CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Longtime Cincinnati Reds clubhouse manager Bernie Stowe passed away Tuesday at the age of 80.
"There is no one in the Reds' family more loved, admired and respected than Bernie Stowe. For almost 70 years he deeply touched the lives of our players, our coaching staffs and our front office," said Reds President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Castellini. "Bernie and his family have dedicated their entire lives to this organization and to our city, and for that we are forever grateful.
Stowe began his career with the Reds in 1947 as a clubhouse boy and worked for the team until he retired following the 2013 season.
"Bernie was a big, big part of the Big Red Machine. Anytime you needed someone on or off the field he was there for you. I never had any stress at the ballpark. He had a way of reading all of us. He would walk over and ask what was bothering me. He will be missed," said former second baseman Joe Morgan.
In 2008, he was one of the first recipients of the Powel Crosley Jr. Award, created to honor Reds staff members who show dedication and devotion during extended service to the club.
"A sad day all around Reds country. The light-hearted demeanor along with his pranks and quips. 'Sign the lampshade and get your name in lights' was just one of them. Bernie was and still is an icon was loved by hundreds of Reds players and will certainly be missed. My heart goes out to the Stowe family in their time of sadness, but a smile every time you mention Bernie Stowe. He was awesome," said former pitcher Tom Browning.
He leaves behind his wife Priscilla and children, Mark, Kimberly, Jeff and Rick.
"Bernie was the best person in sports that I have known," said former Reds All-Star Eric Davis. "(He) helped me as a young player understand the importance of being on time and respect for the game. I will always love you, Bernie!"
The Reds said Mark has been with the team since 1975 and currently works as the visiting clubhouse manager, while Rick became an assistant to his father in 1981 and is in his 20th season as the home clubhouse manager.
"I don't think people realize how much someone like Bernie meant to the team," former Reds outfielder Paul O'Neill said. "He welcomed the rookies and took care of the veterans. He helped a lot of Reds player become who they are. God bless Bernie and the Stowes."
Visitation for Stowe will be on Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m. at Elder High School in the Schaeper Center. A mass will be celebrated on Monday at 9:30 a.m. at the Holy Family Church on W. 8th St.