Irvin Page Bowser Sr., 88, popular maitre'd

Posted: September 24, 2013

PAGE BOWSER was such a popular maitre d' at the Marriott Hotel restaurant in Bala-Cynwyd that some diners went there just to be greeted by him.

Like maitre d's through history, his job was to make customers feel welcome and, with Page on duty, they could anticipate a fine dining experience.

Through the '60s and '70s, Page welcomed guests to the Marriott, and later other hotels and restaurants in the area that catered to discerning patrons.

If you were looking for a good dining experience in those years, Page Bowser was your man.

Irvin Page Bowser Sr., a devoted church man, family patriarch and Navy veteran of World War II, died Sept. 16 of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 88 and was living at the Penn Center for Rehabilitation and Care.

Page, as he was called, was born in Philadelphia to Dr. Percy Irvin Bowser, a dentist, and Maude Page, of Havre de Grace, Md., and Fincastle, Va. He and his sister, Geraldine Marie, grew up in West Philadelphia and enjoyed family time in Havre de Grace and Atlantic City.

He graduated from West Philadelphia High School and attended Lincoln University before entering the Navy in World War II.

Early in his working career, Page worked as a dental technician in his father's dental practice at 54th and Race streets.

Page's vibrant, outgoing, friendly personality led him to his lifelong profession of maitre d'. In his later years, he worked part time in security for Temple University.

Page married Angela Dolores Cam in 1949, and they had four children before divorcing.

He raised his children as a single parent, with help from his parents and sister, always striving to asssure that they would value education and service to the church.

Every Sunday, he took them to St. Thomas Episcopal Church in West Philadelphia. They sang in the choir and served the church in other ministries.

Page is also remembered for his cooking skills. He prepared the family's meals, and also taught his children to cook.

"Everybody liked him," said his son, Page Jr. "He had real people skills. He was a down-to-earth, straight-up guy. He was very positive. I never saw him depressed."

Besides his son, his is survived by another son, Timothy; a daughter, Angela Cole; six grandchilden and five great-grandchildren.

Services: 10 a.m. Saturday at Wood Funeral Home, 5537 W. Girard Ave. Friends may call at 9 a.m. Burial will be in Washington Crossing National Cemetery.

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