David H. Bower
David Harrison Bower of Lafayette Hill passed away on January 19, 2022. He died of natural causes at his beloved home of many years, and former dental office, on Joshua Road.
David was born January 18, 1947. He grew up in New York and Pennsylvania with his parents Helen Swope Bower and Herbert Harrison Bower, older brother Barton Bower, older sister Lucinda Bower Thero, the great collie dog Lady—and several important stuffed frogs that lived on his bed, including Sir Marmaduke and Sir William. At his small Lutheran elementary school in Whitestone, David soared as the high soprano Baby Jesus in the Christmas play. He went on to earn his undergraduate degree at Syracuse University and teach at-risk boys at Greenbank, a local “reform school.” He told many interesting stories about his jobs in his early days as a suburban neighborhood ice cream salesman and Philadelphia taxicab driver.
After earning his Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, he began his medical career by running a clinic in Snow Shoe for people who had few dental care options. He began his successful dental practice in his home office in Montgomery County in 1974.
David could not pass up an opportunity to do something musical, no matter how outlandish, if it held any interest for him. He attended the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair, and was a frequent participant in Philadelphia’s famous annual Mummer’s Parade. He played the guitar, enjoyed his mother’s baby grand piano, and was active in the local folk music scene. Above all, it seemed, David loved to dance. He passionately danced everything from ballroom to ballet and from disco to the waltz—and he would most certainly cut a rug at your wedding. If he couldn’t dance, David might simply jump up and down to release his boundless energy. (Just ask Panky, his childhood friend, about the time they broke David’s crib during a championship jumping session.) In many ways a Peter Pan (though one afraid to fly), David was fleet-footed and dreamy, and stayed appealingly childlike.
Sympathetic, trusting, and loyal, David made friends easily and kept them for years. He loved his family deeply, signing cards to his sister “Little Brummy” and citing his brother’s home as the place he felt most at peace in the world. David always put a lot of thought and effort into birthday cards and Christmas presents. He loved practicing dentistry, but, a true creative, did not cotton as easily to the business side of his work. He loved little dogs, and later feral cats, and always had animal companions in his life. A wizard with duct tape, David fixed everything in his house with it, and wrapped birthday packages with it so comprehensively that they became bulletproof. He liked to drive, and had a penchant for “antique” muscle cars. He ate spaghetti with abandon and sweet onions like apples.
Outrageously silly, David could laugh till he cried, or at least till he turned beet red. Even when diagnosed with throat cancer later in life, which he bested shortly before his death, he kept his sense of humor going in his written correspondence. Over the course of his life, David developed a strong faith in a higher power and enjoyed discussing spirituality and joining area church groups in their services.
A study in extreme contrasts, David was sentimental and hung on to the past, but could also get swept up in the wonder of the moment—or be himself the whirlwind. He loved crowds and being with people, but could also labor alone in his office fabricating his own dental prostheses. Impulsive but organized, frugal but free-loving, grateful but unapologetic, David truly marched to the beat of his own drummer.
David is survived by his brother and sister; nephews Lawrence Bower (Nancy Bower), Geoffrey Bower (Jennifer Kagiwada), and Grant Dickson (Nancy Leech); niece April Greene (Arthur Meacham); great-nephews Samuel Bower and Cyrus Bower; great-nieces Sachiko Bower, Madelyn Bower, and Ivy Meacham Greene; the sweet kitty-cat Tortie; and vast networks of friends from many walks of life.
David had the intelligence, drive, and creativity to have been most anything he wanted to be. To those of us who loved him, he needed only to be his enigmatic, affectionate, surprising self.
A public memorial service will be held for David at Craft Funeral Home (814 Bethlehem Pike, Erdenheim, PA 19038) on Saturday, March 12 at 3pm with visitation beginning at 2:30. His friends and well-wishers are encouraged to attend and share their memories. Contributions in David’s name may be made to Fox Chase Cancer Center.