Letter to the Editor, January 27, 2016: Rich Bowen

By Steve Hamm, a former 17-year Bedford resident

I worked with and for Rich Bowen ten years beginning in 1982 and he was a friend for 35 years.  Besides his town government contributions, Rich also contributed to the commercial success of Bedford.

Rich was the head of the International division of Atex, Inc. in Bedford and he contributed to the success of Atex as he managed the complex issues of rapid growth in an international technology business.  Rich hired many new people in Bedford to staff the growing business.  He was gifted in his ability to assess complex situations and then to drive the organization in a direction towards success; always with a sense of humor, perspective, and ethics.

Rich later joined and invested in the Bedford-based company wTe.  He convinced me to join wTe and work for him which led me to move to Bedford and purchase the first of the three homes in Bedford I lived in over 17 years.  wTe has remained in Bedford and it is successful.

Rich Bowen’s contributions to the commercial success of Bedford were significant.

As we worked closely together at Atex, we found ourselves traveling together in Europe a lot so I can testify to Rich’s “Renaissance Man” qualities.  My first visit to Versailles was with Rich and he had extensive knowledge of the role Versailles played leading to the French Revolution and in the Treaty of Versailles.  He had a little boy look of excitement as we walked from the War Room on one end of the Hall of Mirrors to the Peace Room on the other end.  Once we drove together from Rotterdam (The Netherlands) to Frankfurt (Germany) and he had details to tell about the “bridge too far” at Arnhem and the Cathedral at Cologne as we passed nearby.

Language was one of his hobbies and he knew German well enough to conduct business meetings in Germany in German.  Once at an Atex gathering he belted out a strong version of La Marseillaise in French (he told me a few months ago that he learned La Marseillaise in a grade school music class!)

I enjoyed Rich at work and personally.  He was such an exceptional person…so bright, so optimistic, so driven to do his best and always for the right reasons.

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