty party.

Jeff and Betty married on October 18, 1952, eventually welcoming eight children. At the time, Jeff was with Air Force Cambridge Research Center in Cambridge, where he focused his research on semiconductor transistors and worked alongside industry giants including William Shockley and twice-winner of the Physics Nobel Prize, John Bardeen. Later, he shifted his work to high-temperature geranium silicon devices. While at AFCRC, Jeff served as part of the Semiconductor Advisory Group, a group comprised of senior representatives selected from throughout the industry and government to review and approve all government semiconductor research contracts, while also advising the President's office on the latest industry developments. He joined Sperry, based in Connecticut, in 1959 as Director of Research, specializing in silicon integrated circuits, before accepting a position with Radio Corporation of America in 1962 to oversee the development of thin film transistors. Jeff's career with RCA took the family from Connecticut to New Jersey before he was offered a position with NASA, ultimately relocating them to Massachusetts, where they settled in Melrose in 1966. At NASA Jeff oversaw his state-of-the-art lab in the Electronic Research Center in Cambridge, where his team used newly developed mathematical statistical analyses to test the efficiency, stability, and reliability of the integrated circuits designed for use in the Apollo space program. After NASA's Cambridge location was closed in 1970, Jeff joined the Department of Transportation Systems, working closely with the Chicago Transit Authority on several large-scale projects during his tenure. After his retirement from the DOT in 1978, Jeff began teaching at Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, and was invited to spend a semester teaching physics at the prestigious Technical University of Budapest in 1987. Jeff developed a well-respected electronics program while at Bunker Hill, which he oversaw in his role as Department Head until his retirement in 1998.

Despite his tremendous professional accomplishments, including over 150 significant industry publications and a dozen patents, Jeff was most proud of his children and the large extended family that he and Betty created. After Betty's death in 1997, Jeff reconnected with and married his second wife, Marion, in 2002. A kind and generous man shaped by his Catholic roots and steered by scientific background, Jeff was loved and respected by all who knew him. Loyal to his Catholic beliefs and Irish heritage, he served on the Melrose Incarnation Church Parish Council and was involved in the Northshore Irish Club, The Eire Society, as well as the Irish Forum for Peace and Reconciliation, which played a key role in the 1994 negotiations of the Irish Good Friday Agreement. A passionate reader and storyteller, Jeff especially enjoyed engaging in energetic discussions with friends and family around the topics of politics, history, and religion. He was also was an avid traveler, taking dozens of trips throughout Europe, Africa, and the Americas. An active father and dynamic grandfather, he enjoyed dinners and frequent visits with members of his family up until the day of his passing. Inquisitive, intelligent, and unassuming, Jeff was a truly an exceptional man who will be enormously missed.

Due to current COVID restrictions, a small funeral service for immediate family will be held at Saint Cecilia's Catholic Church in Boston. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to your favorite Jesuit, Social Justice or Educational charity.

Jeff's services will be livestreamed. If you wish to view the service, please click on the below link on Tuesday, February 9 at 11am:


Condolence & Memory Journal

I would like to express my condolences to Marion and Jeff's sons Brian and Tim. it was my pleasure and honor to have been a caregiver in their
home we had many interesting conversations on many topics. while I was a guest in their home.

Posted by patti difonzo - Acquaintance   March 01, 2021

To Marion, Brian ,Louisa, Ken, Tim, Chris and Greg, and of course to all family and friends. We send our heartfelt condolences to you on the passing of Jeff, a very wonderful man.


A family man through and through.
A faithful hear so pure,
Filled with curiosity and wonder.
Laughter and a smile to melt a heart.
Always kind, and so very smart.

With a balanced mind, you helped put a torn world, to right.
Clever and kind in equal measure.
To all you know , a national treasure.

Your legacy is planted, it is rooted in love and pride.
In the hearts of your brilliant people, you leave for awhile.

So lovely Jeff, we celebrate your love and an amazing life.
As you reunite with loved ones gone before.
Whom we feel near.
Never far, always there!

To Marion and all the Bowe family holding you in our thoughts and prayer.

Love from,
The Moore Family

Posted by The Moore Family - Friend   February 18, 2021

Forever laughing forever remembered forever loved

Posted by Mary and peter cargill - Melrose, MA - Family Friend   February 16, 2021

Our sincerest condolences to your family. May Jeffrey Rest In Peace

Posted by Ellen Cunniffe - Melrose, MA - Family Friend   February 15, 2021

It was a joy and privilege to know Jeff Bowe and all his family. Betty and my mother were friends from growing up in NYC. This connection allowed me to know Betty and Jeff and eventually. the wonderful Bowe children. My condolences to the family. I remember him and all the family fondly.

Posted by Andrew Langkopf - Norwood, MA - Friend   February 08, 2021

The Eire Society of Boston is sorry about your loss. We can all proudly and confidently say Jeffrey's life was a life worth living. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

Posted by Barbara Fitzgerald - Milton, MA - Friend   February 08, 2021

Wayne and I have fond memories of Mr. Bowe. All of the Bowe children baby sat for our son Mark at one time or another. When we moved from Geneva Road to Stratford Road we were neighbors again when he and Marion lived a few houses down from us. We'd exchange dog stories when I'd be out walking our dog.

Posted by Judy Allen - Stoneham, MA - Neighbor   February 08, 2021

In the years we knew him Jeff was a joy to be near. We found his humor and humble way something to treasure and are enriched for having known him. Our thoughts and prayers to his wonderful family.

Posted by Beth, Bob LaRosa - Waltham, MA - Family   February 07, 2021

Marion,Brian,Louisa,Kenneth,Tim,Chris,Greg and the entire Bowe family:The Pyke family express our sincere sympathy on the passing of your dear husband and father.We knew Jeff very well through our visits to Melrose on so many occasions since the early '80's and indeed those visits he made with Betty,and later with Marion to Cork.So many happy memories of a very special person,kind and generous,always engaging,on so many topics.His special affection for Ireland and our culture,as was part of many chats we enjoyed.A privilege to have known him so well.A person so accomplished,yet unassuming is such a rare trait.A life so abundantly lived,he shared his knowledge and skills with so many others.
May he rest in peace.
We also express our belated sympathy to you all on the death of your dear sister Liz.Sincere sympathy to Jim,Aidain,Andie,Ruairi and Devin.Regretably our first opportunity to say this.

Posted by Tom Pyke - Cork,Ireland - Family   February 07, 2021

Sending my sincere condolences to the Bowe family. May he rest in eternal peace Stephanie Fahy

Posted by Stephanie Fahy - Richmond Hill, GA - Family Friend   February 07, 2021

I first met Uncle Jeff when I was 5 years old. I remember looking at him and thinking why did my Aunt bring him to our home. For Aunt Betty he was a keeper.

When I moved to Boston I lived with the Bowes. I was always impressed with Uncle Jeff's intelligence and his love of my favorite Aunt Betty and his children.

Through the years the Bowe and Limpert families shared wonderful times.

"Unc" I will miss you and our thought provoking conversations.

Posted by Betty Ann Limpert - Newton, MA - Family   February 07, 2021

Tim Elaine and the entire Bowe family
The Giordano family would like to express our sincere sympathy to all of the Bowe family although we never had the honor of meeting Jeff, we do know Tim and to us seems to portray so many of his dads savy for knowledge and kindness to all peopleRIP Jeff

Posted by Carole Giordano - Wakefield, MA - Friend   February 06, 2021

In the Valley of the Kings, Luxor.

Posted by Carole R - MA - Friend   February 06, 2021

David and I were fortunate enough to know Jeff through Elaine, Tim, and Becca. Jeff was an easy conversationalist, sharing his knowledge on a myriad of topics. His progressive ideas and his energy belied his age. Mostly, Jeff was a kind and loving man who's first interest was his family. We feel very grateful to have known him and will miss his smile very much.

Posted by Carole R - MA - Friend   February 06, 2021

Family Album

Community Photos

In the Valley of the Kings, Luxor.
I first met Uncle Jeff when I was 5 years old. I remember looking at him and thinking why did my Aunt bring him to our home. For Aunt Betty he was a keeper. When I moved to Boston I lived with the Bowes. I was always impressed with Uncle Jeff's intelligence and his love of my favorite Aunt Betty and his children. Through the years the Bowe and Limpert families shared wonderful times. "Unc" I will miss you and our thought provoking conversations.