Elizabeth Bowden obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Elizabeth Bowden

Unknown

Obituary


Elizabeth (Betty) Bowden died on March 23, 2015 at age 93. Betty was born on May 1, 1921 to Eugene and Lulu Knight.

She was raised on the Knight farm east of Kingsley and was one of 12 children. She attended the one-room school on Knight Road during her elementary school years and graduated from Kingsley High School before earning her teaching certificate at Central Michigan University. Her stories of growing up on the farm were a source of delight to her children and grandchildren.


Betty worked at the Ford Bomber Plant...

Elizabeth (Betty) Bowden died on March 23, 2015 at age 93. Betty was born on May 1, 1921 to Eugene and Lulu Knight.

She was raised on the Knight farm east of Kingsley and was one of 12 children. She attended the one-room school on Knight Road during her elementary school years and graduated from Kingsley High School before earning her teaching certificate at Central Michigan University. Her stories of growing up on the farm were a source of delight to her children and grandchildren.


Betty worked at the Ford Bomber Plant in Detroit during the early part of World War II. She married Philip Bowden while he was home on leave from the U.S. Army on Jan. 10, 1942. In 1944 she joined Philip in Ogden, Utah, when he returned stateside to guard prisoners of war. Betty taught German and Italian prisoners of war while Philip finished his enlistment in the Army. At the end of the war she and Philip returned to Michigan to raise their family.

Betty began her teaching career iin Evart before teaching for 30 years in Kingsley Area Schools. She commuted to Mt. Pleasant to finish her bachelor's degree while working full time and managing her family responsibilities. Betty taught elementary school and later became a special education teacher. She was given the "Teacher of the Year" award and was also named "Citizen of the Year" for the Kingsley area.

In addition to her teaching career, Betty was a champion of civic causes. She served several terms as Kingsley's Village President, helping to secure funding to construct the village water and sewer systems. She sponsored village beautification projects such as the planting of petunias along village streets. She was a trustee on the Kingsley Friends of the Library Board during the campaign to build the new library. Betty and Philip donated funds to build the clock tower for the library. She remained active in efforts to improve the school and the village throughout her life.

Philip and Betty celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary prior to Philip's death in 2012. They were constant companions in their travels across the United States, Canada and Ireland. Philip and Betty spent many winters in Florida, Alabama and Texas in their retirement.

Betty's hobbies included writing, doing crossword puzzles, finding mushrooms, reading, cutting firewood on their wood lot, boating, swimming, salmon fishing, deer hunting, sewing, gardening and cooking. She loved spending time with her family and friends at the family cabin on the Manistee River. Betty was an avid walker and could often be seen walking around Kingsley or by the Manistee River. Betty co-authored and published the memoir of Philip's life.

Betty is survived by her two children, Gay (Duane) Travis, of Kingsley, and Mike (Susan) Bowden, of Dimondale. Also surviving are grandchildren, Ben (Laura) Travis, of Eben Junction, Rebecca Travis (Mason Showalter), of Elk Rapids, Elizabeth (Joshua) Sausville, of Manhattan, Caroline Bowden, of Chicago, and Thomas Bowden, of Miami. She is survived by great-grandsons, Mitchell Travis and Wallace Showalter. A sister, Ruth Moyer; devoted cousin, Kurt Bowden; and special nieces, Trula Gaisor and Linda Newman also survive.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; sisters, Hazel LeRoux, Winnifred Beer, Jean Kyselka, Marion Maxon and Bernice Seel; and brothers, Lucius, Ellis, Ward, Cyril and Colon Knight.

The family would like to thank Gloria Palmer, Jack Lindsey and Elamae Wheeler for their enormous help during Betty's final years.

A memorial service will be held at the library in early July.

Contributions in memory of Betty may be made to the Kingsley Friends of the Library Endowment Fund.

The Covell Funeral Home is assisting the family