On September 8, 2023, surrounded by his loving family, Peter James Bowyer slipped from this life into the arms of His Lord and Saviour for eternity.
Peter was born in Toronto, February 28, 1955, to Sidney Wesley Bowyer and Ellen Grace Bowyer (Burleigh). Although Peter was born in Toronto, the majority of his life was spent in Halifax where he and the love of his life (for 42 years), Debbie (Mills), raised their children Christian and Faith, served their community, and enjoyed their careers.
Pete (as his friends called him) was not only a larger-than-life kind-of-guy in his flamboyant Hawaiian shirts, his fun-loving joking and teasing, his quick wit and “punny” humour, he was also a man of integrity, conviction of values, love of science and deep, genuine faith. Pete looked at life as a teaching opportunity, whether it was at home, at work, or in his community. His personal mission statement, was one he truly lived. He would say of himself: I am a pioneer servant who builds community through my skilled gift of teaching.
Peter worked for Environment Canada as meteorologist for 30 years as a forecaster and in the later years as the Canadian Hurricane Centre Program Manager becoming the voice of explanation, warning, and calm for Atlantic Canadians. He was often approached by strangers who would say hello because they recognized him from his face on the news. He often tells the story of doing dozens of radio interviews from his living room during Hurricane Juan when roads were impassable. To the community, he was the hurricane guy, but in the family, we affectionately called him “The Chief of Big Wind!”
Peter was also Canada’s spokesperson on issues related to tropical cyclones. He delivered teaching and training through the CHC at all levels, and wrote several books and scientific journals. Peter was awarded the 2004 Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society’s Andrew Thompson Prize in Applied Meteorology. Many such accomplishments would be the epitome of career success, but for Peter, success wasn’t the goal; it was the relationships he fostered with colleagues who became and remained friends until the end of his life.
While his professional career was filled with happy moments, what he was most passionate about, was his love for Jesus. This was made evident by his dedicated service to his local church community, Halifax Christian Church, serving as teacher, elder, and pastor for more than 40 years. Pete’s heart, service, and teaching for the work of God expanded beyond the walls of HCC to sister-churches in the Maritimes as well as parachurch organizations. Peter’s passions were evident in his volunteer work in parachurch organizations: The Gideons (distribution of the Word of God), Partners in Atlantic Canada Evangelism (church-planting), Maritime Christian College (teaching and training others how to follow Jesus and serve and lead in the church), Graceland Ministries (sharing the love of Christ overseas), Maritime Christian Fellowship (gathering to worship as a unified body of Christ), and the K.T. Norris Lectures (teaching God’s Word). Pete was always willing to help, share, and give to those in need whether it was a listening ear, an offer of advice, helping someone move, or hosting people for a meal.
A flip through the photos on his phone show what mattered to him most: his family. Whether a picnic with his favourite person in the world, Debbie, or a family games night, every picture tells a story and memory of precious family moments. His personal pride and joy, were his children Christian William Alexander and Faith Alexandra. He was proud of them – period. He was proud of their career choices. He was very proud of their spousal choices and loved both daughter-in-law, Ashley (Swain), and son-in-law, Justin Clark, as his own children. The recent additions of the little people in his life brought sheer joy as he would share pictures and tell stories of his much-adored grandchildren Knox (3) and Ellie (1).
Peter was predeceased by siblings Sidney Stewart, Karen Ann (Trenholm), Lynda Marie (formerly Daniel Murray) and cousin Chuck Caswell who was more a brother than a cousin.
As well as his immediate family, Peter will be greatly missed by sister Jaynellen, the brother he never really knew, Barry Hebden and all of his dear nieces and nephews. His loss will also be felt by these men with whom Pete served and considered more than spiritual brothers: Greg Nicholson, James Stevenson, Bruce Stewart, Roland Evborokhai and Armando Cavero. The Halifax Christian Church family, who loved Pete deeply and whom he loved equally, will feel this void for some time to come!
His legacy lives on in all of us.
Celebration of Life:
Sunday, September 17th at 3pm at Halifax Christian Church
51 Farnham Gate Road, Halifax, NS
The service will be live-streamed on HCC’s YouTube channel
Peter has requested that this be a celebration so please dress in colour - Peter loved Hawaiian shirts!!!!
Send us YOUR favourite story about Peter either in video (2 minutes maximum please) or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org to share at the Celebration of Life.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Halifax Christian Church-building fund.
Send an Interac e-transfer to: email@example.com and note, In Memory of Peter Bowyer for other donation methods, go to: https://halifaxchristianchurch.ca/give