Cover photo for Thomas Charles Bower's Obituary
Thomas Charles Bower Profile Photo

Thomas Charles Bower

July 14, 1947 — October 6, 2020

Thomas Charles Bower

***If you are part of the media/press, or anyone that wants to help get Thomas' story out there and the recognition he deserves, please feel free to reach out to his wife, Cynthia, at She would love to hear from you!***

Thomas Charles Bower, who was born on July 14, 1947 in Mason City, Iowa, passed away at the age of 73 on October 6, 2020 at his home in Waukee, IA. A memorial service will be held Monday, October 26, 2020 at 10:45 a.m., at Ernst Funeral Home, Waukee. (masks and social distancing requested). Inurnment and military honors will take place following at Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Adel, Iowa. Thomas’ service will be live-streamed and can be view at service time or anytime thereafter at:

At the age of 17, Thomas left high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army. On his 18th birthday, he arrived in Vietnam and within days was engaged in combat. Throughout the years, he re-enlisted and spent a total of 12 years faithfully and honorably serving his country. He spent five years overseas as an infantryman and eventually as a green beret instructing other green berets and navy seals parachuting and combat skills. The war took a heavy toll on Thomas and his mental health and he suffered from PTSD which permanently disabled him from living a normal life.

On July 13, 1996, under a gazebo at East Park in Mason City, Iowa, Thomas went on to marry the love of his life, Cynthia Lee Smith and resided in Waukee for over 17 years. Together, they fought and coped with Thomas’ disability. Cynthia was an extraordinary caretaker and was always thinking of Thomas and endlessly trying to get him the care and recognition he deserved.

Thomas loved Cynthia’s home-cooking and all the new creations she would come up with that catered to his dietary needs. He loved spending time cuddling with his cats and watching movies. He adored his family, especially spending time and swimming with his grandchildren. He would light up like a Christmas tree whenever they were around. He had an infectious smile and loved seeing people being happy.

Thomas is survived by his wife Cynthia; children Becky and Belinda and step-daughter (who he considered his own) Lily Grace (Aaron) Ilvess and grandchildren Alexandria, Quinton, Hunter and Oliver and his two beloved cats Chili and Pepper.

Thomas’ funeral can be viewed at: under the Video Tab. In honor of Mr. Tee’s service to our great country, we ask those wishing, to contribute to his memorial fund, c/o Cynthia Bower, 780 NE Horizon Dr., #109, Waukee, IA 50263.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Charles Bower, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Monday, October 26, 2020

Starts at 10:45 am

Ernst Funeral & Cremation Services

Waukee, IA

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