Betty Bowen Obituary

Service Information

 
In Memory of

Betty Jo Bowen

October 28, 1925 - February 5, 2012
Obituary

BETTY JO GIVENS BOWEN, most beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, lay down to pleasant dreams February 5. Like many of her generation, the trajectory of her life was changed by World War II which propelled her into the broader world beyond her cherished prairie skies. She was born in the tiny Amish farming community of Yoder, Kansas, to Iilene and Virgil Givens. One of seven children, her worldview was shaped by the Great Depression and the hardworking farming communities in which she grew up. Her family moved to Mount Hope, Kansas when Pete (her childhood nickname) was still in grade school. She became an...
BETTY JO GIVENS BOWEN, most beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, lay down to pleasant dreams February 5. Like many of her generation, the trajectory of her life was changed by World War II which propelled her into the broader world beyond her cherished prairie skies. She was born in the tiny Amish farming community of Yoder, Kansas, to Iilene and Virgil Givens. One of seven children, her worldview was shaped by the Great Depression and the hardworking farming communities in which she grew up. Her family moved to Mount Hope, Kansas when Pete (her childhood nickname) was still in grade school. She became an enthusiastic cheerleader all four years of Mount Hope High School (class of 1943) and made life-long friends there. Even though her family lived modestly, she viewed her childhood as idyllic.
In 1946 she married her high school sweetheart Lieutenant Bob Bowen and embarked on an adventurous life in the U.S. Navy. After leaving the Navy, they eventually settled in Houston where Bob worked in the oil and gas industry.
Like many women of her time, Betty Jo devoted herself to her husband and children. She sewed her daughters' dresses and doll clothes, helped with homework, chauffeured children to girl scouts, dance and music lessons, and attended years and years of her son's little league baseball games. She served as a Girl Scout leader and the most dreaded of all tasks, cookie chairman. Always the effervescent, gregarious cheerleader, she was loving, kind, and generous, and her home was a welcoming place for friends and children. Her children's memories are filled with her gentle hands, soft cheek, and embracing arms.
She was a founding member of Gethsemane United Methodist Church and lived her Christian beliefs. Confronted with the segregationist views of the South in the 1950's, she taught her children respect for all people. She supported many religious and civic charities and was a thoughtful, helpful friend.
Growing up with five brothers engendered her lifetime love of sports. She loved football, baseball, and basketball, and followed both college and professional teams religiously. She knew players, coaches, statistics and plays; and some of her happiest moments were spent in stadiums or in front of multiple TV's watching games. As a young woman, she played tennis, and was a good diver and gymnast. She learned to snow ski in her 50's: "Bomber Betty" liked to go straight and fast down the mountain.
After her four children were older, Betty Jo and Bob enjoyed many happy years traveling through the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Europe with family and friends.
Betty Jo absolutely relished the role of grandmother. She was a master cookie baker (chocolate chip was her specialty) and pie maker. She taught her grandchildren to play cards, appreciate a great lunch, and accessorize with panache. Grandma Betty Jo always took the grandchildren on a special shopping trip for their birthdays. At Christmas time no one decked the halls brighter.
She is a survivor of breast cancer (18 years) and ovarian cancer (10 years) with all of the fortitude and courage that the word "survivor" suggests. Last year after being told that radiation and surgery would probably not change the outcome of a newly diagnosed cancer, she serenely decided against treatment and wrapped the drapery of her couch about her.
Betty Jo is survived by her beloved husband of 65 years, James Robert (Bob) Bowen; her daughters, Jamie Grossman and husband Joe, Janis Martin and husband Bob, and Jo Ann Scofield and husband Randy; son, James Robert Bowen Jr. and wife Vivian; grandchildren, David and Paul Martin, James Bowen III and wife Sabrina, Jenny Bowen, Amy Curtis and husband Todd, Adam, Brandon, and Elizabeth Grossman, Jim and Rebecca Scofield, and Katie Garza and husband Brent; great-grandchildren, Skyler Reininger, Kinley Martin, and EmilyBowen; sister, Bonnie Tavenner, Wichita, KS; and many nieces and nephews.
Her family gives its heartfelt thanks to the doctors and staff at M D Anderson who treated her for many years, and to Houston Hospice who gave her family comfort and guidance.

"Bob, I would really enjoy getting together, either in person or email. My email is john.blackmon@comcast.net and I hope to hear from you in the near..."

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Houston Chronicle
BETTY JO GIVENS BOWEN, most beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, lay down to pleasant dreams February 5. Like many of her...

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