Mary Frances Snelling Bowlan of Commerce died February 16, 2013.
Mrs. Bowlan was born July 24, 1929 in Wilkes County, Georgia. She was the youngest of seven children of Edwin David Snelling and Dora Brooks Snelling. Mrs. Bowlan is survived by her sisters, Edna Snelling Thigpen, of Doraville, GA, and Annie Ruth Snelling of Commerce, and by numerous nieces and nephews. Mrs. Bowlan was predeceased by her husband, Thomas Guy Bowlan, sister, Minnie Lee Biddix, and brothers, Harold Eugene Snelling, Edwin Rudolph Snelling, and Thomas Jefferson Snelling.
After her graduation from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Mrs. Bowlan resided in Washington, D.C. where she had an illustrious career of over twenty-five years with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). After her retirement and move to Commerce, Mrs. Bowlan actively participated in Commerce's civic and community affairs. She was a long-standing member of Commerce Presbyterian Church where she served as an Elder, Clerk of Session, a member of the choir, and a member of Presbyterian Women. Among her many contributions to Commerce, Mrs. Bowlan was a pivotal force in the city's purchase and restoration of the former Commerce Presbyterian Church and spearheaded its transformation as the current Commerce Cultural Center. Mrs. Bowlan was a founding member of the Downtown Development Authority Board of Trustees, and she served on the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) panel for Jackson County. She was a member of the Study Club, the Pinetree Garden Club, Commerce Friends of the Library, and a volunteer for the local Meals on Wheels organization. Well known for her love of people, gardening, gourmet cooking, music, art, and books, Mrs. Bowlan's home was a frequent gathering spot for family and friends. She was a devoted wife, sister, aunt, and friend.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in her memory to the Commerce Presbyterian Church Building Fund, Commerce Presbyterian Church, P. O. Box 177, Commerce, GA 30529.
Family will receive visitors at Ivie Funeral Home in Commerce, GA from 3:00