James (Jay or J.T.) Thomas Bowland, Jr., 88, a resident of Clarksville, TN, passed peacefully on February 2, 2023, surrounded by family and friends. Jay was born in Paducah, KY, where he was raised by his parents, James Sr., and Gladys (McWaters). Jay was a graduate of Tilghman High School (Class of 1954). Jay was the oldest of three children. He is survived by his youngest sister, Anna Lee Mueller and preceded in death by his other sister, Abbie Russell (Don), both of Paducah.
Jay was married 27 years to Diane Blythe Bowland of Clarksville, TN, who passed away in April 2022. In his work life Jay was a consummate salesman and marketer, who spent many of his work years in the automobile industry. Jay owned several businesses, including a car business, real estate business and brought hair replacement to Paducah, which later included working with his daughter, Tracy. He also worked as a loan officer at a savings and loan, and taught finance at a Community College. Throughout his varied career he won numerous sales awards and made outstanding civic contributions, such as through 4-H and acting in plays in lead roles at the Paducah Market House Community Theatre. Jay was an avid tennis player, golfer, and a University of Kentucky fan. Jay had a genial smile and an optimistic outlook on life. He traveled widely with his wife Diane and never met a stranger. As he approached the end of his life, he often remarked about his gratitude for the many blessings he had received.
Jay is survived by his children: Sharon (Joyce) of Oak Ridge, TN, Tracy DeFreitas of Paducah, KY, and Michael (Kathy) Bowland of Egg Harbor Township, NJ; grandchildren: Lindsey Wells (Clay) of Sturgis, KY, Justin DeFreitas of Paducah, KY, Joseph Blanche (Denise) of Northfield, NJ, Amy Grady (Talley) of Manahawkin, NJ, Delphin McCrory of Portland, OR, Karen McManus of Louisville, KY, and Aaron McManus (Rebecca) of Chicago, IL; 11 great-grandchildren; and other extended family: Darren Busbee (Tara) of Matthews, NC, Wyatt Busbee, and Brandon Busbee (Janie) of Nashville, TN.
The family extends our deep gratitude to Tennova Hospice in Clarksville for the care of Jay and Diane.
In lieu of flowers please make contributions to The Hospice Promise Foundation at 901 Hugh Wallis Road S, Lafayette, LA 70508.
Please visit James' tribute wall and share a memory with the family.