Marilynn H. Bowers(1923 - 2013)

Marilynn h. bowers Marilynn Hoessly Bowers, age 90, formerly of Downers Grove, died Thursday, October 24, 2013, in Des Moines, Iowa. Marilynn Mae Price was born March 22, 1923, in Delaware, Ohio to Earl Emerson and Martha Dusenbury Price. Her father died of tuberculosis when Marilynn was five years old. Her mother re-married in 1929, to Harry Harrison Hoessly, a widower with three children of his own. Marilynn and her younger brother Charles (Chuck) were adopted by Harry Hoessly in 1942. Named for an actress of the day (Marilynn Miller), she went to public schools in Columbus and Worthington, Ohio, and attended the Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College. She married Albert H. Bowers of Lakewood, Ohio in May of 1943. During World War II, she contributed as a nurse 's aid, while Albert served in the U.S. Navy on Saipan and Iwo Jima in the South Pacific. After the war, he was employed as an agronomist by Swift & Company in Chicago, and in 1947 Marilynn and Albert settled in Downers Grove, where their children were born, living first at 5905 Fairview Avenue, then later at 1741 Prairie Avenue. During the next 15 years, they were active in the community and the First Congregational church, where Marilynn directed the high school choir. Possessed of a warm mezzo-soprano voice, Marilynn enjoyed performing choral works as a member of the Downers Grove Oratorio Society. She also taught voice, sang with the Chicago Symphony Chorus for several years, and soloed with the Chicago West Suburban Symphony and various church choirs. In 1963, the family moved to Clinton, Iowa, when Albert joined Hawkeye Chemical Company. Marilynn gave up singing and instead taught piano, took up painting, and concentrated on raising three teen-agers. Later, she deployed her artistic gifts towards becoming an expert quilter, participated in book clubs, the local art association, and two quilting groups. She and two other Clinton women led a 1976 Bicentennial project to produce and publish a "History of Clinton County, Iowa." Marilynn attended seven colleges and universities, as time and location permitted, in pursuit of a college degree. In 1984, at age 61, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, an effort she had begun over 40 years earlier. Always of a warm and caring nature, she befriended and provided companionship to elderly women in the community and served her church in many ways. Marilynn assisted at the YWCA Women 's Resource Center and she served on the board of the YWCA Womens ' Health Services. And always, she found as much time as possible to enjoy the beauties of nature. She will be remembered for her great compassion for others, her positive attitude despite enduring Type II diabetes in later life, her sunny disposition and joyful embrace of life, and her firm and active faith in God and the Scriptures. She is preceded in death by her siblings, and in 2006 by her husband Albert. Survivors include her daughter, Martha of Newburyport, Massachusetts; two sons, John (and daughter-in-law Sherrie Smith) of Silver Spring, Maryland and Peter (and daughter-in-law Shirley) of Des Moines, Iowa; and grandchildren, James Bowers and Emily Bowers. A private memorial service will be held in Ohio at a later date, with burial in Ashland (Ohio) Cemetery.

Published in Suburban Life Publications on Nov. 13, 2013