Richard Kelley Bowling, DDS

October 16, 1936 - June 18, 2022

10/16/1936 - 06/18/2022

Past Services

Saturday July 23, 2022
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
538 Tracy Grove Road
Hendersonville, NC 28792
Saturday July 23, 2022
11:00 am
Hendersonville First Baptist Church
312 Fifth Avenue West
Hendersonville, NC 28739


Richard Kelley Bowling, DDS, of Virginia Beach, VA, who was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather, died on June 18, 2022 at 85 years of age.  He was the son of the late Arthur M. and Adelaide Bowling of Logan, WV.  He is survived by his wife, Naomi Gail Bowling, and daughter, Leigh Anne Bowling, JD, LLM, both of whom live in Virginia Beach, VA; his son, Scott Matthew Bowling of Fletcher, NC; his son, James Ethan Bowling, together with his wife, Kimberly Mays Bowling, and their children, Lauren Elise and Maddox Bowling; and a dear cousin, Linda Croff, of St. Augustine, FL.


Dr. Bowling attended Logan High School in Logan, WV and Berea College in Berea, KY before he became the first graduate of the first dental school class of the West Virginia University Dental School in Morgantown, WV in 1961.  After marrying in 1961 he spent 4 years in the Air Force as a dentist serving border radar sites in North Dakota and Montana before earning the rank of Captain at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base in Missouri.  In 1965 Dr. Bowling joined the late Dr. Leonard Barber in a joint dental practice in Hendersonville, NC and later established his own dental practice there on Fleming Street where he served his community until his retirement in 1999.  He took much pride in his dental practice and truly valued his patient and professional relationships.


Dr. Bowling was an active member of Hendersonville’s First Baptist Church where he served as a deacon, a bass vocalist in the Worship Choir and the Singing Saints, and a member of the Tom Wilson Bible Fellowship Class.  He sang in the church’s well-known production of Handel’s “Messiah” for over 30 years.  He also helped to establish a Weight-Lifting Program at First Baptist Family Life Center in the 1970’s.  Dr. Bowling joined other church members on mission trips to Scotland, Mexico, and Kentucky.  He was a member of the Rotary Club for several years and a volunteer at the Hendersonville Free Dental Clinics.  Dr. Bowling was an avid outdoorsman who spent time hunting, fishing, and hiking.


Dr. Bowling and his wife moved to the Atlantic Shores Retirement Community in Virginia Beach in 2017 due to his health issues, and he was admitted to the Arden Courts memory facility in 2020 where he resided until his passing.  His funeral is scheduled for Saturday, July 23, 2022, at 11:00am at Hendersonville’s First Baptist Church.


Memorial donations can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for research related to the cure of Parkinson’s Disease or to the Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic at


To leave a condolence for the family of Dr. Bowling, please click on “Post a Condolence” below this obituary.



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1 year ago

Thinking of you Leigh Anne during this difficult time. We love you! Lori, Daria, Lisa and Peggy Sue

(Barbara) Gail Smith
1 year ago

Dear Gail and Family, We have missed you greatly since you moved to Virginia, but we have nourished the wonderful memories you created in your time at first Baptist Church of Hendersonville. I remember Dick’s kind forbearance when I called Gail so many nights and weekends about matters concerning the hard-working History Committee at First Baptist, which Gail chaired. I’ll remember seeing both of your faces as you sang faithfully and beautifully in the church choir and in Christmas’s Messiah. What a blessing and what models you both have been as Christian parents and leaders. You have our sincerest condolences in this time of bereavement, Gail, as we wish you continuing faith and peace, and comforting joy in the upcoming celebration of Dick’s life. Love and prayers, Gail (as in Gail Force”) Smith and her Richard

Betty Bryant
1 year ago

Dr. Bowling was my dentist as a child. He was so calming and assuring a scared little girl. Sorry for your loss.

Barbara Wilson Sheldrick
1 year ago

Dick will always be a blessed brother in Christ for both Paul and myself and we look forward to seeing his wonderful smiling eyes and smile in heaven. Dick invited Paul to his SS Class (the Tom Wilson Bible Fellowship Class) of which Paul is forever grateful Dick persisted and told Dick so many times. We love you both and family Gail. Forever our brother and sister in Christ.

Bill and Mary Garrison
1 year ago

Dear Gail and Family,
We were so sorry to read of Dick’s passing. We are very glad we had the opportunity to know him. He was a wonderful asset to our community in many ways. We are so sorry for this loss of your loved one. Heartfelt sympathy to each of you. Bill and Mary Garrison

Corum Smith & Family
1 year ago

Gail, we were so sorry to hear of Dick’s passing.
Our hearts go out to you and your family during this difficult time.
Please accept our deepest condolences and may God’s blessings be upon you all during this time of grief.

Agnes Wynne
1 year ago

May his memory be a blessing!

Joe Fowler
1 year ago

Not only my dentist, a real true friend for many years, my prayers will be with his whole family.

1 year ago

Wonderful Dentist, Wonderful person!

Susan H. Shepherd
1 year ago

Wonderful memories of Dr. Bowling and Dr. Barber’s practice, as my first Dental Hygienist position. Prayers for you, Gail and your children during these difficult days. He was such a kind man. Susan