Clara Bowman

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Clara Josephine (Stadler) Bowman born November 12, 1926, in Montana, Clara grew up in Alderwood Manor, Washington, graduating from Edmonds High School then from The University of Washington School of Nursing in 1951. She married Harry Bowman in 1965, and they were seldom apart until his death after 45 years of marriage. She was also preceded in death by her parents Katie and Emil Stadler, two brothers, Emil and Fred Stadler, and two sisters, Agnes Barnhill and Margaret Power. She is survived by two sisters, Elizabeth Wallace and Dorothy Frohlich, one brother, Karl Stadler, and her sister-in-law, Clarissa Dyer. She also leaves many devoted nieces and nephews who adored her and some who have happy memories of rides in her convertible (with the top down when weather permitted) when Clara visited Seattle.


Clara's first years of nursing were spent working in Seattle, San Francisco and New York, sharing apartments with women who became her lifelong friends. In 1960 she settled into the life of a single, working woman in San Francisco where she met Harry, the love of her life, marrying him in August, 1965. Clara worked as a nurse for more than 45 years and retired from Children's Hospital in San Francisco as an administrator. She loved children, especially babies, and seeing them in her later years always brought a beautiful smile to her face.


Clara is described by her friends as "a classy lady, with a fabulous wardrobe", "the best cook in town". "She was unfazed when hosting big parties at home and on their rooftop patio with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Everyone would come from far and near just to be with her and Harry". An avid gardener, Clara is remembered for her large bouquets of sweet peas in beautiful Italian containers. She also filled her garden and home with orchids and tended them with special care. Dedicated travelers, she and Harry saw much of the world but also enjoyed local visits with family and friends. They savored good food and great wines and were fixtures in the local dining community. Clara closely followed politics both in San Francisco and the nation. She loved long walks and easily settled into retirement on Greenwich Street in Cow Hollow, her home with Harry for more than 40 years.


The family is especially grateful for Clara's caregivers: Una Curran, who watched over Clara in San Francisco; Sheila Reichmuth and the staff at Sunrise Senior Living in San Mateo and Mission Hospice.


Donations in Clara's memory can be made to the Alderwood Manor Heritage Association (www.alderwood.org) or to the fight against Alzheimer's disease (www.alz.org).


Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Apr. 15, 2013
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