Bill Bowermaster treasures his Catholic faith as the dominant force in his life. At 95 years old, the Dana Point resident believes that the Church is the reason he has lived and loved for so long.
Bowermaster and his wife Greta, also 95, have been married 74 years. Both claim that they have never had a serious argument in all that time. “We’ve had disagreements but never a serious argument,” he says. “It just wasn’t necessary.”
First living in Downey, then Coto de Caza, they’ve raised three children in the Catholic faith and now have 14 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren, with one more on the way.
“We’ve always tried to be a proper mother and father to them,” he notes. “We’ve always strived to be good parents.”
Bowermaster and his wife left Independence, Kansas in a borrowed car packed with their only possessions and their firstborn son, John. Upon arriving in Southern California, he founded the Bowermaster and Associates insurance company in 1956. Today their youngest son Michael runs the Cypress-based company.
Neither Bill nor Greta is anxious to pass along sage advice to others about marriage, family or longevity. Still, Bill says that raising their children in the Catholic faith and attending church every Sunday helped them build a firm foundation for a good marriage, family values and togetherness.
“Be understanding with your spouse and be congenial and forgiving,” he says. “Be honest, hardworking and keep your family together.”
Bill met Greta in front of a drugstore and they became engaged during World War II as he was serving in the Air Force. They were married by a good friend, Father Carey, and settled at an air base where their oldest child was born.
Unbeknownst to her soon-to-be husband, Greta converted to Catholicism prior to marrying Bill. She calls him “a wonderful Catholic man, a wonderful husband and father.” She says she is very happy in her marriage and always has been. “We have shared the good and the bad and made the most of what we have.”
When they first married, money was scarce. But for most of their marriage it wasn’t an issue. The Bowermasters were able to do the things they like to do, including traveling to Europe annually. “We never had to struggle moneywise, except at the beginning,” he notes. “We were very secure and very happy together. We like the same things – friends, family – and we have been very blessed with good children.”
Now retired and living in a Dana Point apartment, their youngest son takes care of them when necessary and their daughter visits daily. They attend Mass every Sunday at St. Timothy’s in Laguna Niguel.
This year, Bill co-founded A New Beginning for Kids at Risk with his friend and ex-convict Earnest Caldwell. Their nonprofit organization aims to mentor youth from 10 to 12 years old, suggesting alternatives to crime, gangs and drugs.
Bill and Greta cherish their days together and continue to appreciate each other and the life they’ve created.
“I take life as it comes,” Greta says. “We’ve tried to live our lives to the best of our ability and to make the most of what we have.”