Departed Member

Irish Cultural Society

of San Antonio Texas


Promoting Awareness of Irish Culture

Martin P. Bowles
by Michael P. Noone

April 20, 1933 to October 18, 2013

Martin Martin Patrick Bowles was born on April 20, 1933 to James and Margaret Bowles, a small farming family in County Sligo, Ireland. In all, there were five boys and one girl in the family - Jim, Brian, Frank, Brendan and of course Margaret. Margaret became my wife in 1963 and unfortunately she passed away in 1987. She is buried at Fort Sam Houston. May she Rest in Peace. Living conditions in Ireland in the 1950s were rather tough Martin worked on the farm and did odd jobs locally. He eventually secured employment at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Athlone, in Co. Westmeath. Hours were long, work was hard, pay was poor and with little hope for advancement or promotion, Martin, like so many others of his generation at the time decided to emigrate. Having an Uncle in the New York area, he chose the United States. With his experience in the hostelry industry, he had little difficulty in getting a job with a major hotel in Manhattan where he stayed until he was drafted into the U S Army. After boot camp, Martin was trained as a Medical Corpsman, right here at Fort Sam Houston (San Antonio, Texas). He was then posted to Germany where his primary function was as an ambulance driver. Discharged from the Army in 1957, Martin, with his driving experience, applied and got a job with the New York Transit Authority as a bus driver. After diligently and faithfully plying the streets and avenues of Manhattan he retired in 1983. The following year, he married the love of his life - Josie. Martin and Josie visited us in San Antonio at Christmas 1985, fell in love with our Texas weather and hospitality and decided to leave the bitter winters of up-state New York and move here to San Antonio in 1986. Determined to keep himself busy, Martin got a job with the Northside Independent School District (NISD) as - guess what - a school bus driver. Josie also worked on the same bus as Martin as an attendant to handicapped students. After 10 years with the NISD Martin eventually packed it in, retired for good and really enjoyed his status as a retiree. We will all miss him. May he Rest in Peace.