Send a Sympathy Card
Friday, September 15, 2023
Starts at 1:00pm (Eastern time)
Susan Pamela (Willis) Bowers
January 27, 1944 — September 4, 2023
Susan Pamela Bowers, 79, mother of Jennifer Pamela Bowers, passed away peacefully on September 4, 2023. A long-term resident of The Sheldrake Apartments in Wayne, she left behind family and friends whose lives she enriched with her laughter, her hospitality, her chef-level culinary skills, and above all, her kind, giving nature. Quite simply, she made the world a better place.
Susan’s love of nature came naturally. The eldest daughter of Burton and Rowena Willis, she was raised at Meadowcroft, a former dairy farm in Westtown, PA. She enjoyed sharing her memories of those years, as she did of their summers in Cape May, New Jersey. She maintained a strong connection to the seashore throughout her life, spending weekends with the family in Ocean City and Cape May, and in later years, joining her college sorority sisters for an annual beachside getaway in Avalon.
Susan had an industrious nature, and whether at home or in the workplace, she brought a creative eye and a good-natured determination to any responsibility she undertook. As a mother, she used her gifts to provide an environment where learning was fun and life was rich with possibilities. To know Jennifer is to see the fruits of her parenting.
While home and family were always priorities, Susan had a steady and varied career in the workplace. After graduating with honors from Penn State University with a BS in merchandising and a minor in interior design, she accepted a position with the John Wanamaker department store in Philadelphia, where she rose through the ranks, first as manager of the children’s department in the Wynnewood branch, and then as assistant buyer in the boys department of the main store. She was on track for a buyer’s position, but chose to suspend her career to begin a family.
In 1976, she started an interior design and decorating business, developing accounts at every major showroom in Philadelphia's Marketplace. Included among the residential and commercial projects completed were the Boker Dining Room and Ladies Lounge at The Union League of Philadelphia.
Beginning in the 1990s, Susan returned to retail, offering her creative, problem-solving strengths at Anthropologie, Waterloo Gardens, and, from 2000 until her retirement in 2008, Valley Forge Flowers in Spread Eagle Village, where she is remembered for her contagious laugh and as one colleague put it, “always being up for an adventure.”
Volunteering was a priority throughout Susan’s life. She offered her time and energy to a long and varied list of organizations, including the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Timothy School for Autistic Children, Meals on Wheels, the Radnor School System, St. David’s Episcopal Church, and Kappa Alpha Theta, her college sorority, where she served as Philadelphia Alumnae Service Chairman.
In addition to her daughter, Susan Bowers is survived by her former husband, John Dallas Bowers; her sister Jill and her sons, Burton and Ron; her cousin Barbara Bowers and husband, E. Stanley Bowers, III, their children Stan Bowers, IV and Barbara Ward, as well as their children, Thomas Ward, and Quintin and Bridget Bowers.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, September 15, 2023 in Susan’s beloved “Little Church” at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Wayne, PA. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Ardmore Food Pantry https://www.stmarysardmore.org/Ardmore-Food-Pantry or the Chanticleer Foundation https://www.chanticleergarden.org/ are invited.