Wangeci Ruth Wanjiro Bowman, 43, of Charlottesville, Virginia, died of complications related to cancer on November 7, 2013 in Charlottesville, Va. "Ngeci," as she was known to her friends, was born on June 9, 1970 in Bonn, Germany, and was the second child of Dr. James David Bowman and Wairimu Gethaiga Bowman (who predeceased her). She married Dustin Edward Greene on June 23, 2010.
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Ngeci was a vibrant, hard working, brilliant and fun person. She attended Piñon Elementary School, Pueblo Junior High School and Los Alamos High School in New Mexico where she lettered in both track and cross-country. She also played the flute in Mr. Macs Magic Band and sang in the Northern New Mexico Childrens' Choir. After high school, she attended Yale University in New Haven, Conn., where she became one of the few women to simultaneously complete undergraduate degrees in mathematics and history. She graduated in 1993, after taking a year abroad to study French and art history at the Sorbonne in Paris.
After college, Ngeci worked on Wall Street as a trader with D.E. Shaw & Co. where she specialized in mathematical algorithms to direct trading strategy. While in New York, Ngeci studied cooking at the International Culinary Center. She also took courses in computer science at the City College of New York. She left New York to earn her master's degree at the University of California at Berkeley. Ngeci worked as a computer architect for an Internet start-up in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Ngeci enlisted in the United States Army Reserve. She did her basic training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. She received advanced training in military intelligence in Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Ngeci received a direct officer commission and proceeded to serve in South Korea and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, eventually rising to the rank of captain. She received the Army Achievement Medal in 2002 and 2007, along with the Vanguard of the Pacific Award. She was known in the Army as "Yoshi."
After completing her deployments with the US Army, she worked with BAE Systems, Booz Allen Hamilton, and the National Ground Intelligence Center as an analyst specializing in cyber security. She was an expert in security threats created by emerging computer technologies. Ngeci published many articles, among them four articles in the classified journal, "Intelligence Today," two of which were featured on the cover page. She earned the respect of colleagues in the military and the civilian world.
Ngeci was fluent in French and proficient in Japanese. She was a dedicated Democrat, and volunteered on the Obama Campaign. She was a volunteer tutor with Computers 4 Kids in Charlottesville.
She traveled widely with her husband. She recently visited Alaska, California's wine country, Vermont, Estonia, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland and St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Ngeci and Dustin traveled to New Orleans this year where she watched her beloved Ravens win the Super Bowl.
Her passions included fantasy football, gourmet cooking with her husband, fine wine, couture fashion and Hello Kitty accessories. She was an avid information collector, a bibliophile, and a close follower of political news. She had a passionate interest in reducing poverty and income inequality in America.
Ngeci is survived by her husband, Dustin; her father, Dr. J. David Bowman formerly of LANL and currently residing in Oak Ridge, Tenn.; her sisters, Dr. Warigia Bowman of Little Rock, Ark. and Njeri Bowman of Nyeri, Kenya; brother, John Ndegwa of Nyeri, Kenya; niece, Mariamu Ngaruiya; nephews, Ali James Ngaruiya, David Ngaruiya, Logan Rumbaugh and Evan Rumbaugh; stepmother, Rebecca Bowman; stepsisters, Meredith Entrop and Erica Entrop; in-laws, Donna and John Reynolds, Dorothy Greene, Nicholas Greene and Hamadi Ngaruiya; and sisters in spirit, Katherine Farkas and Jennifer Martin.
Two memorial funds have been created in Ngeci's memory to support the purchase of textbooks for needy college and graduate students - one at the Clinton School and one at Yale University.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to www.clintonschool.uasys.edu (Clinton School of Public Service, 1200 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock, Ark., 72201) and http:/giving.yale.edu. (P.O. Box 2038, New Haven, CT 06521-2038.) Please include the note, "In memory of Wangeci Bowman" when you donate.
Published in Los Alamos Monitor on Nov. 15, 2013