STEVENS POINT -- Sherin Rose Bowen, 71, Stevens Point, passed into eternity late Friday, March 20, 2009, at St. Luke's Hospital, Milwaukee, following a head injury sustained in Managua, Nicaragua, five days previous.
Sherin was born Feb. 28, 1938, in Medford to Arthur and June Schneider. Following her father's untimely death, her mother, June, married Herman Lemke. She attended the one-room Thielke School and graduated from Medford High School in 1956, after which she was employed by Rural Farm Insurance in Madison.
She was married to Robert Orville Bowen of Curtiss on Dec. 29, 1956, in Medford and they resided in Madison until Robert's graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1958. They subsequently moved to Milwaukee where her husband taught at Granville-Brown Deer High School. In 1966, Sherin, Bob and their three young children moved to Stevens Point to become a part of the UW-Stevens Point community.
Over a period of nearly two decades, Sherin devoted herself to raising four children, Robert Jr., Bryan, Elizabeth and Amy.
From 1969 to 1971, the family resided in Bloomington, Ind., where her husband attended graduate school and Sherin embarked on a fiber (knitting, etc.) teaching career that has remained her lifelong passion and also provided financial support to the "student based" family.
Sherin and her family returned to Stevens Point in 1971, where Robert assumed a professorship in health education at UWSP. Throughout this time, she and her husband, Bob, were active members of St. Paul's United Methodist Church.
In 1973, the family settled at what would become known as Rocky Ridge Farm on North Second Drive, a place that provided an expression for her many creative interests including picture framing, 4-H leadership, raising sheep and spinning, weaving and knitting.
After graduating from the Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program, she traveled to China, which gave her a new vision for international development. She and her husband Bob later led and coordinated Semester Abroad programs for students at UWSP. She also led a Rotary leadership tour to Argentina. These experiences inspired her to pursue a bachelor's degree in international development that she received in 1991.
She assumed the executive director position with Wisconsin Nicaragua Partners (WNP) in 1992. She brought organization, passion and volunteer involvement to the organization over the next 15 years, encouraging the development of more than 100 Nicaraguan learning centers.
In 2001, she received the UWSP Distinguished Alumni award for her significant international development achievements. In 1995, she attempted semi-retirement to pursue knitting and the development of the family retreat on Lake Esadore near Medford. Even though retired, she continued to play an active role in WNP, assisting her daughter, Amy, who is the current program director.
To the very end, she gave so much of herself to others whether it was to her family or the people of Nicaragua who she loved so dearly.
She is survived by her husband, Bob Sr.; her children, Bob Jr., Bryan, Beth (Smith) and Amy (Wiza); her mother, June Lemke; her two brothers, David (Shirley) Lemke of Medford and Russ (Marlene) Lemke; and 12 grandchildren.
Visitation will be at Woodlands Church Chapel from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday evening, and again on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. A memorial service will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday at Woodlands Church, Plover.
A Web site is available at www.sherinbowen.com for online condolences.