James and Yvonne Bowlen

Page 306 More Big Hill Country 2009

James “Jaye” Edward Bowlen was born February 23, 1936, in Calgary, Alberta to Eddie and Kathleen “Toddles” Bowlen. He had four sisters: Delores, Maureen, Cheryl, and Kaye. The family lived in Calgary and visited their Aunt Helen on the Mount Royal Ranch frequently. They loved to stay with her and she loved having them.

Jaye attended St. Mary’s High School in Calgary where he excelled in football under the coaching of the late Rev. Jim Whelibaw, the Rev.Lawrence Moran, and Hank Carmine. 

Yvonne Stannge was born February 9, 1937 in Claresholm, Alberta to Frank and Louise Stannge. She had two sisters, Bernice and Pat, and a brother Alvin.

Yvonne was educated in Claresholm and moved to Calgary after completing high school. In Calgary, she worked in the oil industry for Fracmaster for several years. Jaye and Yvonne were married on September 15. 1962. They moved to Jaye’s family’s ranch, Mount Royal Ranch, west of Cochrane to manage it. They lived in the teacherage at Beaupre for a couple of years and moved to the Ranch House when Jaye’s aunt Helen moved into Cochrane. 

The Ranch House was an old log, two-storey building built into the hill. In the spring when the snow melted the water would run into the house, so one day Jaye took a brace and bit and drilled holes in the floor. The water soon disappeared. 

Jaye and Yvonne adopted two children. Catherine “Cathie” in 1967 and Robert “Bobby” in 1970. Before Bobby arrived, they moved a house from Calgary to the ranch and vacated the ranch house. The old log house was then used to house the hired help. Eventually it burned down. 

Cathie and Bobby were educated in Cochrane. Cathie was an excellent gymnast and was encouraged in her endeavors by her father. She made the National Team but was forced to quit because of her knees. 

Jaye and Yvonne were members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and they also enjoyed curling and golfing Yvonne was an excellent seamstress and enjoyed quilting and sewing. She and her sister Pat contracted to make many liturgical linens for the church. 

Cathie had three children: Ashley, Briegh-Ana, and Scott. Jaye and Yvonne loved their grandchildren and donated much time and effort into their well-being. 

Bobby excelled at football in school and followed in his father’s footsteps managing the ranch. He also took training as an electrician. He married Carrie Baldwin in 2000. Their wedding was held at the Mount Royal Ranch They have four boys: Payton, Tyson, Jacob, and Wyatt. 

Jaye and Yvonne’s lives were tragically cut short on May 21, 1999, by two young offenders, friends of Cathie They are all serving life sentences for the Bowlen deaths.

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