Marian Ruth Bowman | 1923-2017

Marian Ruth Bowman, 93, of Friday Harbor, passed away on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at her home. She was born in 1923, the daughter of Chas and Victoria (Burgess) Small in Midland, Michigan. The youngest daughter of a Vaudeville performer, Marian was herself shy and reserved. She grew up in rural Flint Michigan, during the Great Depression. At the end of WWII, Marian moved to a boarding house at the Church of the Brethren young adults living in Chicago. There she met early Heifer International staff and grew to believe in their mission. There she also met Dwight Gordon Bowman, her husband of 35+ years, and in 1970 Dwight and Marian moved their family to Menlo Park, California. Marian found inspiration through the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. Although her mother-in-law was the family horticulturist, Marian enjoyed attending Garden Club meetings. A tender and mild-mannered homemaker, her birthday and anniversary cards brought sunshine to many.

Following Dwight’s death in 1987, Marian moved to Friday Harbor to be with her son and his wife. She soon became lovingly known as Grandma. Marian’s grandchild, Nikki preceded her into the next life because of cystic fibrosis. Grandchild Loni lives in Bellevue, Washington. On Mondays and Thursdays, right up to her passing, you could find Grandma at the Senior Center having lunch and selling raffle tickets. She had a kind and quiet manner about her. She will be greatly missed.

Marian is preceded in death by her husband, Dwight, sister, brother and grandchild, Nikki. She is survived by her son Gary and his wife Yvonne Bowman; daughter Linda Kay Bowman; grandchildren Loni Fink, Fernando Sanchez, MaiMai LuNan and Aung LaMai; and two great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation ( or Heifer International (

Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory Inc., Anacortes and the San Juan Islands. To share memories of Marian, please sign the online guest register at