LISTENING – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski listens in the audience as she's introduced during Wednesday's Sitka Chamber of Commerce meeting at Harrigan Centennial Hall. Murkowski and members of her staff spent the day in Sitka visiting with constituents. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Joyce Ann Bowen Dies; Was 50-Year Resident

Joyce Ann Bowen, 87, died peacefully in her sleep at home in the early morning of January 23. Her family was by her side.
She was born August 13, 1932, in Mayfield, Kansas, the oldest daughter of Harold and Garnet Downing. She grew up on the farm, attending school in Mayfield and nearby Wellington, and completed her RN qualification at Winfield Nursing School in Kansas.
She married Jerry Bowen, on March 6, 1953, while he was home on leave from the U.S. Navy. They lived in Oklahoma and Kansas until 1967 when she accepted a job at the PHS hospital in Mt. Edgecumbe, Alaska.
The adventure began with three children, a dog and a cat in a car and a camper driving the Alcan highway. In Haines, they waited a week for the next ferry and eventually arrived at their new home on a coastal island, as far from the plains of Kansas as anyone could imagine.
They promptly settled in, traded the pickup and camper for a boat, and never looked back. Joyce worked at the hospital for more than 20 years, ending her career as the head nurse on the obstetrics ward. Many, many babies were held in her arms shortly after their arrival, including her four grandsons. With her love for children, she considered that the perfect job.
After her career at PHS, she accepted a position at the Pioneers Home and worked there for five years before retiring for good. In her spare time, she fished with her husband on the F/V Shirasi and the F/V Sefora, spending almost all her spare time on the ocean.
She loved children and animals and was never without pets in her home. She loved to cook, especially baking, and holidays will never be the same without her.
 Joyce was preceded in death by Jerry, her husband of 45 years, Jerry; her mother and father; sisters Terri Downing and Verla DeJarnett; and her daughter-in-law Barbara Bowen.
She is survived by her daughter and husband, Suzan Bowen and Lonny Gish, of Sitka; her son Mike Bowen and wife Rhonda, (with grandson Wes Bowen (Sitka) and grandson Matt Bowen with great-grandchildren Karley and Tyler) of Port Angeles, Washington; and son Rick Bowen with grandsons Scott and Derek and great- granddaughter Jayden Bowen of Sitka.
She also is survived by two younger sisters, Betty Segraves (Mayfield, Kansas) and Pat DiMauro (Princeton, Texas) and numerous nieces and nephews.
No service is planned, per her wishes.

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