The creative mind behind Christopher the Christmas Tree, George Thomas Bowers, age 76 of Salem, passed away Thursday, December 11 at Indiana University Health in Bloomington.
Mr. Bowers was born November 11, 1938 on Bowers Tree Farm the son of John Thomas and Inez M artin Bowers. He graduated high school in Mt. Summit, Indiana. He was a member of St. Patricks Catholic Church in Salem. He attended Purdue and Ball State University.
Bowers toured and sang with Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. He was a song writer and entertainer in his adult life. He was the author and creator of “Christopher the Christmas Tree”. He performed in numerous schools for countless numbers of children all around the world.
Bowers created the concept of Christopher the Christmas tree, the story of a lonely tree growing up to the the White House Christmas Tree while working on his family’s Christmas Tree farm north of Salem.
While touring with Fred Waring, Bowers developed the idea into a song and also wrote 12 other songs that eventually ended up on an album.
In the early 90s, Bowers dream of bringing Christopher to life came when he worked with animator Tim Delaney and his friends, Tompall, Chuck and Jim Glaser to create a 30-minute animated film.
The songs Bowers wrote and developed on a full length album were incorporated into the animated film that debuted on Network TV and later on VHS and DVD.
A color book was also created as well as other marketing materials for Christopher.
Bowers worked tirelessly to promote Christopher and had always dreamed of the White House naming one of their trees after his creation. He came close during the Nixon administration.
Bowers’ was a great friend of Salem as well as WSLM, having recorded several Christmas promotional commercials over the years. He was last on the radio in Nov. 2013 to promote a special showing of Christopher and celebration at the Salem Middle School.
Bower enjoyed all his friends and family and loved to tell them all the “joke of the day”.
He is survived by his wife of 38 years: Betty Blank Bowers of Salem, three sons: Gregory Jo Bowers (Debbie) of Smithville, Kentucky, Thomas Alvin Bowers of Salem and Adam Bowers (Brittany) of Omaha, Nebraska, 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his son: Jeffrey Marc Bowers, and his sister: Mary Ann Johnson.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 11:00AM at St. Patricks Catholic Church. Burial will follow in St. Patricks Cemetery. Visitation will be Monday from 4-8PM and Tuesday from 9-10:30AM at Weathers Funeral Home.
In light of the fact that he loved children and Christmas, in lieu of flowers, please donate to Shop With a Cop in Salem, Indiana in memory of George T. Bowers.