Robert John "Bob" Stowell Print E-mail

Robert John “Bob” Stowell


husband, father, grandfather, printer, golfer, friend

Robert John “Bob” Stowell died on January 22, 2020, after living with Alzheimer’s Disease for years and fighting pneumonia for days. For almost 60 years Bob was the husband of Elsa (Nilsson) Stowell, who lives in North Chelmsford, where they built a life and a family together.

Bob was born in Lowell on September 18, 1932. The seventh of Fred and Mary (King) Stowell’s eight children, Bob grew up in the Belvidere neighborhood of Lowell with his late siblings Fred Jr., Frances, John, Ray, Bill, and Paul, as well as his baby brother Larry, who still lives there today.

Belvidere is also where Bob met Elsa--at Vee’s Restaurant on High Street. As the story goes, Elsa (she went by “Elly” in those days) would drive her friends there in her father’s black 1938 Buick Special.

One day Elsa couldn’t get the car to start, but Bob knew a trick using a quarter. (Of course, Elsa didn’t know Bob was the one who sabotaged the car in the first place so he could be the one to fix it.) It worked. Bob and Elsa got married on September 20, 1960.

Bob studied at Immaculate Conception School in Lowell; graduated from Keith Academy, also in Lowell; served with the U.S. Army 26th Infantry Regiment in Bamberg, Germany; and worked as a “stripper” (preparing artwork and plates for printing) for many years, first at Courier Citizen and then at Sullivan Brothers, both in Lowell.

A longtime member of the Chelmsford Lodge of Elks, Bob went to church at St. John the Evangelist Parish in North Chelmsford--and put in a lot of time on the golf course. An active member of Longmeadow Golf Club, Bob got a hole-in-one in 1960 and won plenty of trophies, including their Club Cup in 1963.  

Bob leaves Elsa; their son Stephen Stowell, his wife Alyson (Garland) Stowell, and their daughter Kathryne Stowell, all in Chelmsford; and their son Scott Stowell and his wife Carmen Morais in New York City.

Elsa was the first to notice Bob’s Alzheimer’s Disease, which was then diagnosed in 2013. In the years since then, Bob first lost his worries, then his stories, and then his words, but never his strength, optimism, good humor--or that crooked smile of his.

Because of his disease, Bob couldn’t always recognize his family and friends, but everybody he met was his friend and all of his friends became his family. Instead of sending flowers, Bob would want you to do two things: First, make a donation to help make Universal Family Care happen at Then, “take it easy.”

Everybody is invited to O’Donnell Funeral Home at 276 Pawtucket Street in Lowell from 2 to 6 pm on Sunday to celebrate Bob and share his stories. Bob’s funeral mass will be at 10 am on Monday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Lowell, with his burial afterwards at Pine Ridge Cemetery in Chelmsford. E-condolences/directions at Arrangements by Funeral Director James F. O’Donnell, Jr. (978) 458-8768.

Condolences (5)
  • Dina and Abdelkader
    Scott and Carmen and Stowell family, Our most sincere condolences for your loss. May the wonderful memories you have get you through this difficult time and give you endurance to go forward. May God bless you all.
  • Carmen Todriguez
    Today you will not be present, in physical but many beautiful memories will remain in me, I take care of you and watch over you with a lot of love as a father, your smile was unique and seeing the love you gave Elsa made me happy, even without having 100% your memory you loved her until your last sigh ... I will remember you forever .. My Bob
  • Katie Decktor  - to the Stowell Family
    I never got to meet Bob, but heard many stories about him from Scott. My thoughts are with your family during this difficult time. -Katie
  • Tracey DiPietro
    To the Stowell Family, I am so very sorry for this enormous loss. I miss him very much and will especially miss his enthusiastic "Hello" (with that smile) most. I know I am not alone. It will always bring a smile to my face just thinking of him. My thoughts are with you all Much Love.. Tracey DiPietro
  • Susan Murphy
    Steve, So very sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.
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