Virginia May Bowens
May 2, 1928 – August 22, 2018
Virginia May Bowens ascended from her earthly existence into the presence of kings and counselors on August 22, 2018. She was born Virginia May Newlin on May 2, 1928 in Jersey City, New Jersey to Henry and Annabelle (Wiles) Newlin. Her first seven years were spent in Ridgewood, New Jersey, a city close to New York City, where her father could commute to his engineering firm. Virginia had two older siblings, Lawrence and Margaret Ann, and a younger brother Bruce. At the untimely death of her father, in 1935, her mother moved the family to Sharon, Pennsylvania to live with her father Edward Wiles. When Virginia’s grandfather died in 1939, it was decided to move the family to California to provide a college opportunity for her older brother. They settled in Glendale, California where Virginia went to school, graduating from Glendale High School in 1946. Virginia married Patrick Riley in 1947 and had two children, Steven and Dennis Patrick. She spent much of her early adulthood being a mother. Virginia married Henry Bowens on Valentine’s Day in 1957, a loving marriage over four decades, having three more children, Lisa, Richard and Raymond. Always one to stay busy, Virginia worked periodically and volunteered extensively. She was the PTA president for the elementary school where her younger children attended and even coached a softball team. Henry and Virginia moved the family to Ventura in 1971. Virginia attended Ventura College for several years before settling in the school food services occupation. She worked for the Ventura Unified School District for years before becoming the Director of Food Services for Santa Paula Elementary School District in 1983. Virginia retired from that position in 1994. After retirement, Virginia lived a comfortable life while at the same time caring for her husband’s declining health. Henry passed away in 1998. Always one to volunteer, she became a docent with the Olivas Adobe Historical Interpreters and eventually served a term as its president. In early 2014, her health took a severe decline downward, as she struggled with debilitating dementia requiring constant monitoring and care. Even with dementia, Virginia’s personality was outgoing and determined until the very end of her life. She wanted to be involved in everyday things, such as dinner preparation, even if just stirring the gravy or mashing the potatoes or putting the dishes away. Virginia was preceded in death by her brother Lawrence and sister Margaret Ann. She is survived by all five of her children, her brother Bruce, son-in-law John Chapman (Lisa), daughter-in-law Grace Leyva-Bowens (Richard), six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Friday, September 7, 2018 at the Charles Carroll Funeral Home in Ventura.
- Virginia May Bowens Friday, September 7, 2018