Cover photo for Stephen Mowe's Obituary
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1941 Stephen 2022

Stephen Mowe

March 3, 1941 — February 3, 2022

Stephen Frederick Mowe, a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and humble servant, bravely reported for his forever call of duty in heaven on Thursday February 3, 2022, at the age of 80 years old. He took the hand of Jesus from his home in Ripon, Wisconsin, surrounded by those he loved so deeply.
Stephen was a leader, a thinker, a man of integrity and honor, and a man of few words who embodied the ability to connect with people on a level most could never reach. He had the unique ability to consider countless variables for serious decision making while maintaining a sense of humor evident in his smile and twinkle in his eyes. Stephen was born in Effingham, Illinois, to Clarence K. and Helen Jeanette Mowe, where he lived throughout his childhood working for his dad’s moving business; even driving a semi-truck full of furniture across the country at just 14 years old. His dedication to hard work continued as he excelled and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Wentworth Military Academy and Murray State University and a master’s degree in Education at Georgia State University. He then furthered his graduate education at The Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. On August 31, 1963, he married the love of his life, Lee Ann Wear in Cairo, IL. He cherished and honored Lee Ann with every inch of his heart and soul. He passionately loved his country and served its people as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot, commander, and educator for 24 ½ years. He risked his life, daily, for a year in Viet Nam, flying attack helicopters into the villages of the enemy. In addition, he bravely spent a year in Iran assigned to train Iranian soldiers to fly helicopters. One of his most enjoyed assignments of his decorated military career over twenty-two places lived, was his 3 years as Professor of Military Science at Ripon College in Ripon, WI. Stephen was honored for his endless bravery, dedication to hard work, determination, and passion for leading with the utmost integrity, with 3 Meritorious Service Medals, an Army Commendation Medal, a Bronze Star Medal, and The Legion of Merit Medal. Following his retirement from the Army, he was a professor at Camden Military Academy in Camden, SC, for 7 years where he instilled self-confidence and leadership skills in 7th-12th graders. Finally, prior his final retirement, while living in Clayton, NC, he worked as the Eastern Regional Director for Lutheran Family Services, impacting the lives of those living in group homes. When taking a brief break from work, Stephen enjoyed golfing, fishing with his grandchildren, watching sports (especially those his grandchildren participated in), watching NASCAR, volunteering in his community and at church, and sharing stories with his family and friends.
Stephen was a devoted brother, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and treasured friend who shared his heart in a way that was uniquely tailored to each one. He shared a special connection and love for his sister, Cheryl Jean Swindlehurst (sons Joshua Bolton and Nathan Bolton). Stephen felt truly blessed by his children, Brett (Vanessa) Mowe, Shannon (TJ) Rogers, and Stephen (Debra) Mowe, Jr. He was absolutely smitten with his grandchildren, Lauren, Kelton, Taylor, Scarlett, Kenleigh, Garrett, Luke, and Braelen. His heart then burst with over the moon love for his great grandchildren, Leo and Garden. Stephen’s deep and authentic love for his family and friends flooded his heart and quietly seeped out with a sweet smile or loving word.
Stephen was preceded in death by his father, Clarence K. Mowe, mother, Helen Jeanette Mowe, loving bonus mother, Verena Mowe, and lifelong friend and “brother,” Claudio Venturini.
Stephen’s life will be celebrated Thursday February 10, 2022, at Ripon Community Church, 155 State Street, Ripon, WI, with a visitation from 9-11AM and service at 11AM. He will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Wounded Warrior Project at:

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