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Published: Sunday, 1/21/2007

Teacher put respect for students 1st

SPENCERVILLE, Ohio - Patricia R. Bowers, 77, a retired teacher, died of lung cancer Wednesday in her home here.

Mrs. Bowers' education career spanned 30 years.

She retired in 1994 from Franklin Elementary School, Delphos, Ohio, where she had been a special education teacher since 1969.

Before that, she was a kindergarten teacher and special education teacher from 1963 to 1969 at schools in Spencerville, in southwest Allen County.

She worked for five years in the cash office of the Meijer store in Lima, retiring in 1999.

"The most important thing to her as a teacher was to [make sure] that those [special education] students are respected and that nothing gets in the way of them getting to do what they wanted to do in their lives," her daughter Cristine Christman said.

"And she always was positive with the children. And she would always come up with new ideas how to help them. And she was always eager to share her ideas with other teachers," said her other daughter, Connie Shippy, who also is a teacher.

A native of Ashtabula, Ohio, Mrs. Bowers, whose maiden name was Harrison, was reared in Lima, where she graduated in 1947 from Central High School.

She later got her bachelor's degree from Ohio Northern University in Ada, and her master's degree from Wright State University, both in education.

In 1949, she married Harold W. Bowers. He died in 1997.

In her free time, she enjoyed camping and crocheting.

Her memberships included Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6772 Auxiliary, Spencerville, and the Ohio Education Association.

Surviving are her sons, Duane Bowers and Greg Bowers; daughters, Connie Shippy and Cristine Christman; a sister, Lynn Palmer; 10 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Thomas E. Bayliff Funeral Home, Spencerville, where visitation will be after 2 p.m. today.

The family suggests tributes to any fund established for special education.

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