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Joyce M. Bowman

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Joyce M. Bowman Obituary
Joyce M. Bowman

SHREVEPORT, LA - Joyce Bowman, an unrelenting and arduous advocate for her community, lost a hard fought and courageous battle against cancer on Sunday, May 26, 2013, at her Queensborough home surrounded by her family and friends.

Born on January 12, 1953 as Joyce Marie McLemore to the union of the late Huey Bryant and Willie McLemore (Houston, TX), she was the younger of two daughters.

Joyce was lovingly raised by her maternal grandmother, Frankie L. Chism, and paternal grandmother, Gertrude Bryant. Her humble, yet profoundly formative years were rooted in the Hollywood and Hollywood Heights communities. Under the guiding wings of her grandmothers, she developed a deep sense of community and responsibility, and a resolve to fulfill that responsibility. Joyce's competitive spirit, characterized by a strong-willed persona, first revealed itself in the form of youthful athleticism. A 1970 graduate of Bethune High School, she was a noted track star and champion swimmer. That same spirit later served her and her community well through the diligent, principled leadership she displayed in her civic, religious and legislative activities.

Joyce's professional medical career began at Doctor's Hospital as a LPN and continued as a nursing administrator at Highland Hospital for 23 years.

After much prayer and deliberation, Joyce offered herself as a dedicated public servant to our community. She won her first election in 1999 as a Caddo Parish Commissioner, where she served until 2006. She was elected to the Shreveport City Council in 2006 and served until 2010. She returned to the Caddo Parish Commission in 2011 and served faithfully and passionately until her passing.

Joyce was a trailblazer, fighter and champion of her community and city. She made history as the first African American woman to serve as president of the Caddo Parish Commission and chairwoman of the Shreveport City Council. Joyce received numerous awards and accolades bestowed upon her by the community. Beyond all of her accomplishments, she strongly believed in helping individuals who did not have a voice in the community.

Joyce was preceded in death by her father, Huey Bryant and elder sister Frankie McLemore Hunter. She leaves to cherish her memory, mother Willie McLemore (Houston, TX); husband of 37 years, Jerry Dan Bowman, Sr.; sons, Jerry Dan Bowman, Jr. (Ursula), Jerald DeShun Bowman; and like a son, Kenneth Davidson, (Houston, TX); like sisters, Faye Norfleet (Washington, DC), Delores Joshua (Shreveport) and Eunita Ellis (Shreveport); stepsister Cheryl Bryant-Brown (NY) and stepbrother Gerald Bryant (NY), two aunts she was very fond of, Blanche Harrison, (Mineola TX) and Lois Hughes (Shreveport), and a host of family and friends.

The embodiment of Joyce's legacy is best described in her own words,

"I want to be remembered as a woman who loved GOD first. Then as a mother who loved her children more than they would ever know. And as a public servant who really was in it for the citizens, who spoke out in spite of threats or other tactics".

A public funeral service for The Honorable Joyce M. Bowman will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. at the Shreveport Convention Center, 400 Caddo Street, Shreveport, Louisiana. She will lie in state at the Shreveport Convention Center from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Pastor Theron Jackson, Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church will be officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions may be made to:

St. Joseph Hospice Foundation

688 Jordan Street

Shreveport, Louisiana 71101

Telephone 318-222-8723

Tax Identification Number 75-3112018


Published in Shreveport Times on May 31, 2013
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