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Ruth McLean Bowman Bowers

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Ruth McLean Bowman Bowers Obituary

Ruth McLean Bowman Bowers died Friday, April 19, 2013. She was born in 1920 and spent her childhood in Beaumont, later moving to San Antonio with her parents, Verna and Marrs McLean in the early 1930's. She graduated from St. Mary's Hall in San Antonio and Finch College in New York City. Throughout her life she was involved in community, philanthropy, social and political affairs, serving on many boards including as Regent of the Texas Woman's University in Denton, Trinity University, St. Mary's Hall, Sunshine Cottage, San Antonio Symphony, Witte Museum, Volunteer Service Bureau, Planned Parenthood, The National Board of the Abortion Rights Action League as well as the Texas State Board. She was appointed to the Governor's Commission on Women, was founder and District Commissioner of the San Antonio Pony Club, and was on the Board of the Texas Hunter & Jumper Association. Among the honors she received: Trustee Emeritus of St. Mary's Hall and recipient of the St. Mary's Hall 1986 Distinguished Alumnae Award. The Texas Women's Political Caucus gave her their Woman of the Year Award for 1990, and she received the "Ginny Whitehill Grass Roots' Activism" award for 1992. Other awards she received include the Non-Profit Resource Center's "Spirit of Philanthropy Award 2001, the Humanitarian Award from the National Jewish Medical and Research Center 2002, the St. Mary's Hall Founder's Day Award 2003, Our Reach for the Stars "Star" from Network Power of Texas 2005, Honorary Board of Directors for the Alamo Women and Family Health Information Network 2005. In 2006 Ruth received "Outstanding Philanthropist" from the Association of Fundraising Professionals and in 2007 the San Antonio Women's Chamber of Commerce "Voice and Vision" Award as well as San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame Award for Civic Leadership (Philanthropist and Women's Advocate). UTSA Women's Studies Institute made her their 2008 Women's Advocate of the Year. Her generous philanthropy includes the founding gift to the "Women's Legacy Initiative" of the United Way, the endowments of the Ruth McLean Bowman Bowers Chair for Breast Cancer Research and Treatment at UTHSC, the Cyclotron wing of the Research Imaging Center at UTHSC which is named in her honor and the Ruth McLean Bowman Bowers Laboratory for the advancement of Neuroscience Research. She was the Honorary Chair of the Capital Campaign for the Cancer Therapy and Research Center, Trinity University's Women's Studies Resource Center and Women's History Month's Visiting Professor are also among her named gifts. The Baylor College of Medicine Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has a Professorship in her name and she has funded the Excellence in Research Award to be given to the top researchers each year. Ruth has funded development of a promising drug from For Good Health (FGH) BioTech, Inc. that will control obesity and add other health benefits. Others who have benefited from her support include the Family Violence Prevention Service, the Battered Women's Shelter, Girl's Inc., and the Children's Shelter. She financed and supported the Roe vs. Wade case that went before the United States Supreme Court. She also supported the Girl Scouts, the Witte Museum, the McNay Art Museum, the Briscoe Western Art Museum, Our House, the Santa Rosa Children's Hospital and the Texas Nature Conservancy. She was devoted to her Almamater, Saint Mary's Hall and funded their Early Child Care Center, Library Complex and Science Building. She was a member of the Assembly, The Battle of Flowers Association, The Charity Ball Association, San Antonio Junior League, San Antonio Women's Forum, The San Antonio 100, National Organization for Women, San Antonio Women's Political Caucus and the Veteran Feminists of America. She was also a supporter of the National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Ruth's primary interest was always in her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was never a conformist and since a child she was consumed by a desire to fight discrimination in any form and thus devoted her life to equal opportunity for all. Not only was she a world traveler and patron of the Arts and Education, but she was an outdoorsman, who loved to ride her horses, swim in the rivers and hunt. Ruth owned ranches in South Texas, the Hill Country and the Trans Pecos areas as well as a lychee farm in Hawaii. The family's deepest gratitude goes to her loving caregivers: Socorro Fontaine, Maria and Carlos Gomez, Gwen Marshall, Sonia Rivera, Tangie Carroll and Laura Mendez. She was preceded in death by her husbands, Jack T. Bowman and William O. Bowers. Ruth Bowers is survived by her children, Marrs McLean Bowman and his wife, Marianne, Bonnie Bowman Korbell and her husband, John, Ruth Bowman Russell and John Russell, Jr., Beth Bowman Harper and her husband, Michael, Margaret Bowman McMahon and her husband, James, and Barbara Bowman. She is also survived by eleven grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions can be sent to Saint Mary's Hall, Planned Parenthood of San Antonio or the Cancer Therapy and Research Center at UTHSC.
A Celebration of her Life will be held for close friends and family.
You are invited to sign
the guestbook at
Arrangements with

Published in Express-News on Apr. 28, 2013
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