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December 2016

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Ora "Rex" Dutton

The IBEW is saddened to announce the death of former Seventh District International Representative Ora "Rex" Dutton on Aug. 27. He was 93.

Born in 1922 in Bentley, Kan., Dutton enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942 and served three years aboard the mine sweeper U.S.S. Pursuit in the South Pacific. He was awarded six service ribbons and eight battle stars.

After the war, Dutton was initiated into Wichita, Kan., Local 271 in 1945. He was elected vice president in 1953, then to the executive board in 1955 and was brought on staff in 1959 as assistant business manager.

Dutton joined the Seventh District as assistant to then-International Vice President Ray Duke. When Duke retired in 1981, his replacement — International Vice President Orville Tate — kept Dutton on.

"Rex really took care of the business of the district and he was extremely good at it, because he really liked it," Tate said. "But his expertise and his love was the apprenticeship."

Tate remembers Dutton as a meticulous man who was respected by contractors as well as his brothers and sisters. One of Dutton's most important jobs, Tate said, was resolving conflicts that arose on joint apprenticeship boards.

"Contractors always want 500 apprentices so labor costs would be low and locals always wanted just one to keep the journeymen working," Tate said. "Rex would step in and with a NECA representative they would try to mediate. He was very good at settling those."

When Brother Dutton retired in 1986, he moved back to Wichita from the district offices in Arlington, Texas. After his wife of more than 70 years, Winifred "Winnie" E. Dutton, died in 2011, he moved to Missouri to be closer to his son, Robert.

On behalf of the entire Brotherhood, we extend our condolences to his family.


Ora "Rex" Dutton

Dan C. Bowers

The IBEW regrets to report the death of former Ninth District International Representative Dan C. Bowers, who died in Santa Maria, Calif., on Sept. 23 at the age of 83.

Brother Bowers concluded his 43-year IBEW career in 2003 when he retired from the Ninth District, having served as an international representative for 17 years.

Born in 1932, Bowers grew up in Santa Maria, 120 miles northwest of Los Angeles, where he graduated from high school in 1951. After serving in the U.S. Navy in Korea, Brother Bowers worked briefly in the oil fields before entering the IBEW apprenticeship program in 1959. The next year, he was initiated into Santa Barbara Local 413, spending the next 18 years working as a journeyman wireman, during which time he served six years on the local's executive board.

In 1978, Brother Bowers was elected business manager, a job he would hold until his appointment to the Ninth District office in 1986.

International Representative David Tilmont, who took over Bowers's responsibilities upon Bowers retirement, said he will remember him for his depth of knowledge, which he wielded with a lighthearted touch.

"Danny was a kick," Tilmont said. "He was always full of jokes, and he kept things light and loose. But he was such a resource for the rest of us. He knew the legal and historical reasons for every word of contract language, and he was always willing to share what he knew."

In his spare time, Brother Bowers was an avid pilot, golfer, youth football coach and a proud member of the Orcutt, Calif., Jaycees and Elks Lodge.

Bowers is survived by six children, nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife Lela in 1973 and in 1992 by his wife Carol, whose four children join the family in grief.

The officers, staff and membership of the IBEW extend their deepest condolences to Brother Bowers's family and friends.


Dan C. Bowers