Mary Jeffers Bowman, 99, passed away May 18, 2008, in Cary, North Carolina.
She was born on a Greene County farm Aug. 2, 1908, the second of three daughters of Sam and Maggie Jeffers.
She was valedictorian of the Lyons High School class of 1926, then earned a teaching certificate from the Teacher's College of Indianapolis. She returned to Lyons in 1928 and taught primary grades for three years. S.E. Bowman and Mary Jeffers were married in 1930 and lived with their sons Ned and Hal in Lyons, Poseyville, Princeton, Peru and Marion before settling in Bloomington. During World War II, while her husband served in the Central Pacific, she cared for her two sons and worked as a copywriter for the Marion Chronicle-Tribune. She resumed teaching in the Monroe County system after moving to a farm west of Clear Creek in 1946 and taught primary grades at Handy Ridge, Clear Creek and Childs schools until retirement in 1972. While teaching she continued her education, earning a B.S. in Education in 1956 and M.S. in Education in 1958, both from Indiana University.
An active community leader, one of her first projects was as leader of a Home Economics Club committee that worked with the county commissioners to name and place signs on all Monroe County roads. During the 1970s she was one of three teachers who guided the county's purchase and restoration of the historic Honey Creek one-room school. As a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the Monroe County Historical Society she was active in establishing the museum in the old library building. A gifted quilter, she was the museum's fabric arts authority.
She is survived by her son, Hal Bowman and wife Mercedes Auger of Cary, North Carolina; daughter-in-law Gloria Bowman of Jalapa, Mexico; grandchildren, Mayel Bowman of Madison, Georgia; Mary Bowman and sons Red and Miles Rotkopf of London, England; Margaret Bowman-Hicks, husband Frank and daughters Becca and Liza Hicks of San Jose, Costa Rica; Rebekah Bowman, husband Steven Mahwhinni and sons Jake Mahwhinni of Mill Valley, California and Benjamin Bowman of Edinburgh, Scotland; and Elizabeth Bowman and husband Brent McLachlan of Hoboken, New Jersey.
She was preceded in death by her husband, S.E. Bowman; granddaughter, Tracy Bowman; son, Ned Bowman; and daughter-in-law Becky Lycas Bowman.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the First Christian Church of Bloomington where she was an active member for over 50 years. Family members will greet guests at a reception in the church hall following the service.
Online remembrances can be posted at www.cremnc.com. Memorial gifts may be directed to the Monroe County Historical Society.