Aunt Libby

My mother was born May 26, 1912 in Urbana, Ohio to loving parents, Samuel W. Carey and Kathryn Alameda Plank Carey. She was raised with two older brothers, one younger sister, and for a short time, a baby brother.

Mom was a curious child, considered at the time to be mischievous. She would wake up very early in the morning wanting to help her father in his greenhouse. Her mother would put her back to bed over and over until her mother finally gave her permission to help her father. One Armistice Day, she got up extra early before her father got up to help him by cutting all the flowers for him. The only problem was that she cut just the heads off. He didn't spank her because she thought she was helping him. Electrical storms were fascinating to Mom. Her mother would find her outside watching the storms, totally unaware of the danger. Another favorite pastime of Mom's was feeding coal to a pen of razorback hogs. She liked to hear them crunch on the coal.

Mom moved with her family at age 9 to Santa Monica, CA. She stayed in the southern California area for a total of 72 years. She moved to her daughter's home in Nampa, ID, where she lived for 10 years. Her last 5 years she resided in Molalla, OR.

She spent a good deal of her childhood visiting with her German Mennonite Grandma Wilhelm. Her grandmother taught her housekeeping skills at an early age. If her grandmother baked a pie, she stood next to grandma and baked a small pie. Grandma Wilhelm helped her neighbors--taking food to the sick, caring for new mothers, etc. Later when Mom's mother became ill (during Mom's teenage years) these skills her grandmother Wilhelm taught her helped her to care for her father, mother, and siblings. She herself became ill. She was told she had diphtheria. She was taken out of school and made to rest a year. She regained her health. Later when Mom worked at a school the required TB test and X-ray showed she had had TB instead.

Mom was baptised in the Methodist Church by her uncle who was a minister. Later she attended the LDS Church with her family. The family was to be baptised, but because of the uncle's disapproval, they went back to the Methodist Church. Mom attended primary for a couple of years, then MIA for a while; eventually her attendance fell away.

Mom's habit of service helped her meet her prospective husband, my Dad, Earl Bowers. She helped her friend prepare food and serve at a birthday party. Dad happened to be there as a guest. They dated and married. My brother was born then I. Mom was a wonderful wife and mother. She took excellent care of her children. We always knew we were loved. She did the extra things like birthday parties and homemade Halloween costumes. Mom was an excellent seamstress, sewing on her Singer treadle machine. Mom read to us, played with us. We could always take our problems to her. She taught us her love for God and Christ and saw to it that we went to church.

After her children were raised, she delighted in her role as grandmother, becoming one of the best. She loved to play with her grandchildren, making up games.

As all of us experience, she had her problems, challenges and sorrows. She was preceded in death by all of her siblings, aunts and uncles, two grandchildren, and her husband of 53 years.

Mom's family would eventually include 8 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren.

She finally joined the church at age 77, after both her children and most of her grandchildren became members.

She continued to serve others even in her later years, caring for the blind, sick, and dying. Mom had a great deal of courage. Through all of her life's challenges, she never lost her faith hi God. At the end of her life, she herself, received the care that she had freely given.

Mom died June 6, 2009.

Eulogy written by Marjorie Bowers Calkins, for Libby's memorial service, conducted 11 July 2009.

The following obituary appeared in a Molalla newspaper...

Sarah E. Bowers

Aunt Libby

Sarah E. Bowers, 97, of Molalla died on June 6, 2009.

She was born on May 26, 1912 in Urbana, Ohio to Samuel W. Carey and Kathryn A. Plank.

She lived in Ohio until age 9, where she worked with her father in his greenhouse. Her family of six moved to Santa Monica, Calif., where she attended school.

She married Earl V. Bowers on Aug. 15, 1932 in Los Angeles, Calif, and lived in the Los Angeles area for a total of 72 years.

She later moved to her daughter's home in Nampa, Idaho, where she lived for 10 years. Her final move, with her daughter, was made five years ago to Molalla. Most recently, she lived at the Molalla Manor Care Center.

She was a wife, mother and grandmother, known for her love of children and willingness to serve others. She cared for many sick people throughout her life, even in her later years.

She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Molalla River Ward.

She is survived by her son, Daniel E. Bowers of Orem, Utah, her daughter, Marjorie J. Calkins of Molalla, eight grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Her service will be held July 11, 2009 at 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Molalla, officiated by Bishop Jeff Glenn. She will be buried at Sandy Ridge Cemetery in Sandy, Ore.1 Molalla Funeral Chapel is handling the funeral arrangements.

Thank you, Margie, for sharing this eulogy with us. I can remember your mother's compassion and caring, even while she was suffering from breast cancer herself, for our Aunt Goldie, and also for her neighbors in Gardena, CA. She told me once that she had hoped to become a nurse, but during her mother's illness was forced to drop out of high school to care for her mom, then never had a chance to resume her education.

1 Libby's grandson, Mark Steven Wallis (1958-1989) is also buried at Sandy Ridge.
This page was last updated 11 Sep 2010.