Frank Albert Bowens, affectionately known as “Bubba”, was born in Jacksonville, Florida on October 29, 1935. After moving to New York City’s Gowanus neighborhood around the tender age of ten, Frank grew to adapt to his new life in Brooklyn, a place that he called home for the next seventy years.
It was during his adolescent years growing up in New York City that Frank’s love for running blossomed. As a teen, he joined the renowned Pioneer Track Club where under coach Joseph Yancey he became one of the nation’s most formidable competitors in the 400-meter dash (440-yard dash), ranking as high as number five in the country.
After attending John Jay High School in Brooklyn, Frank went on to study at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina on an athletic scholarship. At WSSU, he helped lead the Track and Field program to numerous titles including an outdoor season Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Championship in 1959.
Frank’s track and field career took him to places he never imagined, as he represented the United States of America in some of the top national and international meets, including the Pan Am Games and Olympic Trials.
Following his time in North Carolina, he returned to New York City where he began working at Sterns Department Store, later landing a job within the maintenance department at Co-op City in the Bronx, a position he held for almost thirty years before retiring.
Continuing to support his love of track and field, Frank became a member of the Olympians Track Club, joining several fellow former track stars with whom together they continued to enjoy supporting and traveling to meets, most notably the Penn Relays in Philadelphia.
A father of ten, Frank prided himself on his love of family and friends, and in 1989 the culmination of his love came to fruition when he wed the love of his life, Valerie.
On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, Frank departed this life joining his parents Albertha and John Ramsey, Jr., two brothers: Johnnie Lee and Robert, a grandson Kaiim, and several close friends in eternal heavenly life.
Frank is survived by his wife Valerie; his siblings: Charles (and his wife Bernita), Yvonne (and her husband Maurice), Ella Mae and Allen; his children: Frank, Pamela, Frances, Andre (and his wife Connie), Crystal, Denise, Yvette, Iasia, Anitra and Darrell; fifteen grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren, sisters-in-law: Lona and Renee; brothers-in-law: Martin (and his wife Jackie), Eddie and Eli; best friends: Fred Holmes, Sr. and Harold Bussey, Sr.; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family members, friends, track buddies and more.