Martha  Bowers

Obituary of Martha D. Bowers

Martha Jane Bowers (nee Duncan), age 101, a native of Daviess County, Ky., and resident of Frankfort since 1955, died on May 9 at a Shelbyville skilled-care nursing home from complications resulting from an injury suffered in an early-March fall in her apartment at a Frankfort assisted-living/personal care home. She had entered the nursing home after being hospitalized in Frankfort for treatment of her injury. Martha and her husband, Charles C. “Charlie” Bowers, who died in 2013, were 47-year residents of Frankfort’s Indian Hills neighborhood before moving to the city’s Morning Pointe (then named The Neighborhood) assisted living home in 2006. She was born July 12, 1922 in her grandmother’s home in the Bethlehem community near Owensboro. Her father, Thixton Duncan, was a farmer; her mother, Luella Duncan (nee Thompson) was a life-long homemaker and well-known Owensboro-area seamstress and craftsperson, passions she passed on to her daughter.

Martha was a 1940 graduate of Daviess County High School and co-valedictorian of her senior class. She graduated from Owensboro Business College and began her working years in the accounting offices at Owensboro Milling Co. and Texas Gas Transmission Co.

Martha and Charlie, who was a native of El Paso Tex., a Texas A&M University graduate, and a field fisheries biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources in the Owensboro area, shared a passion for photography and first met in 1950 at the local YMCA camera club. They married on Jan. 17, 1953 and moved to Frankfort two years later when he was transferred to Fish & Wildlife’s Frankfort main operations center. He was director of the Fisheries Division for more than 10 years before he and Martha retired in 1981.

Martha worked as a legal secretary in Kentucky state government for 25 years, first in the Department of Highways, then the Revenue Department, and finally the Office of the Attorney General. She was a decades-long member of the Frankfort Business and Professional Women’s Club of which she served as president among other offices.

Martha’s passion for flowers found an outlet in the Capital City Garden Club. She held several offices in the club, notably as publicity chairperson for 13 years. She was proud of having been named the top publicity chairperson among Kentucky’s garden clubs in 2006. Martha often credited former Frankfort State Journal reporter and editor Phillip Case’s copy editing of her articles for their being award winners. The local garden club honored her achievement by planting a southern magnolia tree with an engraved plaque at its base at Frankfort’s Thornhill Learning Center. After Martha retired from Kentucky state government, she and Charlie turned hobbies into large-scale crafting that included jewelry, belt buckles, artificial floral arrangements and wreaths, women’s hats, and decorative display figures. They sold their creations at central Kentucky craft shows and through Frankfort gift and florist shops throughout the 1980s-1990s. Flowery women’s Kentucky Derby hats

were one of Martha’s specialties. After the couple moved to the Frankfort Morning Pointe. Martha regularly created floral centerpieces for the facility’s dining and other common-area tables for more than a decade and became referred to among residents as “The Flower Lady.” During annual Kentucky Derby week activities she assisted the women residents in their creating Derby hats for years until her increasingly arthritic hands interfered. Martha’s nickname “The Hat Lady” was established in a part of the Frankfort community before her Morning Pointe days. She and Charlie became members of Frankfort First United Methodist Church in 1955. Over the years, it became common among other members at Sunday morning services to watch for the couple’s arm-in-arm arrival, both in Sunday best, Martha wearing different colorful, stylish hats, many of her own design and making.

Martha and Charlie had no children, but over the years adopted numerous cats, all of which they spoiled, the last two – appropriately named Orange Kitty and Black Cat -- accompanying them to Morning Pointe. Martha is survived by long-time friends and AIF managers of her affairs. Joseph and Mary Ann Burgess of Frankfort, who were next-door neighbors for 35 years, and long-time friends Terry Stratton and Marti Honick of Lawrenceburg. All other close friends in Kentucky and other states predeceased her. She has distant cousins with whom she had no contact or lost contact over decades.

Martha’s funeral service is scheduled for 1:00 pm on Wednesday, May 15 at Clark Legacy Center, 3000 Versailles Road, Frankfort, with visitation preceding at the Center from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Interment will be beside Charlie in the adjacent Sunset Memorial Gardens with a brief graveside commitment.

The service is to be led by the Rev. Tonya Kenner, First United Methodist Church’s minister of Christian education. Honorary pallbearers are Patricia Smith, Cathy Carter, Margie Moore, Marti Honick, and Terry Stratton. Friends who wish to do so may donate a memorial gift in honor of Martha to Frankfort First United Church (Building Fund), 211 West Washington Street, Frankfort, KY 40601.

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Wednesday
15
May

Visitation

11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Wednesday, May 15, 2024
Clark Legacy Center - Frankfort
3000 Versailles Rd
Frankfort, Kentucky, United States
5026958811
Wednesday
15
May

Funeral Service

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Wednesday, May 15, 2024
Clark Legacy Center - Frankfort
3000 Versailles Rd
Frankfort, Kentucky, United States
5026958811
Wednesday
15
May

Burial

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Wednesday, May 15, 2024
Sunset Memorial Gardens
3250 Versailles Rd
Frankfort, Kentucky, United States
(502)695-3023
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