Phoebe D. Comstock
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Phoebe Diane Bowman Comstock

died May 17. She was born June 30, 1939, in East Bernstadt, Kentucky, to James Russell Bowman and Ruth "Jim" Vinson Bowman. Diane graduated from Arsenal Technical High School and earned her B.A. and M.A. from Butler University. An English teacher at Tech for thirty-three years, she served as department head for seven years, and was honored as ICTE Hoosier Teacher of the Year (1983) and Distinguished Tech Alumna. Diane earned the Hanson H. Anderson Service Award and was Past Scholarship Task Force Chairman, Indianapolis Urban League and Service Representative of Indianapolis Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa. A prolific letter writer, she wrote for several educational publications and was former editor of her community newsletter.

Before disability and retirement, she volunteered for and donated to many organizations and foundations that support civil and human rights, medical research, food banks, and environmental and wildlife conservation. Diane continued membership in the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, and the Southern Poverty Law Center Leadership Council.

Survivors include her son, Ken J. Smith (Karen); grandchildren, Paige, Cole and Landon; sister, Helen Bowman Baker (George); former husband, Loren J. Comstock; stepdaughter, Angie Lyon (Steve); aunt, Ella Mae Kindred; nieces, Jane Longest and Trish Ingram; nephews, Gregory Barney and Scott Barney; and many cousins and friends.

Friends may call Thursday, May 23, 2013 from 10am-11am at Flanner and Buchanan-Washington Park North 2706 Kessler Blvd West Drive Indianapolis, Indiana 46228. Funeral service will follow at 11am. An additional viewing will be Friday, May 24, 2013 from 11am- 12pm at House-Rawlings Funeral Home, 510 East 4th Street, London, KY with a service at noon. Burial will be in Mobley Cemetery, Laurel County, Kentucky. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Arsenal Technical High School C/O Tech Athletics Dept. 1500 East Michigan Street Indianapolis, IN 46202. Please share an online condolence or a memory of Phoebe at

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Published in The Indianapolis Star on May 21, 2013.
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Memories & Condolences
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17 entries
May 15, 2020
My name is Jon Burroughs, I had her my senior year. She was instrumental in getting me to support statements with evidence from my reading. It made college so much easier. I would use her methods over the 44 years I taught, including my last ten at Tech. Retired, I'm now a published novelist,
Jon Burroughs
May 28, 2013
Mrs. Comstock was more than an English teacher. She had a way of helping you see yourself in an entirely new light. It was her encouragement that has enabled me to write short stories and poetry.

I pray God will grant you peace and bring to your rememberance all the good times you shared throughout your lifetime. Be Blessed

Mrs. LaTonya (Bonner)Bonner
May 28, 2013
My condolences...she was a good teacher.
Renita Freeman
May 28, 2013
14 year old freshman at Tech high school
She was my roll call (homeroom) teacher from freshman thru junior year ('79-'81) One of my favorites, and had a direct affect on me, and my successes in life...she will truly be missed! They don't make them like her anymore!
Paul Churchwell
May 26, 2013
Diane was my close friend in high school. Then, 40 years later we reconnected. I treasure both those time.
Cecily Crossman
May 26, 2013
She was a fantasic English teacher and very much enjoyed her class. I also got to work on her Mercedes in Auto Mechanics class. Thanks for your wonderful inspiration! Ronald Patrick Class of '85
Ronald Patrick
May 23, 2013
Mrs. Comstock was another great teacher who contributed to my success at Tech and later in life. As a positive role-model in the classroom,she modeled appropriate manners and behaviors and expected the same from all of her students! She was knowledgeable, dedicated, kind,and respectful. She treated all of her students the same. When I taught Spanish outside and inside of IPS for 27 years before retiring on disability, I strived to be a positive role-model for my students just like she did for us! My thoughts and prayers are with all of you! May your memories keep her forever close!
P.S.-Mrs. Comstock and I had something in common. I substitute-taught at Tech for 2 and 1/2 years and then I returned to teach Spanish in a split assignment with the original Key School at IPS #97 for a year during the 1990's.
Brenda (Morgan) Wiley '75
May 22, 2013
Ms. Comstock was my teacher for the hardest class of my high school career, "English Grammar for the College Bound." I also worked for her and Mr. Danheiser in the English Office. After college, I worked for her again as a novice English teacher at ATHS. What an incredible mentor, teacher and friend. I loved her.
Angela Fought-Carr
May 22, 2013
Diane, my dear cousin, so sweet and beautiful, eloquent and well thought of. I will remember at family holiday dinners at Mom's and Aunt Grace's, Diane playing Scrabble and caring about what was happening in my life. She patiently helped me with a research paper when I was in Middle School. She taught me about footnotes and ibid! We have lost a dear, dear person.
Donell Dykstra
May 22, 2013
She was my senior English teacher - one of my best in the field. For 41 years as an English teacher, I have tried to follow in her footsteps - the past six years here at Tech. - Jon Burroughs
May 21, 2013
Ms. Comstock taught a couple of my English classes in the early 80's, but I never knew of her passions outside the classroom. I wish I could have known her better. My thoughts are with the family.
Holly Sullivan Dolan
May 21, 2013
Aunt Dianne was one of the most generous, kind, and loving ladies that we have ever known. Some of our fondest memories of her include listening to her tell a story and losing to her at Scrabble. We will remember her as being a vibrant women who loved to laugh and be with the people she loved. She will be greatly missed.
Mark and Sascha Smith
May 21, 2013
To the Family of Ms. Phoebe Diane Bowman Comstock. My sincerest condolonces on the loss of your loved one. Ms. Comstock was my homeroom teacher at Tech H.S. To this day I still remember her she was such a beautiful, kind, and fair teacher. Always had a kind word and made sure students roaming the halls were going to class and on time. She was one of two of my most favorite teachers. I always looked forward to going to homeroom between classes. She contributed a lot to her students and to society. I don't think there are many good teachers like her around anymore. May you always remember her as the special person she was. God Bless You
Debra Caldwell - class of 76
May 21, 2013
She was a wonderful, tough teacher, with a heart of gold. God be with her on her new journey, and prayers to her family.
Norma Edwards
May 21, 2013
She was one of my very favorite teachers. God bless you! Prayers for the family. Cindy (Kitchens) Grismore
Cindy Kitchens Grismore
May 21, 2013
Mrs. Comstock was one of my very favorite teachers at Tech. She gave me my only A I ever received in English (III) but I liked her for a lot more than that. She was able to teach us but make it fun. I remember she once held my paper in front of the class because it had such beautiful penmanship. I totally lost those skills by the time I entered college.
I remembered her being young. I had her in 1964 so she would only have been about 25. She leaves us far too soon.
Richard Sexson
May 21, 2013
Excellent teacher. My prayers are with the family.
Terry Loux
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