He was born to the late Susie (Caudill) Bowling-Rice and Sidney Bowling on Aug. 12, 1951, in Williamson, West Virginia. James graduated from Williamson High School and moved to the Norwalk area in 1975.
He was a simple man who enjoyed fishing, golfing, hunting, traveling — especially to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina — Kentucky Wildcat basketball, Ohio State Buckeye football and all professional Cleveland sports, especially the Browns.
James was an excellent bowler, winning many championships. He was a member of the Mapletree and Kenilee Lanes bowling leagues as well as the Fraternal Order of Eagles #711, Norwalk, Ohio. He loved going to the Norwalk Raceway with friends and family.
Jim was a very hard worker. He worked for Durable Mat and Faulhaber, both in Norwalk, Ohio, and retired in 2008 from Tenneco, in Milan, Ohio.
He loved his family, as well as all children and animals. His family and friends knew him as the “animal whisperer.” He loved to cook out on the grill and enjoyed a good hog roast, listening to great music and swimming in the pool.
Jim came from a large family of 11, and he cherished spending time with them. He was an exceptional husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. James attended St. Paul Catholic Church.
He is survived by his loving wife, Ruth M. (Sellers) Bowling of Huron, Ohio; children, James R. (Kelly) Hayden of Kentucky, Jeremy J. (Natasha) Bowling of Bryan, Ohio, and Christopher S. Bowling of Huron, Ohio; grandchildren Hunter and Rylee Hayden, Desiree Bowling and Porter and Paxton Lirot. He is also survived by his siblings, Mildred Jones, Katherine “Kat” (Bill) Hatfield, Gail (Fred) Guessner, Dixie (Jeff) Calahan, Carol Phipps, Debbie (Roger) Pearson, Eva Rice and Lisa (Clarence) Pruitt; brother and sisters-in-law, Bonnie Rasnick (Rick Rasnick), Cynthia (Timothy) Strait, Lewis (Debbie) Sellers Jr. and David (Samantha) Sellers; and by several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, James was preceded in death by his siblings, Daniel Rice and Robert Bowling; father in-law, Lewis Sellers Sr.; mother in-law, Rose Sellers; brother in-law, James Jones; and sister in-law, Rebecca Thompson.
Friends may call 5-7 p.m. Wednesday Sept. 11, 2019 at Walker-Eastman-Heydinger Funeral Home, 98 W. Main St. Norwalk, Ohio 44857, where funeral services will take place 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. The Rev. Michael Sweeney of Southern Care Hospice will officiate. Interment will be in Collins Cemetery, Collins, Ohio.
Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601-7633.
Condolences may be expressed by visiting walkereastmanheydingerfh.com.