Madison - Carol, the second daughter of Bernard and Fern Bowen, was born on September 22, 1946, in Cherokee, Iowa, where she spent her first fifteen years. When she and her mother moved to Iowa City, a new world blossomed, shaping her for life. Music, politics, intellectual currents, creative energy, all of which nurtured passions that came early and easily to her
She began singing as soon as she could speak and started piano lessons at four; she had near-perfect pitch and could recall and sing long, leaping, chromatic melodies with unerring and astonishing accuracy. She sang in choirs at St. Olaf and the U of Iowa, and, even after Alzheimer's robbed her of so much, sang with a pure, sweet precision.
Passions ran through her life: in high school, world folk music; then the Beatles. Later, classical music and reading: Austen, contemporary fiction, and literally, every Agatha Christie, some read more than once.
Her commitment to public service came with the advent of John F. Kennedy and modern civil rights. The common denominator: fair treatment for all. If one quality marked Carol, it was an unwavering sense of fair play. All her life, she was an active voter, a believer in social justice.
Her other passions include organic gardening, adventurous recipes, decorative arts (painted eggs, paisley and floral prints, artisan pottery), Sting, basketry, X-Files and Millennium, BBC dramas, sci-fi TV and movies, mint tea, Sunday drives and driving, maps (which she collected and memorized), sandhill and whooping cranes, Native American histories and languages, and, the joy of her life, cats, Schwartz and Leroy, always admiring each cat's stubborn independence, not unlike her own.
Carol worked a variety of jobs--in offices, hospitals, college classrooms, and, for seventeen years, as an education program assistant at UW Arboretum, a job she loved. She earned a B.A and M.A. in English and did Ph.D. studies in Educational Psychology. She edited several publications and wrote three novels.
Her friends Lu and Pat remember Carol for her loyalty, high spirits, and their many road trips.
She is survived by her children, Sarah (Dave Goldschmidt) and Aaron (Amber Edgerton), her grandchildren, Isabel, Katy, Paul, and Ben, and her husband of 53 years, Larry. They celebrate her singing, wisdom, gentle ways, and love of cats.
Carol died on the morning of November 12, 2021, nine days before the death of Judy, her beloved sister, in 1970.
Memorial contributions can be made to the U.W. Arboretum, the Audubon Society, or Alzheimer's research.
To send flowers to Carol's family, please visit our floral store.