Laura Bowman

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CHICAGO — Memorial services for Laura West Bowman, 73, of Chicago, who died Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010, in Chicago, were Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, at United Church of Hyde Park.

Laura was born Sept. 26, 1937, in Stanton, the second child of Sam and Elodie West. She was a 1955 graduate of McDonogh 35 Senior High School in Orleans Parish, New Orleans. She received a bachelor of science degree in education from Illinois Teachers College in 1966, and a master of science degree in education from Chicago State in 1976. Also, while attending Chicago State she was inducted into Phi Delta Kappa.

Laura began her teaching career with the Chicago Board of Education, teaching at Murry School. She also taught at Kozminski Bradwell, Park Manor and Swift. She retired in 1993 due to health problems.

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Laura was presented the United Negro College Meritorious Service Award June 9, 1989, in appreciation of distinguished volunteer services. She continued to make an investment in the development of human potential through the United Negro College Fund’s “Dollars for Scholars” club for a number of years. In addition to a number of interests, reading, swimming and theater, her greatest love was traveling. She and Valcar traveled Morocco, Japan, China, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Hong Kong and Mexico.

Laura received a certificate of ordination as a deacon of her church Jan. 31, 1993. In May 2003, she completed a Stephen Ministry Leadership course in St. Louis. Upon returning to Chicago she continued to visit church members living at Montgomery Place. She also enjoyed getting on the CTA bus, riding downtown and simply walking around downtown, indoors and out.

She was preceded in death by her parents; one aunt, Cordelia Alindao; her first husband, William Washington; her second husband, Valcar Bowman; two sisters, Joyce and Gladys West; and one brother, Addis West.

Survivors include five sons, Anthony Washington and wife, Ava, Michael Washington and wife, Brenda, Billy, Bobby and Sammy Washington; three granddaughters, Najah Muhammad, Khadeejah Muhammad and Kenya Conley; two grandsons, Kenji Conley and wife, Tiana, and Mikal Muhammad; one great-grandson, Ronald Jalani Williams, all of Chicago; five brothers, A.J., Plez and Phillip West, all of Natchez, Esaw West and wife, Gladys, and Charles West and wife, Lillian, all of Chicago; three sisters, Katie West of Natchez, Deloris Rollins of San Antonio, Texas and Brenda Scott of Houston, Texas; one sister-in-law, Patricia West of Natchez; two aunts, Willie Mae Robinson of Natchez and Mildred James of New Orleans; two uncles, Issac Washington of Cleveland, Ohio and Edward Washington of Los Angeles; and a number of nieces, nephews and cousins.