Ann Silvernale Bowden|
November 7, 1930~October 4, 2012
Ann S. Bowden, teacher, volunteer, friend, informed and engaged political activist, comforter and encourager to all whom she met, devoted wife, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother, died with her family by her side at 11:25 am on October 4th at her home in The Kenney in West Seattle. She was 82. Because Ann was all these things and many more, she will live forever in many, many hearts.
Ann always put other people first, no matter the relationship. Though ever humble, she had a
quick and very clever sense of humor along with a solid inner strength and a fierce determination and deep understanding of fairness for the human condition.
Ann possessed tremendous artistic talent. Because Ann was very sensitive to and perceptive of the unspoken, when painting a portrait (whether it be of a person or a beloved pet) she knew how to capture and communicate her subject's emotional state and life essence. She did not interpret her subjects - she let them speak for themselves through her paintings.
Ann was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Her father was Leslie Richmond Silvernale, then Superintendent of Safety for Cleveland Schools. Leslie went on to be Professor of Traffic Safety at Michigan State University. Ann's mother, Reland Hansen Silvernale, was an elementary school teacher.
Ann earned a BA in Education from Michigan State University (MSU) and began teaching in 1952 in Roseville, Minnesota. In 1953, she married Charles Edgar Bowden and continued teaching in Palo Alto, California, while Charles earned his MBA at Stanford University. On his graduation, Ann and Charles went on a delayed honeymoon, spending five months bicycling around Great Britain and other parts of Europe.
Ann and Charles's first home was in Portland, Oregon, where Charles worked for Pillsbury. Their first child, Melanie Susan Bowden McNett, was born in December 1956, and their son
Charles (Chuck) David Bowden was born in March 1958. Pillsbury offered Charles a promotion with relocation to New York City in 1960, where the family lived for two years. They then moved to East Lansing, Michigan for three years. There, Ann resumed her teaching career and at the same time earned her Master's degree at MSU. In 1965, Charles was offered a position Fisher Flour Mills in Seattle, Washington. The family moved to West Seattle whereupon Ann continued teaching at High Point Elementary, Briarcliff and Blaine Elementary Schools until she finally retired in 1992.
Ann has always been a devoted volunteer in her spare time. In 1995, Ann was appointed to the Seattle School Board on an interim basis. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma and PEO. In 1998, she was awarded the Katharine M. Bullitt Award for her volunteer work.
While her children were young, she was a Cub Scout den mother and a Girl Scout leader. She was a very active church member at Admiral United Church of Christ in West Seattle where she also served on their education committee. Ann first became active in the League of Women Voters (LWV) in 1961 while living in Portland. She continued her involvement with the organization when the family moved to Seattle, and served as Seattle's LWV Vice President and Education Chair for a number of years. She continued to be active as a Life Member of the LWV, and hosted monthly meetings in West Seattle until several days before her death.
Ann was predeceased by her husband Charles. Ann is survived by her brother John Leslie Silvernale, her daughter Melanie B. McNett (Jim) and her son Charles D. (Chuck) Bowden (Tessa), her grandchildren Spenser and Lucas McNett, and her step-grandchildren Forest (Mariko) and Toby (Autumn) Hooker, as well as step-great-grandsons Finley, Hudson, Ren and Julian. Ann's nieces and nephew are Peggy (Dan) Casey, Leslie (Will) Loew-Blosser, Jenny (Mark) Silvernale and John W. (Kate) Silvernale.
Friends and family are invited to a celebration of Ann's life scheduled for 2 pm, Saturday, October 13th at The Kenney, 7125 Fauntleroy Way, SW, Seattle 98136, phone (206) 937-2800. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts to the League of Women Voters of Seattle King County, 1620 18th Ave, Suite 101, Seattle, WA 98122 or to the Admiral United Church of Christ, 4320 SW Hill Street, Seattle, WA 98116.
Published in The Seattle Times on Oct. 7, 2012