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Jeffrey  John  Bowe , Jr.

Obituary for Jeffrey John Bowe , Jr.

September 8, 1923 - February 3, 2021
Melrose, Massachusetts | Age 97


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:

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