Mary Bower

MARY EVELYN PORTER BOWER MONDAY, JULY 12, 1922 TO SATURDAY, JULY 14, 2013 ROCKFORD - Mary was born to Earl and Anna (Seed) Porter in Lawrenceville, Illinois. She was married to the Rev. Lloyd W. Bower on May 28, 1944, in the First Methodist Church of Hammond, Indiana. At the time of her death, Mary was a resident of Wesley Willows in Rockford, Illinois. Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Lloyd in 1996 and sisters, Opal (Tracy) and Ruby (McCarter). She is survived by her three children, Bill Bower (Deborah), Roger Bower (Kimiko), and Marjorie Payne (Joe); four grandchildren, Nicholas, Caitlyn, and John Bower, and Kristen Moore; one great-grandson, Francisco Palacio; 4 step grandchildren; and 10 step great-grandchildren. She is also survived by nieces and nephews who have been like brothers and sisters to her, Mildred (Tracy) Ulrich, Marian (Tracy) Winters, Marjorie (Tracy) Myers, Robert Tracy, and David Tracy. Mary attended a four-room school in Flat Rock, Illinois, later moving to Hammond, IN, where she entered Hammond High School as a freshman in 1937. She was a member of the Ace of Clubs honor society, and Girl Reserve, a civic organization. She was a member of the National Honor Society and graduated in 1941 near the top of her class. Mary attended Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky and Indiana University Extension in Whiting. After her marriage to Lloyd W. Bower on May 28, 1944, Mary's unofficial job position was the demanding role of minister's wife, serving United Methodist parishes in Western Springs, St. Charles, and Aurora Illinois. While Lloyd served as Superintendent of the Rockford District, Mary was a member of Court Street United Methodist Church, and later was a member of Bethany United Methodist Church. At the time of her death she was a member of Grace United Methodist Church. In addition to her never-ending dedication to the work of the church, Mary was a member of PEO for 44 years, first with Chapter BT in Aurora, and later with Chapter V in Rockford. Mary served several years as Activities Director at Wesley Willows Retirement Community. In 1992, she and Lloyd became residents at Wesley Willows. Mary will be remembered most of all for her sweet disposition, abiding good humor, and a beautiful smile that stayed with her to the last day. A Memorial Service, conducted by Rev. Steve Mindrup, will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 17th, at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 4055 North Rockton Avenue in Rockford. A reception will follow at Wesley Willows. Inurnment will be at 4 p.m. in the Memorial Garden at the First Methodist Church, Western Springs, IL. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Wesley Willows Good Samaritan Fund, Remembrances and condolences may be left with Fitzgerald Funeral Home:

Funeral Home

Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory Ltd
3910 N Rockton Ave Rockford, IL 61103
(815) 654-2484

Published in Rockford Register Star from Aug. 14 to Aug. 15, 2013