Nelson Prentice Bowsher II
1940 - 2021
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Nelson Prentice

Bowsher, II

Dec. 19, 1940 - Jan. 4, 2021


Nelson Prentice Bowsher, II of Washington, D.C., died Monday, January 4, 2021, of complications from COVID-19. He was born December 19, 1940, the son of Nelson Spencer Bowsher and Louise Pope Bowsher and grandson of Jay C. Bowsher and Eva Spencer Bowsher. His family ran the N.P. Bowsher Co., which was awarded multiple Gold Medals at the Chicago World's Fair. Other family businesses included Solenoid and South Bend Wood Products.

Prentice graduated from Brown University, and worked as a reporter for the Providence Journal. In 1966 he moved to Washington to write for Congressional Quarterly and the National Journal. He spent most of his professional life advocating for affordable housing and community-based economic development. He worked for NeighborWorks, served on the boards of national nonprofits, and volunteered with local housing groups. After retiring, he became a Master Gardener and volunteered his services at the Polly Hill Arboretum on Martha's Vineyard and at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

Prentice was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather, a cherished friend, and an active citizen. He is survived by his wife, Sally Steenland of Washington; his son, David Bowsher and daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Holt of Birmingham, Alabama; and grandchildren, Meriwether and Rex Bowsher, also of Birmingham.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the Polly Hill Arboretum, P.O. Box 561, West Tisbury, MA 02575, or to Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C., 2115 Ward Court, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037.

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Published in South Bend Tribune on Jan. 10, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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January 8, 2021
I knew Prentice well back in the day. We met through Washington Independent Writers. He was a really gifted writer and dedicated to his craft. I am so sorry for his family's loss.
Cathy Smith
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