Anna Ruth Bowman, 90, New Carlisle, Ind., formerly of Mt. Morris, died at 10:05 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 following an extended illness.
Anna was born June 8, 1923 in Union City, Tenn., the daughter of Alf and Alice (Coburn) Collins.
She married Raymond W. Bowman on May 23, 1942 in St. Louis, Mo. He preceded her in death.
The couple and their children spent several years serving as Lutheran missionaries in Nigeria before returning to St. Louis and eventually moving to northern Illinois.
Anna drove 100 miles roundtrip each day for two years to earn her bachelor’s degree in 1974 with honors from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb.
Prior to that, she attended Sauk Valley College in Dixon, where she received the Student Recognition Achievement Award in 1972.
She later taught at Sauk Valley and substitute taught at Dixon High School before substituting for District 186 and teaching English as a second language at Lawrence Adult Education Center, both in Springfield.
In 1989, Anna was awarded a Lindbergh Foundation grant to support the Grow-a-Tree Program at Trees for Life International in Wichita, Kans., where she served for several years as a volunteer.
Anna is survived by sons, Raymond (Laurel) Phelps-Bowman, Rochester, Minn., Christopher (Tami) Bowman, South Bend, Ind., and Ugo (Julie) Okoro of Brookfield, Wis.; daughters, Kathryn (George) Goeddey, Carrollton, Alice (Bob) Hray, Joliet, Nancy (Butch Sr.) Stilwell, Springfield, and Carolyn Bowman, Rochester, Minn.; 16 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband, she was also preceded in death by four sisters and two brothers.
Private family ceremonies and interment were held at Camp Butler National Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Trees for Life International, 3006 W. St. Louis, Wichita, KS 67203 or www.treesforlife.org.
The family of Anna Ruth Bowman is being served by Kirlin-Egan & Butler Funeral Home, 900 S. Sixth St., Springfield.
Visit butlerfuneralhomes.com to offer condolences.