Jean Schmidt Bowen, 78, passed away on Saturday, October 26, 2013. She along with her twin brother were born on August 26, 1935, to Arnold and Alma Schmidt of Americus. The family included two older sisters, Dorothy Wood of Albany and Mary Ann Williams of Pearson, and twin brother James Schmidt of Jacksonville, Florida. She is preceded in death by her twin brother and her sister Dorothy.
Jean was a member of Athens First United Methodist Church.
Jean held two degrees from the University of Georgia
, an undergraduate degree in zoology and genetics and a Master's degree in Business Administration with areas of concentration in organizational and personnel management. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi.
Jean's training in genetics and biochemistry led to her involvement in several research programs. Later her business training resulted in her creation of staff development programs as an independent consultant to the State of Georgia and University of Georgia. In 1984 she received special recognition from then Georgia Secretary of State Max Cleland for her service in consulting with state administrators in matters of management.
Jean was particularly proud of her service to the state in the area of adult literacy. As a consultant to the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education in the early 1990s, Jean was a leader in the development of a statewide adult literacy program, the Certified Literate Community Program, which is still in place. She travelled the state with then Governor Miller's wife, Shirley Miller, the spokesperson for the program.
Jean served the University of Georgia College of Education for many years as a funded programs officer wherein she provided faculty and graduate students with introductions to funding sources and refinements in grant preparation skills. Jean noted in a letter to then Dean Russell Yeany of the College of Education that she found her role in the College to be "exciting, interesting and challenging to relate to the needs of every faculty member, to facilitate partnerships and to meet deadlines with imagination and competence."
Jean enjoyed family activities and was engaged as a volunteer in her sons' classroom activities and as a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts. She loved spending time with friends and family at the family's cabin on Lake Hartwell. Jean was endeared to her grandsons and cheered them on as they learned to water ski and competed in countless soccer games from the kindergarten to collegiate levels.
Survivors include Jean's husband of nearly 57 years, Dr. John M. Bowen of Athens; sister Mary Ann Williams of Pearson; sons Mark Bowen of Americus and Richard Bowen of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and grandsons George and Matthew Bowen.
The family will receive visitors from 4:00-7:00pm on Wednesday, October 30, at Lord & Stephens East Chapel at 4355 Lexington Road, Athens. Graveside services will be held at Sunset Memorial Gardens cemetery in Americus, Georgia, at 2:00pm on Saturday, November 2.
The family requests that memorials be made in Jean's memory to the Athens Certified Literate Community program, P.O. Box 561, Athens, Georgia 30603, or to the University of Georgia College of Education.
Lord & Stephens Funeral Home, East Chapel, of Athens has charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com