Anthony Bowers, a 25-year-old honorary Sapulpa Firefighter, was laid to rest on Wednesday afternoon. Born to parents Ray and Elizabeth Cole on February 4, 1994, he lived a life full of love, laughter, and a little bit of mischief.
Anthony was born with Cockayne Syndrome, but didn’t let it get in the way of living life, as the family, friends and teachers told story after story to the crowd that gathered at Green Hill Funeral Home on Wednesday.
Cockayne Syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by an abnormally small head size, and a failure to gain weight and grow at the expected rate (failure to thrive) leading to very short stature, and delayed development. Those with this illness have a life expectancy of 10 to 20 years.
On Monday, March 18, Anthony passed away from CS. He lived a full life in his 25 years. Listening to stories told at the funeral you couldn’t help but laugh. The word that kept coming up was “ornery.” He loved to play pranks on his family, friends and even teachers.
Anthony worked with the Sapulpa Fire Department through high school through a work study program until he graduated in 2012. Then he became an honorary firefighter. Sapulpa Fire Chief, David Taylor presented Anthony’s parents with a decree from Sapulpa Mayor Reg Green, declaring March 20, 2019, “Anthony Scott Bowers Day.”
Driver Darrell Smith shared that no matter what kind of call they had, “Anthony knew how to put a smile back on the other firefighters’ faces.”
His physical therapist told the story of having a bad day before coming to work with Anthony. She tried to hide it, but “he just knew something was wrong,” she said. In that moment, he laid his hand on her cheek and looked her in the eyes. In his eyes, she said, she “saw Jesus, and the love of Him through Anthony.”
One of Anthony’s teachers related a story at a Special Olympics where Anthony hid in a friend’s bed as a joke. He fell asleep waiting on the teachers to find him.
Through the stories and pictures that were shared, a few things became obvious: he loved Jesus, firefighters, jokes, OU and all things water—whether it was baths, swimming or puddles. His signature smile and “thumbs up” was something his friends and family will not soon forget.
He left behind many loved ones. He touched many lives and people were grateful for his friendship.
Along with the declaration of “Anthony Scott Bowers Day,” his casket was carried by six uniformed Sapulpa Firefighters, and his parents were presented with a folded American flag.