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Marion Bowman

Date of Death: July 27, 2018

Date of Birth: August 22, 1916


Marion Bowman died on Friday, July 27, in Topsham at Cadigan Lodge, Highlands, at age 101, after a brief period of palliative and hospice care. She was born on August 22, 1916, on Ricker Hill in Turner, Maine, one of four daughters of Emery Bunker NewtonHatch and Anna Jewett Ricker Hatch. The girls grew up in Massachusetts, but they spent a month each summer in Turner with their grandmother Florence, Uncle Will and Aunt May, and Ricker and Bates cousins, then a month with the Hatch family on Islesboro.

After Marion graduated from Melrose High School, she majored in English at the University of Maine, Orono. She was a member of Chi Omega sorority, the Women's Student Government Association, and the Maine Masque Theatre, where she was a leading lady. After her graduation in 1938 she found a variety of writing and publishing jobs in Chicago. For about 17 years she was writer and/or newsletter editor of three national publications, including ones for wholesale florists, furniture wholesalers, and a grocery chain.

In 1951 she married Ben C. Bowman, an assistant librarian with the Newberry Library in Chicago. They moved to Burlington, VT, in 1961 when he became Director of Libraries at the University of Vermont. Four years later they began a prolonged stay in New York state, where Ben was Director of Libraries at Hunter College in New York City, and then at the University of Rochester.

In twenty years of retirement in Rockport, Maine (1979 to 1999), they were involved in many community and civic enterprises, including the Mid-Coast Forum on Foreign Relations. They were at the Highlands in Topsham for two years before Ben's death in 2001. Marion had continued to live there independently, with invaluable support in recent years from Neighbors, Inc., CHANS, and the Wound Clinic.

Throughout their marriage Ben and Marion enjoyed traveling, whether to Ben's native Southwest, to England, to Greece, to Mexico, even a safari in Africa. She later ventured to Turkey on an historical tour exploring artifacts and ancient civilizations. She was skilled in nurturing friendships, even mastering e-mail in her 80's to keep in touch with far-flung friends and relations.

She was pre-deceased by her parents and her step-mother Katherine, her sisters, Barbara Hatch, Gwen and Richard Pulliam, Priscilla and Robert Moore, and the Ricker and Bates cousins with whom she had grown up. Survivors in her immediate family include children of her sister Priscilla: Andrea and Peter Cacka of Colorado, Frederick and Pamela Moore of Oregon, Peter and Jo Moore of Washington. They had all come to Maine in 2016 to celebrate Marion's 100th birthday [along with most of their children and two of their grandchildren]. She was also survived by four grand-nieces and two grand-nephews. Other close survivors include her honorary nephew John Chapin Vincent of Montana, cousins Phoebe Bates of Tennessee, George and Wendy Ricker of Windham, Maine, and Don and Joan Ricker of Turner, Maine.

There will be a celebration of her life, starting at 2 pm, at the Holden-Frost House at the Highlands in Topsham on her August 22nd birthday. There will be a private committal service in Turner at the convenience of the family.

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