Robert F Bozwell
Robert Friel Bozwell, Sr. passed away on Thursday, October 10th at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines at the age of 85. He was born on September 10th, 1934 to Cecil and Ursul Bozwell in Cincinnati, Iowa. He graduated from Cincinnati High School as class Valedictorian in 1952. He was joined in marriage to Barbara Wood of Exline, Iowa on July 4, 1953, celebrating 66 years of marriage in 2019. Robert and Barb would have four children, 6 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.
Robert had several vocations, including working at the Daily Iowegian. In the late 1970's he and Barbara would get their real estate licenses and started Bozwell Realty, which became one of Centerville's most successful real estate businesses. But his passion was his work at the Centerville Fire Department. Starting as a volunteer fireman in 1963 and eventually becoming Fire Chief, he devoted 48 years with the Fire Department, retiring in 2011. He considered being Fire Chief as one of his greatest honors. In that role he reshaped the department through educational training. At one point during his tenure as Fire Chief, the Centerville Fire Department had the most firemen achieving the highest level of fire fighter certification in the entire state of Iowa.
Robert was involved in several civic activities. He was a member of the Jaycees, an organization for young businessmen, for many years. He was very involved in Little League Baseball, coaching Reliable Culvert for several years. He was a member of the Sheriff's Posse, an organization of citizens that assisted in emergencies and disasters, including the Continental Flight 11 crash. In later years, he was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. His hobbies included fishing, hunting, golfing, and wood working.
Robert is survived by his wife Barbara, his daughter Cathy Whisler (Jerry), his oldest son Robert Bozwell, Jr. (Debbie), and his youngest son Dustin Bozwell (Karen), his grandchildren Mason Whisler (Taren), Corrie Wray (Justin), Jamie Fehring (Nick), Brinley Bozwell, and Braelyn Bozwell, and his great-grandchildren Kirra Whisler, Dylan Whisler, Drew Whisler, Kyndal Wray, Kayleigh Wray, Mason Wray, McKinley Wray, Madilyn Wray, Samuel Fehring, and Alice Fehring, and great-great grandchild Bentley Levens.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents Cecil and Ursul Bozwell, his sister Louise Reynolds, one son Chriss Bozwell, one granddaughter Nicole (Whisler) Cox, two brothers-in-law Joe Reynolds and Clyde Wood, and one nephew Richard Reynolds.
Funeral service will be 1:00 pm, Thursday, October 17, 2019 at First United Methodist Church in Centerville with Rev. Brian Hargrave officiating. Interment will immediately follow at Oakland Cemetery, Pallbearers will be Robert Bozwell, Jr., Dustin Bozwell, Jerry Whisler, Mason Whisler, Justin Wray, and Nick Fehring. Honorary Pallbearers will be John Farrington, John Humphrey, Gary Golic, Larry Golic, Carlo Cossolotto, Jack Kauzlarich, and Joyce Davis. Visitation will be 2 hours prior to the service, from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm. Memorials may be made on Robert's behalf to the following organizations: Furever Friends Rescue of Appanoose, Inc., Centerville Fire Department, Oakland Cemetery/Chimes, EveryStep Hospice, or the First United Methodist Church of Centerville. Memorials may be sent to the Thomas Funeral Home and condolences may be shared at or
Published on October 14, 2019


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Joni Ford McFarland
Oct 15, 2019
Barb and family, I'm sorry to hear of Bob's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.