(Excerpts from Service of Celebration –Feb. 8, 2011)

(J.R. Satterfield, Elder of the Cherry St. Church of Christ) Bruce Dugger Chowning was born in Dugger, Indiana on April 18, 1916. He was called home by His Heavenly Father on Saturday, February 5th, 2011.

Brother Chowning served his country in the United States Army during World War II. He and his family, Irene, Janet, and Elaine begin attending Cherry Street in 1946.

Brother Chowning was a member here for over 64 Years. 37 of those years (1951 To 1988) he served us as Minister and Pastor. 34 of those years he was our Elder and 64 of those years he was our friend.

Survivors include daughters Janet R. Yarbrough and husband, Bob, of Terrell, Texas, Elaine M. Chowning of New Albany: grand children Rebecca Dickens and husband, Chip, of Bedford, Texas, Mark Yarbrough and wife Jennifer of Forney, Texas; and six great grandchildren.

He was preceded in Death by his wife of 60 years, Irene Kranz Chowning, and Parents Oscar and Abigail Dugger Chowning.

Brother Chowning’s life was one of tremendous Christian witness and encouragement to all that knew and loved him. Our lives are richer and our walk more godly because of our respect for him and for heeding his Biblical messages and lessons.

(From Bennie Hill: Cramer & Hanover Church of Christ Bulletin) A celebration of the life of Bro. Bruce D. Chowning was held at the Cherry St. Church of Christ on Tuesday, February 8, 2011 where he had preached for over 60 years. This was the same church your minister (Bro. Bennie Hill) grew up and was greatly influenced by Bro. Bruce. I had the privilege of saying the last words at the graveside in Sellersburg where his body was laid to rest next to his darling wife, Irene. It was Bro. Bruce who mentored me, baptized me, encouraged me to attend Portland Christian School, Southeastern Christian College, The Louisville Bible College. Bro. Bruce ordained me, being assisted by the elders of the church. Bro. Bruce assisted in my marriage to Adele and was there to welcome our four daughters into the world in the years that would follow. Bro. Bruce was “always there” encouraging me and my family. Throughout his life of 94 years, he remained my minister. I praise God for such a role model, family man, church man, but above all, a man of God!

(Poem: Son-in Law: Bob Yarbrough)

Granddaddy Bruce At 94

As long as he could, he did it – the crosswords, the poems, the games,

Till at last he could no longer do it, but the smile on his face was the same.

And the Word of God stayed important to him, as he read it every day,

But the years have passed, and the mind at last surrendered and wandered away.


It wasn’t always the way it is now- the days were busy and filled

With duties and work and preaching and such, a life attuned to God’s will.

The visits, the funerals, the weddings, the service as unto the Lord,

The treasure he’s stored up in heaven, abundant – and likewise, reward.


His family came first in all that he did; his wife, his darling, Irene.

Two daughters came after, with beauty and laughter, sweet Janet and gracious Elaine.

The grandkids, a treasure, are loved beyond measure, first Becky and then there is Mark.

Six “greats” came in waves, two K’s and four J’s, and all just one year apart.


A picture was shown him the other day; it was taken of him in his prime,

With Bible in hand, a suit and tie on; a figure so striking and kind.

While looking intently, we asked him so gently, “What is it, Dad, that you see?”

His answer was quick, but thoughtfully said, “That’s who I used to be.”


A striking reminder of days that were kinder; the springtimes, the summers, and fall,

When his mind could remember before the December of winter that clouded it all.

But the faint recognition when the answer was given, revealed for each one to see,

That he knew who he was, and who he is now, and the man whom he used to be.


Yet his was an answer of earthly reflection – of strength, of body, and mind,

But in God’s estimation and image reflection, ’tis one of a different kind;

When God gave His Spirit to seal the transaction, He made a new man, you see,

For He saw inside him in ways beyond measure. – no longer a “used to be!”


A new creation and a new habitation became his when just a lad,

When the Lord called his name and invited him in to the joys which only He had.

No longer content with a life that was spent in selfish ambitions was he,

And he shared by his faith for all to see – the man that he used to be.


One day when all has been said and done, and the Lord has beckoned him Home,

He’ll stand upon high with his Savior and Friend, and with those who have already gone.

His faith in the Christ who died for us all, has placed him in standing to see

That his sins were forgiven, remembered no more for the man he used to be.


Bruce came alive when by faith he relied upon Jesus who died for his sins.

So the one we now know, robbed of strength by the foe, is seen through a spiritual lens.

And the thing we remember is the legacy given to each one in the family

Of the Savior redeeming the man in the picture, who knew what he used to be.