Kathleen Durst Bowman

June 6, 1913March 21, 2012

Kathleen Lenore Durst Bowman, a resident of Kirby Pines for 17 years, passed away on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at the age of 98. Kathleen was born an only child to the late Herman Hamilton Forcum and Nellie Bartlemay Forcum on June 6, 1913 in Oblong, IL. Kathleen graduated from Charleston High School in Illinois in 1931, received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Eastern Illinois State Teachers College in 1935, and her Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from the Graduate School of Memphis State University in 1970. She was a member of the LAMBDA Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, the International Honorary Teachers Society, the Tennessee Congress of Parents and Teachers, the Merry Makers, the Mother Chapter Order of De Molay, the English Meadows Garden Club, and Germantown Baptist Church. Kathleen retired from Principalship of Gardenview Elementary School in 1980. She was a passionate believer that education was a major force for good, and that education helps us to understand ourselves and each other. Her craft was the classroom, but her passion was people and unlocking their potential. Kathleen dedicated 45 years of her life to this passion, and her friends, family, former students, and fellow teachers and administrators will remember the best things about her: the intense spark of her creativity, her generous nature, her enthusiasm for people and education, and her compassion and concern for others. Kathleen was preceded in death by her parents, Herman and Nellie Forcum; her only son, Jon Franklin Durst; her first husband, Walter Franklin Durst; and her second husband, John Sanford Bowman. Kathleen is survived by a step son, Robert (Carol) Bowman; a stepdaughter, Deborah Howard; a daughter-in-law, Fay (Doug) Durst Misner; seven grandchildren: Cindy (Max) Durst Woodward, Katrina (Joe) Durst Rowan, Sharon (Jack) Durst Higginbotham, Jennifer (Jeff) Adams, Andy (Jenny) Bowman, Craig (Jamie) Bowman, Jonathan (Michelle) Bowman and Heather Lantz; and twelve great-grandchildren: Kelli (Conrad) Fountain, Jami (Johnny) Orgeron, Jessica Short, Jacklyn Higginbotham, Wyatt Bowman, Reilly Bowman, Nathan Bowman, Payton Bowman, Jenna Bowman, Megan Bowman, Logan Lantz, and Dylan Lantz. A viewing and memorial service will be held from 1-4 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, at Memphis Funeral Home on Poplar Avenue. Pastor Don Johnson will conduct the memorial service at 3 p.m. Burial will be held at Glenwood Cemetery in Shelbyville, IL on Saturday, March 31, at 10 a.m. The family would like to extend a special thanks to Jim and Becky Cathey of Germantown, TN, and Michelle Brown-Blanton of Cordova, TN for their enduring friendship, care and compassion. An additional thank you to Barry and the staff at Kirby Pines Manor for their loving care; and to Dr. John Adams, whose recent correspondence brought such joy and honor to Kathleen and confirmed her belief that she made a difference in the lives of the children she taught. Online condolences may be made at Memphis Funeral Home And Memorial Gardens 5599 Poplar Avenue 901-725-0100


  • Visitation Thursday, March 29, 2012
  • Funeral Service Thursday, March 29, 2012
  • Graveside Service Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kathleen Durst Bowman

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Sue Frost

April 7, 2012

I was a student at Gardenview, and was able to reconnect with Mrs. Durst a couple of years ago at Kirby Pines, while my mom was there, (Betty Frost)... I took Mrs Durst my year books and let her enjoy them... It was fun going down memory lane with her. Mrs. Durst and my mom were good friends.... Mrs. Durst lived a long life and touched many lives.... Bless you all...

Ginny Wiggins

April 4, 2012

I'm very sure I was the only person at Kay's service that had only know her less than 3 years. That's when we joined Germantown Baptist Church. She was on our list to visit at Kirby Pines. I visited her and we just clicked at our 1st meeting. She was a beautiful"Lady" and always had a smile for me. She and I both liked laughter. I would have loved to have known both of her husbands. I hear they also love laughter and fun. Try to remember:All of you- That which brings us sadness has once brought us joy--Also Grief is the price we pay for Love. Kay could not remember my name- so she called me the pretty lady, but I'm really known as Ginny Wiggins

Butch Hobbs

April 2, 2012

I am so sorry to hear about Mrs. Durst passing, she was a big influence on my life when I was in the 8th grade at Gardenview, we were the first class of Gardenview, I spent to much time in Mrs.Durst office, she would talk to me a lot, trying to help me become a better student...I think the world of her. She helped me a lot. I will never forget her. Sorry for the families loss. She was a great lady and principle...

March 30, 2012

Prior to becoming a teacher, I lived in the Gardenview community surrounding Gardenview Elementary. My son was a student there and I was on the P. T. A. board. Then, I was assigned to Gardenview my firsst year of teaching, knowing that I would be transferred to a non-integrated school the next year. In all my interactions with Kathleen Durst, she was a wonderful mentor and administrator. I admired her so much for her calmness and femininity; she was a lovely lady. May you find comfort in knowing she had a big influence on my life as a friend, a teacher, and later when I becane a principal.
Shirley W, Yarbrough
Dallas, Texas

Lisa Griffin Hicks

March 30, 2012

I was a student at Gardenview when my family tragically lost my Father. I will never forget the love and compassion Mrs. Durst showed my sister and I during that difficult time. The accident happened in the Spring but I remember Mrs. Durst calling over the Summer Break to check on us to see how we were doing.
Today I will be praying for everyone who will be feeling her loss.

March 30, 2012

Trina, Sharon & Cindy.....Im so very sorry to hear about MeMe. I know you all loved her so.....Thinking & praying for all of you !! Lauri

Gaye Lynne Webre

March 29, 2012

Katrina and Family, you are all in my thoughts and prayers. It is never easy losing someone regardless of age, however, it seems that she lived a long and prosperous life. May she rest in peace.

Ken Jones

March 29, 2012

I was a student at Gardenview for two years. It was during the turbulent early days of forced busing, but Mrs. Durst (as we called her then) still managed to keep things running smoothly. She was a nice lady, but we knew she would do her duty if we broke the rules. I was sorry to hear of her passing, but she did live a long and full life and had a great influence on many people.

Barbara Lafferty

March 29, 2012

Katrina-This is a beautifu memorial for a great lady who will shine down on her entire family daily. Barb