Bud Stowers dies at age 94

Bud Stowers, age 94, passed away peacefully at his home on July 7, 2016. He was the oldest of the three brothers (Bud, Dick and Harry) who started Stowers Machinery Corporation in 1960.

Bud StowersHe and his brothers were born and raised in Bluefield, West Virginia. A combat Marine in World War II, Bud came home after the war and joined his father’s automobile business, Stowers Motors. In the mid 1950s, Bud developed a keen interest in Caterpillar. His younger brother, Harry Stowers, had started working for Caterpillar in Peoria, Illinois, and the Cat dealer for West Virginia, Cecil Walker, was Bud’s good friend. In 1958, he applied to Caterpillar to become a Cat dealer, and in 1960, the East Tennessee Caterpillar territory became available.

Bud and his brothers, Dick and Harry, purchased the assets of the R.L. Harris Company and started Stowers Machinery in October 1960. Bud retired in 1982 and stayed in Knoxville for the remainder of his life. He lost his wife, Jewell, in 2009 and is survived by his son, Duffy Stowers, three granddaughters and four great-grandchildren.