Rudy Bowen is a humble man who got his first job running a paper route for the Atlanta Journal when he was 11. Now, almost seven decades later, he’s a great-grandfather, a retired businessman and keen on living his life through faith. He credits his greatest accomplishments to his wife Jean and the life they share together in Gwinnett County.
Driving change. Millions of people travel on Georgia’s roads every day. In fact, Georgia was named among the top 10 fastest growing states in 2017.
We need to expand our infrastructure and the programs that support it to accommodate the lifestyles we live now and those we will live in the future. When you consider the amount of time people spend in their cars each day and our ever-increasing population, we need to continue to develop innovative ways to change how people travel - creative solutions to effect change.
Looking forward. Bowen sees it simply – the Department is changing and for the better.
It’s been a wonderful experience representing Congressional District 7 on the DOT board for the last 11 years. I think the department has become very transparent and has developed great leadership – that is key not only for the future of the department, but also for transportation in Georgia. Our leadership is poised for the changes that are inevitably coming in technology and lifestyle and I can’t wait to see it.
The cowboy way. Our favorite movies have a way of defining who we are and what we enjoy.
My favorites are 1950s westerns – especially the b-western movies! Everybody kids me about it. My favorite characters are Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers – just all of the characters and Saturday b-movies of the 1940s and 50s.
Grandmother knows best. My grandmother always told me, ‘Any job you take, plow it until the end of the road.’ To me that means if you take on a job, you need to finish. There are plenty of projects where I would have liked to quit in the middle and walk away, but I didn’t.
Serendipitous beginnings. Bowen married Jean in 1962 after just nine months of courtship.
She was a nurse in a doctor’s office in Chamblee and that’s where we met. I carried someone who was hurt to the office. The doctor I normally saw was out of town, so the nurse sent me around the corner to another doctor and that’s where I met my wife. There was something about her that made me say ‘she is a wonderful person.’ Long story short, we finally went out one evening and discovered that we both felt we were meant to be. It’s because of her – her spirit, her support for me and her faith in me – that has made my life so joyful.
Raising Bowens. Becoming a parent is both challenging and rewarding.
When my daughters, and then my son, were born I recognized the importance of being a father – and the challenges and responsibilities of raising them and providing for them. Family life is very important to me.
Why we do it. Bowen believes everything we do is for a reason.
I think the challenges in life and the decisions we make lead the way for our faith to give us the strength to make it through the tragedies. My faith is a driving force for everything I do. We live every day of our lives on this earth and all the decisions we make are purposeful in an effort to get to heaven.