Mary Elizabeth Bowden

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, October 4, 2011

FRANKLIN—Mary Elizabeth Pittman Bowden passed at the East Pavilion on October 3, 2011.

She was born and reared in Southampton County, Virginia, in Burdette, the daughter of the late William Madison Pittman and Mary Ruth Whitfield Pittman, and was predeceased by her husband of 67 years, Arnold Woodrow Bowden on June 20, 2011, and a half brother, Cecil Clyde Pittman.

After graduating from Franklin High School, she worked in the office of Dr. Rufus L. Raiford, who encouraged her to become a nurse. She received her education at King’s Daughters Hospital in Norfolk, Va.

After becoming a Registered Nurse, Mrs. Bowden was a member of the American Red Cross and during World War II served as a nurse in California, where she also worked as a riveter building B25 airplanes.

Over the years, Mrs. Bowden worked primarily as a surgical and emergency room nurse at King’s Daughters Hospital, Raiford Memorial Hospital, Portsmouth General Hospital, Obici Hospital, a Catholic hospital in Charlotte, N.C., and completed her career as an emergency room nurse at Southampton Memorial Hospital.

Also, she was a volunteer with the Reach to Recovery American Cancer program for many years.

Mrs. Bowden was a Baptist, and in former years, was active at Black Creek Baptist Church. Survivors include her two daughters, Peggy B. Barker (Wayne) of Pelham, N.C., and Linda B. Selleck (Dr. Ron) of High Point, N.C.; one son, Robert Bowden (Betty) of Franklin; one sister-in-law, Billie Joyce Bowden Clarke (Thomas) of Broken Arrow, Okla.; six grandchildren, Michael Barker, Joey Barker (Cathy), Bree Barker (Jason), Sarah S. Kessler (Dr. Robert), Lieutenant Rachel S. White, U.S. Navy Medical Corps (Jim) and Kristen Bowden (Michael Ray); and three great-grandchildren, Joshua, Jessica and Jada Bree.

The funeral will be conducted at 2 p.m. Friday, October 7, 2011, at Wright Funeral Home with the Rev. Clyde Alderman officiating. Interment will follow at Rosemont Cemetery, Sedley.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society (901 E. Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, D.C., 20004) or the American Red Cross (611 W. Brambleton Ave., Norfolk, Va., 23510).

The family would like to thank Dr. J. Michael Ponder and the staff of East Pavilion for the wonderful care given to both Mrs. Bowden and also Mr. Bowden before their deaths.