CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Many people have lost a loved one to COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. From family to friends, every person has a story. First News at Nine’s Jonathan Fortier shares the life of a Chippewa Falls teacher who had a lasting impact on those he taught and the community in which he lived.
“His pre-existing condition was that he was witty, and he was a smart Alek, and he was smart,” said co-worker, Roger Skifstad.
On Sunday, the Chippewa Falls community lost a beloved teacher and friend.
“He was sort of that guy that had the right thing to say, the funny thing to say, the smart thing to say,” said Skifstad.
Recently retired Chippewa Falls high school teacher, Warren Bowe, passed away at the age of 57 due to complications with COVID-19.
For Roger Skifstad, his co-worker of 20 years, Bowe’s legacy will live on in the community forever.
“He taught 9th grade English, our freshmen and he also taught our ap English literature class, so he had an impact on a lot of students,” said Skifstad.
Bowe’s teaching career spanned more than two decades and influenced thousands of students in unique ways. One of those former students, Shannon Gunderson, says Bowe was a true inspiration.
“He would check in on me constantly, we still kept in touch on Facebook and stuff and he just made me want to be a better person. I saw the life he lived, he accepted everybody, he was kind to everyone,” said Gunderson.
Gunderson met with Bowe over the summer, not knowing that would be the last time she would see him.
“We sat down and talked and he was just telling me how proud he was of the woman I’ve grown to become and stuff like that and that is a conversation I will always carry with me now. If I had known that was the last conversation, I would have with him, I would have sat on that bench longer,” said Gunderson.
Though Bowe only enjoyed his retirement for a short while before his death, he will leave a long-lasting legacy to be felt by those who knew him.
“I’ll be laughing, I’ll be telling stories about the things he wrote and the impact he had, I’ll be telling those stories for a long time I know that,” said Skifstad.
In Chippewa Falls, Jonathan Fortier, First News at Nine.