30/04/2021   Robert "Bob" Bowman passed away



It is with a deep sadness that we came to know and we had the confirmation that a friend is no longer there.

Bob Bowman, Chariman of the IAAF Race Walking Committee in the period between Palle Lassen and Maurizio Damilano passed away on January 19, 2021 from complications of Parkinson disease and a recent (December 2020) broken hip.
Bob has been heavily involved in every level of the sport in the US and internationally as well.
He is passionate about statistics and for many years he has also been the first statistician of the USA race walking.
The writer also had moments of friction with him, but his dedication to the sport of walking was beyond question.
We remember him as chief judge at the two 50km of the 1987 World Championships in Rome and the Barcelona Olympic Games, 1992.
He was a practicing Catholic, devoted to Padre Pio of Pietralcina, and he did not hide it. He fell the world on Sunday, in whatever city or town he was, he was always looking for a Catholic church to attend the Holy Mass.
We have some very beautiful personal memories of him:
The first dates back to the 1990 European Championships in Split when his luggage arrived at the Split airport two days late, and I lent him my "Alfetta 2000" to pick them up. He was thrilled with driving an icon of Italian cars of those years.
The second is a three-day “full immersion” in Venice and the Venetian lagoon to discover the local beauties, but with the request of a visit to the Basilica of Saint Antony in Padua.
Rest in peace dear Bob.




Bob Bowman

1940 to 2021


Sadly, I’m reporting on the passing of my friend Robert (Bob) Bowman. I received this message from Bob’s wife Gail a few weeks ago. Gail asked me to hold off with this announcement while she finished writing an Obituary. Unfortunately, the message has leaked out. 

Bob passed away January 19 from complications of Parkinson disease (diagnosed mid 2019) and a broken hip (December 2020).


While I knew Bob primarily through race walking he was very definitely a more well rounded man. After graduating Pomona Catholic High School, Bob furthered his education first at Loyola University, followed by Masters’ degrees from USC and Santa Clara University all in Engineering. During Bob’s professional career, he worked at JPL, Boeing, and Amdahl to name a few, as a Senior Reliability Engineer.


Bob had two favorite hobbies. A very nearly complete valuable stamp collection that he started while an Eagle Scout, in HS.  While he kept it under lock-and-key, he enjoyed showing it to me along with the fancy Auction House brochures that he received. Additionally, Bob worked for several years completely restoring (interior, exterior and engine) his first automobile a Ford Model A. It was a treat when Bob took me for a ride after it was completed.

While Bob only competed as a race walker for a few years, he would frequently finish in the top six places at National Championships; Bob won the 1963, 35k National. 

Bob was the Secretary for the US Race Walk Committee for over 15 years and annually updated the USA Race Walk Handbook (1982 – 2003) Annual and historical data on race walk performances.


Certainly, Bob was more involved at the international level. He was a member of the IAAF Race Walk Committee from 1980 to 2008. And, Chairman from 1992 to 2000. Bob was instrumental in helping write multiple versions of the Rules of Race Walking as well as the Race Walk Officials Handbook. He also oversaw the creation of the first Race Walk Judge evaluation protocol.

Closer to home, in 1991, Bob was the CEO and Director for the IAAF Race Walk World Cup, held in San Jose, CA. Through a personal friend of both Bob and I, Bob worked closely with the Mayor of SJ and the newly formed San Jose Sports Authority. During the event preparation, Bob raised over $2350,000 to assure the success of the event.


Bob is survived by Gail Porter Bowman (PCHS Class of 1962) who he married in 2003 on Mercer Island, Washington.  He is also survived by stepdaughters, Colleen Gabalis (Leo) from Snohomish, Washington and their children Victor, Rose, Marie, Henry and Claire; Elena Bresee (Paul) from Post Falls, Idaho and their children Margaret, Louisa, Imelda, Maria, Pius, Benedict, Anne and Clement.



Ron Daniel