Lester Bowles

Godfrey |

Lester B. Bowles peacefully entered heaven at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, September 7, 2023. He was born on May 17, 1933, in Litchfield, IL, the son of Byron Brooks and Verna Lillian (Besanceney) Bowles. Les served in the U.S. Air Force as a radio operator on a B-29 during the Korean War. On September 12, 1959, he married Joanne Louise Gent in Alton, and she survives. Together, they shared 64 years of marriage. In 1970, he purchased Gent Funeral Home from his in-laws, Ralph A. and Eleanor Louise (Winter) Gent, and was still active with the funeral home as chairman of the board. He was a member of Heartland Baptist Church in Alton.

In addition to his wife, Joanne, he is survived by his children, Lynn Hoffman and her husband Michael, Ralph Bowles and his wife Dawn, Laura Bosse’ and Louise Jacoby and her husband Stephen. He also leaves behind six grandchildren, Nathanael Hoffman, Benjamin Bowles, Dr. Emma and her husband Dr. Kade Kanelakos, Josie Bowles, Joseph Bosse’, and Samuel Bosse’, and one great-granddaughter, Karter Lynnette Kanelakos. Also surviving is his sister, Gerry Johnston of Litchfield, IL, and a sister-in-law, Bertie Bowles of Chattanooga, TN. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Derald Bowles, and a brother-in-law, Carl Johnston.

Visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Monday, September 11, 2023, at Gent Funeral Home in Alton where funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 12, 2023. Reverend Alex Melton and Reverend Andre’ Dobson will officiate. Burial will be at Valhalla Memorial Park in Godfrey. Memorials may be made to Heartland Baptist Church in Alton or Calvary Baptist Church in Alton. Online guestbook and information may be found at

Obit Provided By:
Gent Funeral Home

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