Our beautiful and loving mother and sister, Elizabeth (“Liz”), was born on June 28, 1928, in Peetz, Colorado, to Leroy and Clara Bowlin. She was the third oldest of nine brothers and sisters.
The family moved to Escondido, California, when Liz was 12. After high school graduation in Escondido, she worked at various jobs until meeting Gary Wimberley through her brother Gene Bowlin, a fellow sailor in World War II. Liz and Gary corresponded for two years and were married in 1947.
The couple then moved to Church Point, Louisiana and began their family in 1948. In 1954 they relocated the family to Brookings. Liz and Gary had five sons: Don, Gary, Ron, Brian and John and five daughters: Mary, Joan, Karen, Robin and Susan. The twins, Mary and Gary passed away at birth.
The couple worked together to run Brookside Nursery and later Brookside Construction, with Liz managing the accounting and business throughout the time they owned the company. Liz served on the Chetco Credit Union Supervisory Committee for 15 years in the early days of the credit union.
She was also an active member of the Brookings Soroptimist club, a local chapter of the international volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls, both locally and around the world. Additionally she served a den mother for the Boy Scouts for a number of years.
While Liz worked hard helping to manage the businesses and perform community service, her life’s devotion was her family and Catholic faith.
Liz regularly attended mass and was a faithful parishioner at Star of the Sea Catholic Church since 1954. She was an Altar Society member and taught catechism to first graders.
The highlight of every catechetical program included a special theatrical production written and produced by Liz and performed by her students for their parents and the parish community.
Liz volunteered her time and talents to many individuals needing help and assistance within and outside the church, including years of service with the Oregon Coast Community Action that supports children’s programs and emergency services for the Southern Oregon Coast. Liz was always there to lend a hand, provide a meal and help anyone in need.
Liz was a skilled cook and baker, often referred to as the “Kitchen Engineer.” No one ever left her house without cookies, a jar of homemade jam or zucchini relish, or a bag of the latest produce from the garden. She reveled in her kitchen and was renowned for her southern-fried chicken and Thursday morning pancakes. Coffee times with home-baked goodies, cinnamon rolls or bread were a highlight for family and friends.
Everyone in her life was graced with her love to serve and wonderful food, including delivery men, the home health nurses, neighbors, and out-of-town guests. Liz also enjoyed hosting friends and family for dice parties where the competition and laughter would roll late into the night.
After retirement, Liz and Gary traveled annually to Mexico with her brother Bob Bowlin to enjoy the warm weather and beautiful seashore. Many family members visited them in Cabo San Lucas to share the fun and rich memories.
Liz’s devout faith in her Catholic religion helped instill in her the values of a loving and humble existence. She enjoyed life and brought that joy to all who were fortunate to share a moment with her. She will be missed by many, but none so much as her children, who never doubted that were loved wholeheartedly and could count on her in good times and in bad.
The Lord summoned our precious mother on Feb. 7, 2018. She was preceded in death by her husband Gary; her parents Leroy and Clara Bowlin; sisters Valerie Bowlin, and Margaret Steinmetz; and children Mary, Gary and Brian Wimberley; daughter-in-law Elissa Wimberley and grandson Brent Wimberley.
She is survived by her sons Don, Ron and John Wimberley; daughters Joan Seda, Karen Megorden (Randy), Robin Sanders (Kolin) and Susan Wimberley-Glazebrook (Marty). Also surviving are grandchildren Kent (Brittney) and Michelle Wimberley, Brandon and Lacey Megorden, Kyle, Scott (Sarah) and Jaime Sanders and Patrick Shannon (Jen); and great-grandchildren Zane Wimberley and Reagan and Kennedy, Shannon and Nolan Sanders.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, at the Star of the Sea Catholic Church at 820 Old County Road in Brookings, with a rosary preceding it at 8:30 a.m. for those wishing to attend. Interment will follow at Ward Memorial Cemetery. A luncheon will be served next at the Star of the Sea Hall, adjacent to the church.
The family requests no flowers, but gifts to Star of the Sea Catholic Church may be made in Liz’s honor by those who wish to donate.
Redwood Memorial Chapel is assisting the family. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family online at www.redwoodmemorial.net.
Submitted by Redwood Memorial Chapel.