LENA CATHERINE BOWIE
December 1, 1937 – February 3, 2024
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the unexpected passing of Lena Bowie on February 3, 2024 at the Grace Hospital.
Lena was the beloved wife of James (Ron) Bowie (deceased), wonderful mother to Lena (David) and Keith (Irene) and devoted nanny to Geoffrey (Dayna), Hannah (Florent), Dylan (Maddy) and great grandchildren Louie and Charlotte.
Lena was born in Rangoon, Myanmar/Burma in 1937. As a young child she travelled throughout Egypt and India with her parents, before being sent back to Aberdeen, Scotland during WWII to attend school as a boarding student. She met her husband Ron while they were both on school hiking trips up in the Highlands. Dad had just started medical school at the University of Aberdeen and mom was finishing her last year at Albyn School. Their love blossomed and they were married a few years later in the summer of 1961. Shortly after, they left Aberdeen as dad had accepted a medical position at the Norwich Hospital in Norfolk, England. They quickly started their family having both Lena and Keith while in Norwich. Mom also got her first Golden Retriever. The whole family immigrated to Winnipeg in March of 1967, as dad had now been hired by the Rehabilitation Hospital at the Health Sciences Centre.
Mom was always there to support dad’s medical career and in turn, dad assisted with her love of golden retrievers (it helped that he was an avid upland game hunter). Throughout the 70’s and early 80’s, mom was very involved in the training and breeding of her beautiful Goldens, and imported two additional dogs from England to enhance the local breeding stock here in Winnipeg. At one time in their very traditional River Heights home, there were as many Goldens as people living there.
Mom’s love of animals continued throughout her life, and she was her daughter Lena’s biggest supporter when it came to her love of horses and the showing of various dog breeds. Mom became Lena’s personal chauffeur, driving Lena as a child out to the barn for riding lessons, then to training and daily upkeep of her very own horse, and eventually to weekend events and horse shows. Later when mom became a nanny, she often volunteered to babysit her grandchildren so that their mom could continue showing her dogs.
Mom was always encouraging her son Keith’s various pursuits which included rugby tours of Europe, his insatiable desire for collecting vintage audio equipment and his entrepreneurial spirit that continues to this day. After dad passed away, Keith took it upon himself to look after mom. Moving into the family home, Keith was the reason mom could be there until the end of her life. As her dementia worsened over the past few years, Keith assumed many responsibilities that ensured her wellbeing and the ability to remain at her home.
One of mom’s greatest loves was the family cottage at Moose Lake. Initially renting, they bought a cottage in 1973 and treasured their view of the lake and evening sunsets. With an ever expanding family, they enjoyed their addition of the “East Wing”. Mom loved the sounds of nature outside her wee porch, while always savouring a cup of tea and reading a good book.
The final years for mom were not easy as she declined both mentally and physically due to her dementia. Nevertheless, she enjoyed visits with her family and her special wee ones “Louie and Charlotte”. She will forever be in our hearts.
As per her request, there will be no funeral or memorial service. Should people desire to make a donation in her memory, mom would have loved any support to go to the Winnipeg Humane Society.
Lena’s family kindly requests that all of her friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour her memory by sharing photos, memories, and stories, using the comment section on this page.
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