Alberta Ann Bowen

DEFOREST - Alberta Ann (Blachford) Bowen, age 80, passed away in her sleep on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, at the Good Samaritan Care Center in Lodi, WI.

She was born October 12, 1933, in Spring Township, Boone County, Illinois. She was the youngest of thirteen children born to Albert and Daisy Blachford. She graduated from Belvidere High School in 1951. On October 17, 1951, she began a lifelong partnership by marrying Gerald Bowen in Belvidere, Illinois.

Alberta and Gerald were partners in business most of their married life. She worked with Gerald to found and operate Bowen Body Shop in Belvidere, Ill. In 1968 she and Gerald relocated to DeForest Wisconsin and founded DeForest Auto Body. They sold DeForest Auto Body in 1974, where Gerald continued to be the manager for over twenty years. In 1975 she was the driving force behind the building of the DeForest Shopping Center, where she opened DeForest Ben Franklin and was the manager for ten years, at which time it was decided to close the store. Several years after the store closing she returned to DeForest Auto Body to work in the office with Gerald. After her "retirement" she started DeForest Sales, Inc. a craft business she operated out her home. The company produced items that were sold wholesale to major catalog companies. However, many long term residents of DeForest may remember the large display of silk flower hanging baskets in their front yard on Main Street where she sold them in the spring and summer.

All her married life she was active in her church. In Belvidere she taught Sunday school and was active in the Mariner's couples club at the First Presbyterian Church. From 1968-1974 she helped started and lead a youth group at the first Presbyterian Church in Lodi, Wisconsin. After living in DeForest for several years she and Gerald joined Christ Lutheran Church. She remained active volunteering for many church functions and continued to attend services until physical challenges prevented her from attending. For many years she was an active square dancer and served in leadership positions of the DeForest Diamond Squares.

She is survived by her husband, Gerald Bowen of DeForest, Wisconsin; son Jim Bowen (Jeanne); grandchildren Kerry Bowen, Waukesha, WI, Casey Bowen of Madison, Wi, and Kyle Bowen (Stefanie) of Portage; great grandchildren Morgan Henley and Knole Bowen; and a brother and three sisters.

She was predeceased in death by her parents Albert and Daisy Blachford, her son Gary Lee Bowen, and eight of her brothers and sisters.

There will be a visitation Sunday November 24, 2013, from 3:00 to 6:00 at Ryan Funeral, 6924 Lake Road in DeForest. Funeral Services will be held at Christ Lutheran Church in DeForest at 11:00 am Monday November 25, 2013, with visitation from 10:00 to 11:00.

Alberta loved her church and was a breast cancer survivor. In lieu of flowers or gifts the family requests that donations be made to Christ Lutheran Church or the American Cancer Society.

Our family is grateful and wishes to thank the staff of Good Samaritan Care Center in Lodi for the compassion, dedication, and outstanding care they provided Alberta. We also thank Dr. Robert Gage and the other medical professionals for the care they provided as she faced a number of medical challenges in recent years.

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