Joseph Mitchell 'Mitch' Bowen

Joseph Mitchell “Mitch” Bowen, 80, of Blackshear, passed away Thursday night, June 25, 2020, at Memorial Satilla Health in Waycross, following an extended illness.

Born March 30, 1940 in Blackshear, he was a son of the late Thomas Malachi and Etta Roberson Bowen. A lifelong resident of Pierce County, he was a 1958 graduate of Blackshear High School, never missing a day of school in all 12 years. He was a successful businessman, including being the former owner of the Amoco Station in Blackshear, a long-time vehicle salesman for Parrish Motors and Waters Ford, a partner in the former Dixon-Bowen-Taylor Funeral Home, an owner of Oak Plaza Restaurant and he had enjoyed working at Reeal Barbeque the past few years. 

He served as the Chairman of the Pierce County Commission for a pair of non-consecutive terms including from 2002-2006 and from 2010-2014. 

He was a member of Southgate Baptist Church but had also attended Truth Tabernacle in Blackshear.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a grandson, Michael “Major” Blackshear; two sisters, Clara May Bowen and Margaret Votaw (husband Russell); seven brothers, Walt Bowen (wife Thelma, Jack Bowen (wife Mae), Kent Bowen (wife Lavada), Bob Bowen, Cornelius Bowen, and Bud Bowen (wife Virginia) and Quincy Bowen (wife Mary).

Survivors include his wife, Norene Smith Bowen, Blackshear; daughter, Michelle Flynn (husband Bobby), Blackshear; son, Mike Blackshear (Lori), Blackshear; step-daughter, Lynn Cheshire, Atlanta; step son, Leslie Cheshire, Atlanta; two grandchildren, Colton Flynn and Mindie Blackshear, both of Blackshear; three step-grandchildren, Jay, Zoe and Seth Cheshire, all of Waycross; a sister, Louise Thornberry (husband Harvey), Massillon, OH; and many nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Visitation will take place from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at the funeral home.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 28, from the chapel of Hart Funeral Home with the Rev. Joe Thigpen and Elder Jason Deal officiating. 

Interment will follow in the Waters Cemetery.

Social distancing and the use of masks are recommended.

Sympathy may be expressed by signing online at

Hart Funeral Home of Blackshear is in charge of arrangements.

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