Elizabeth Ann Gowdy

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PhotoMANHATTAN- Elizabeth Ann Gowdy, 52, of Manhattan, KS passed away Tuesday, July 28, 2009, after many years of severe chronic pain, the result of serious injuries from two car accidents, one in 1982 and the second in 2004. Elizabeth was born October 2, 1956 at Fort Carson, Colorado. She is survived by her parents, Kenneth and Dolores Gowdy, of Manhattan and two brothers: J. David Gowdy and his wife, Norlene, of Alpine, Utah; Mark Gowdy and his wife, Shelly, of Lansing, KS. Also surviving are three aunts, Pat Pilcher of St. George, Utah; Doris Hurtig of Topeka, KS and Virginia Hurtig of Delphos, KS; two uncles: Fred Gowdy of Baton Rouge, LA, and Dan Pilcher of Englewood, CO; and two nieces, nine nephews, and eleven cousins. She was preceded in death by her brother, Michael Gowdy, and five aunts and uncles; Armon Hurtig and the Rev. Bill Hurtig of Delphos, KS; Claudia Gowdy of Baton Rouge, LA; and Bob & Marilyn Gowdy of Overland Park, KS. After graduating in 1974 from Manhattan High School, Elizabeth received three degrees in Social Work; BSW from KSU in 1981, MSW from KU in 1986 and PhD from KU in 2000. Her professional career included two years with the North-Central Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging, 12 years with the University of Kansas, and three years with the Kansas Department of Social & Rehabilitation Services. She received her PhD with honors and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, National Association of Social Workers, and listed in Cambridge Who's Who. While at KU, Elizabeth was a Teaching/ Research Assistant in the School of Social Work. In addition to teaching undergraduate & graduate courses and advising students , she authored or co-authored 16 refereed journal articles and 20 research & policy reports, plus leading or assisting in over 80 conference presentations, workshops and mental health trainings. At the Kansas SRS office, she was Adult Mental Health Services Team Leader and led and/or contributed to several important statutory, policy and programmatic changes to improve services for Kansas adults with severe psychiatric disabilities. Throughout her adult life, Elizabeth was involved in numerous community service organizations in Northeast Kansas, particularly those focused on social justice and the environment. She was a very active advocate for the legal rights of women and minorities, especially gays, lesbians and AIDS victims. In Lawrence, she was a founding member and community organizer with the Campaign for Human Rights (CHRL), a local political action group and, in Topeka, she was a founding member and advisory board member to Sojourn, a project of the Tides Center. Elizabeth was a very gifted, gentle, caring and loving person and she will be greatly missed by her family and many friends. However, all now rejoice with years of wonderful memories of her and the realization that the she is now "pain free" --- and at peace in the presence of God and those loving souls that she viewed during her two "near death experiences." Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, August 1, 2009, at the First Presbyterian Church, 801 Leavenworth, in Manhattan with the Rev. Vicky Shrimp and the Rev. Victor Force officiating. Interment will follow a 3:00 p.m. graveside service at the cemetery at Delphos, KS. The family will receive friends during a visitation from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m. Friday evening at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at www.ymlfuneralhome.com. Memorial gifts may be made to the Kaw Valley Girl Scout Council. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502. Any who wish, may bring a small memento to the visitation or funeral -- these items will be collected and buried with her. Elizabeth Ann Gowdy
Funeral Home
Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home
1616 Poyntz Avenue
Manhattan, KS 66502
(785) 539-7481
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Published in Topeka Capital-Journal on July 30, 2009
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