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 • Allen County
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Martin Bates "Sockey" Bowersock
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Birth: Oct. 20, 1911
Lima
Allen County
Ohio, USA
Death: May 29, 1970
Lima
Allen County
Ohio, USA

Martin was the oldest son and second child of five. His father was of the Christian faith, but his mother was Roman Catholic and Martin was raised in the Catholic faith. On November 12, 1911 Rev. Aug. J. Schwertner performed his baptism in St. John's Catholic Church. When he was 6 years old his grandfather Martin O’Neill died. He was only 16 when his other grandfather, Timothy Bowersock died. He dearly loved Timothy and spent as much time as possible with him when he was growing up treasuring each moment even enjoying the time he spent doing ‘chores”. Sometimes he drove his grandfather's trotting horses at the fairs for him. Martin apparently intently listened to Timothy’s advice as Martin never played cards nor gambled and placed all real estate in his wife’s name. Timothy had had the experience of losing his well renowned and successful farm in a card game, and had been subsequently compelled to start over again.

His grandmother Mary Hession O’Neill died when he was 20. Shortly thereafter at age 24 Martin married Grace Rogers. They had attended Saint John’s school together and had lived in close proximity to each other for several years. A year later his oldest daughter Grace Diane was born. Three months later his grandmother Margaret Bowersock died. He and Grace soon had four children; one son and three daughters. His mother died suddenly when he was 29 and he was 45 when his father died.

Martin was an industrious man and worked diligently to support his family. Martin worked "shift work" for the Lima refinery. Despite the irregular hours, he was a pioneer in the neon tube bending business and opened a sign shop that he called "Sockey's Sign Service". He ran this business while working full time for the refinery. Although most of his work was sign making, I particularly remember a red candle with gold flame and green candle holder that he created one Christmas season. Sign making seems to be a predisposition for this family acquired from the Brubaker side of the family.

About 1951, Grace and Martin started a small business they called "G & M Supplies." Martin's major recreation at the time was coon hunting, and T-shirts with pictures and words were becoming popular at the time, so they contracted for quality t-shirts to be printed with a picture of a dog chasing a coon with the words "My Dad is a Coon Hunter" under the picture then sold these T-shirts through a hunter's magazine.

Martin moved his family about 1954 to Spencerville Road, buying a few acres with a barn that was next to property his grandfather had owned and where his Aunt Nora still lived. It was about this time that he sold his hunting dogs and focused on harness horses. Martin went to the fairgrounds daily to exercise them and attend to their needs.

In 1959, Grace and Martin purchased a neighborhood inn in Kenton, Ohio that Grace managed personally. Martin was still working full time at the Lima Refinery. He had risen to the position of Supervisor, but continued to work the shift cycle.

Martin took me with him on many long drives through the countryside the last few years of his life. We usually had no particular destination and he would ask me to watch for "a bird sitting on the fence" near an intersection because we needed to turn there. Since there was no destination, this worked for us. He pointed out different fields, telling me what the farmer was growing, so that I became somewhat adept at differentiating a field of rye from a field of wheat or oats at a glance.

It was a special treat for him when he could take his family with him to watch the dirt track stock car races at the Allentown Speedway.

Martin hated wearing a suit, and was routinely seen in a white T-shirt and shop pants. He enjoyed socializing and teasing people. As a young man he had red hair and grey eyes. He was five foot ten inches tall and average build when he was young. His red hair turned white when he was about 40 and he developed the Bowersock hairline. Over the years I have heard him called, Red, Socks, Sockey, and Marty in addition to Martin. Martin was a fun-loving and hard-working man until his death at age 58. Of his four siblings, only his youngest sister outlived him.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Oscar Bates Bowersock (1887 - 1957)
  Mary Frances O'Neill Bowersock (1891 - 1941)
 
 Spouse:
  Grace Edna Rogers Bowersock (1913 - 2004)
 
 Children:
  Diane Bowersock Farley (1937 - 1986)*
 
 Siblings:
  Mary Margaret Bowersock Keel (1910 - 1958)*
  Martin Bates Bowersock (1911 - 1970)
  Richard Lee Bowersock (1913 - 1967)*
  Lois Ruth Bowersock Bowler (1917 - 1956)*
  Nora June Bowersock Ayres (1919 - 1997)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Gethsemani Cemetery
Lima
Allen County
Ohio, USA
Plot: Section: G Plot: 385 Grave: 3
 
Maintained by: Susan Roach
Originally Created by: corgilover
Record added: Dec 08, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 81701704
Martin Bates Sockey Bowersock
Added by: Susan Roach
 
Martin Bates Sockey Bowersock
Added by: Susan Roach
 
Martin Bates Sockey Bowersock
Added by: Susan Roach
 
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- Lisa Harrington
 Added: Jun. 13, 2015

- Amy Wolfe
 Added: Jun. 10, 2015

- GLiveoak
 Added: Jun. 8, 2015
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