Clara M. Bowie

Clara Bowie, 82, of Carbondale, died at 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at the Shawnee Christian Nursing Center in Herrin.

She was born on Oct. 27, 1934, in Pisgah, Md., the daughter of Richard and Jenny Bowie.

She is survived by her daughters, Lydia (Arthur) Hazel of Makanda and Hope (Nathan) Silkwood of Carbondale; six grandchildren, Jessica Thomas, Sarah Dreppard, Sherry Taylor, Jim Ratcliffe, Tony Hazel and Christy Hazel; three great-grandchildren, Bella Thomas, Addison Thomas and Alyssa Phelps; one sister, Joan (Glen) Dichiera of Baltimore, Md.; other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers and two sisters.

Due to her increased vision loss from Retinitis Pigmentosa, she entered the Baltimore, Md., School for the Blind in 1947 and graduated in 1953.

Due to the generosity of the Indian Head, Md., Lions Club, she was able to attend the State Teachers College of Towson, Md., where she graduated with a bachelor of science degree in June of 1957, the first of her family to obtain a higher education.

She then worked as a rehabilitation teacher for the blind with the Illinois Department of Human Services, from which she resigned in 1958 upon marrying Alvin Roberts of Carbondale.

She spent the next 18 years as a homemaker, after which she returned to the work force in a variety of occupations, including food service manager in Springfield, management trainer in Chicago, IRS information specialist in Chicago, salesperson for Ann Morris Enterprises in Chicago and itinerant teacher of Braille for the Center for Independent Living in Carbondale.

During retirement, she became an accomplished writer, self-publishing books of poetry and personal memoirs, and freelancing as a columnist for various publications on health issues.

She committed her life to Christ at the age of 10, to whom she was ever faithful. She offered her beautiful singing voice in service to His church from that time forward. Up to her last months in the nursing home, she sang at the services there and for her roommates to help soothe their troubles during the night. Her greatest desire was to give glory to God for the sake of others in all that she did. She was a member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Cobden.

Funeral Mass for Clara M. Bowie will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 13, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Cobden, with Father Uriel Salamanca officiating. Interment will be in the Rowan Cemetery in Makanda.

Friends can call from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, May 12, at Rendleman & Hileman Funeral Home in Cobden. The Rosary will be said at 6:30 p.m.

Memorials can be made to the Lions Club.

To leave online condolences for the family, visit

Rendleman & Hileman Funeral Home in Cobden is in charge of arrangements.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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