Nick  Bowness

Memorial Mass

11:00 am
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
St. Peter's Episcopal Church
271 Roseland Avenue
Essex Fells, New Jersey, United States

Obituary of Nick Owen Bowness

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Nicholas Owen Bowness of East Hanover, NJ, passed away on February 26 after a brief but intense battle with ALS.

Born in Carbondale, PA on September 30, 1940 to Oliver and Eunice (Owens) Bowness. Nick is the oldest brother to Barry Bowness and Robert Bowness.

Always one to stay busy, Nick began his occupational career by delivering newspapers as a boy, and setting up pins at the local bowling alley. In his free time, Nick could be found at the baseball field, where he would develop into one of the best ballplayers to come out of Carbondale. Not one for the classroom, after graduating from Carbondale High School, Nick enlisted in the Army Reserves. After receiving his Honarable Discharge in September 1965, Nick continued to work on his baseball development, while working in a shoe factory, followed by a glass factory upon moving to New Jersey. 

Nick’s job at the glass factory ended with a fortuitous accident. After burning his leg on the job, Nick landed in the hospital. The nurse in charge of his recovery was Muriel Brannick. They would be married on March 05, 1966, where Muriel would be the perfect opposing personality to Nick’s. She would continue her involvement in the health care industry, while raising their two children, Brian Nicholas Bowness and Christine Bowness Albano.

Nick had two main passions outside of his family: lifting weights and baseball.

He would spend many hours working out at the Orange YMCA. Nick would become close friends with his lifting partner, Gene Mathews. Their friendship would lead to Mathews being named as Godfather to Brian, but also the connection Nick would use to land his first sales job at Borden Foods. He would earn multiple Salesman of the Year Awards before being named a Vice President for the food brokerage Andorn, Bergida, and Danks (ABD Inc).

After wrapping up a baseball career in the Essex County League, that would include facing many big league ball players such as Satchel Paige, and developing relationships with the likes of Yogi Berra; Nick began his coaching career. His first stop: Our Lady of the Valley, where he would help guide the team to a Greater Newark Tournament title, as well as a #1 ranking in the state of New Jersey.

Nick then focused his coaching attention to Brian’s baseball career. Aside from coaching the ball clubs, Nick would also go on to run West Orange’s Mountain Top League, and the town’s travel ball clubs along side his friends Anthony Carlucci and Wendell Phillips. The teams would go on to win multiple championships including a historic 13-0 Colts team in 1983. Nick would also make a point of inviting the players’ parents to take part in team responsibilities which allowed everyone involved to feel like one big family. Many of the players on those ball clubs would call Nick their favorite and most influential coach. 

The final stop in Nick’s coaching career was at Seton Hall University, where he was named an Assistant Coach as well as the Strength Coach. Aside from educating the baseball program on strength training, he also helped in the strength development of the University’s basketball team that would go on to reach the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament. It was at SHU where he would develop a life long friendships with Assistant Coach Fred Hopke, and many of the program’s most decorated players such as Mo Vaughn, Craig Biggio, John Valentin, Kevin Morton, and Dana Brown, to name a few.

 Sharing in many personality traits, Nick took great pride in watching his daughter Christine out hustle and outwork her peers. While working on her Masters Degree, Christine landed her first teaching job at Oliver Street School in Newark, located just a few blocks from the glass factory Nick worked in many years earlier. But nothing would give Nick more joy than when Christine gave birth to her daughter, Charlotte Mae Albano. Nick would be front and center for Charlotte’s sporting events and activities. Charlotte would also be the reason Nick would come out of coaching retirement to throw her batting practice before her games.

Nick Bowness encapsulates the American Dream. A young man that came from nothing yet created a life filled with tremendous stories and memories. You would be hard-pressed to find someone that can lay claim to out-curling The Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno, being an invited guest in George Steinbrenner’s suite at Yankee Stadium, and also having a random conversation with Kevin Costner outside of Whitney Houston’s funeral. On the surface the stories may seem hard to believe at first. But meeting Nick, you would be immediately captivated by his outgoing personality and charm. Those closest to Nick would make a point to describe his intense loyalty and genuine care for those around him.


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