Alice R. Bowman

Alice R. Bowman, 89, died at Maine Medical Center on August 7, 2011.

Alice was born on December 5th, 1921 on Chebeague Island, the daughter of James W. and Etta (Doughty) Ross Sr. and lived most of her life on Chebeague up until about 10 years ago when she moved to Portland.

She was predeceased by husband Stewart Townsend and David Bowman and her brother Emery R. Ross in 1962.

She is survived by her son Stewart (Buster) A. Townsend and his wife Linda of Portland. She is also survived by two brothers, James (Brother) Ross and his wife Sylvia and by Richard (Poochie) Ross and his wife Priscilla. Also a nephew, Gary Ross and two nieces, Beverly (Ross) Murray, and Barbara (Ross) Caldwell. She is also survived by her uncle Sanford Doughty and wife Mabel.

Alice loved the outdoors, picking berries, digging for relics and bottles and she combed beaches all over the world for seashells. She received an award from the Maine State Grange as a fifty year member. She was a member of the Chebeague United Methodist Church.

Her funeral was held at the Chebeague United Methodist Church on Thursday, August 11th, 2011 - Please see the SeaShell by Beverly Ross Murray and Aunt Alice by Barbara Ross Caldwell below.



Emery and Alice

The SeaShell

By Beverly Ross-Murray

Not much time would have to elapse while in the company of Aunt Alice, before one would learn of her great love of the outdoors and all of the wonderful things that can be experienced while exploring it. Her child-like wonder of all the things nature has to offer was a joy to behold and was certainly infectious.

Through the years, she spent incalculable hours tending her various flower and vegetable gardens and berry patches, joyfully picking the bounty before her, usually while wearing her “trademark” straw sun hat! She found great pleasure making goodies in her kitchen and was a wonderful cook and hostess. Another favorite
pastime she enjoyed was combing the many antique shops and shows along many miles of our nations highways and byways as she searched for that special and unique collectible. But it was outside in the warm sunshine where she seemed the most content and the most fulfilled.

Perhaps the most cherished memories of her that we all share, would be of her patiently combing the sun-drenched  beaches, either on the island or while wintering in Florida, searching the miles and miles of sand for those gloriously hued and uniquely shaped seashells! I believe among her most beloved “treasures” were her extensive and impressive shell collections and many of her most prized examples were always displayed on shelves or bookcases; in framed boxes and on windowsills and they moved with her as she traveled from one new home to the next.

I’m not sure how much of my love of seashells came from the excitement that Aunt Alice shared from her seashell quests or if it is an inherited family trait, but in either case, my sister and I got bit by the “shell bug” early on and we still consider beach combing among our most relaxing and enjoyable of pastimes.

It really wasn’t until her recent passing and our collective feelings of loss and sadness, that it dawned on me of the true benefit of a creatures shell and how much emphasis is placed on the outer appearance of the shell and yet  how, often times, we overlook the wonders of the creature who dwells inside it’s shiny casing. I can honestly say that when I am fortunate enough to find an eye-catching shell, with it’s unique color or texture or shape, I don’t give much thought about the living creature who once lived inside. What was it’s life like? How long was it’s life-span? How far did it travel during it’s time and did the shell become empty from it’s occupant “moving” to a larger space or did it provide food for something higher up on the food chain?

How often do we, too, put more emphasis on our outer shell and of those around us and sometimes overlook the beauty and goodness inside. Doesn’t the beauty of someone, truly come from our inner spirit?

Aunt Alice’s beauty was abundantly obvious, both inside and out. Her sparkling eyes, warm smile and neat-as-a-pin “shell” were part of her allure but equally as beautiful were her loving ways, her caring nature, her gentle and patient demeanor. She loved life and nature, her family, her pets and most definitely, her God. I am certain that while the lovely shell that we all will miss is gone, her true essence, her marvelous spirit, lives on forever in Heaven.  


AUNT ALICE - by Barbara Ross Caldwell

Aunt Alice always lived her life with a child like spirit of wonder and adventure. Having lost her mother at an early age, she took special care of her father James and 3 brothers. Her older brother Emery and her two younger brothers “Brother” Ross and my father “Poochie” Ross. Whenever their names were mentioned the deep love and pride for them showed on her face.
Married twice: First to Stewart Townsend and later to David Bowman, I know she loved them both dearly until her passing. Steward Townsend “Buster” her son, was the love of her life and she showered him with everything she had, ALWAYS and in ALL WAYS.

She was not only a WONDERFUL aunt to me, my sister and my cousin Gary, but I know, we would all agree, that she was also our childhood friend/playmate as well. She would affectionately refer to us as her “Little Stink Pots” and she always maintained such incredible patience with us. Such as, the time that Gary and my sister Beverly was enjoying bowls of soup that Aunt Alice had prepared and they insisted that she weigh them after every bite, to see if they had gained any weight! Keep in mind, those were the days before digital scales! I was always fascinated by her old pump organ and would often bang away on the keys to the annoyance of my cousins...all the while, aunt Alice would encourage me to keep playing and explain to them, that I was trying to find “the lost cord”!

She loved “TREASURE HUNTING” and what child regardless of age doesn't LOVE THAT! We went bottle digging, gold panning, rock hunting, seashell hunting, flower picking, berry gathering, Indian relic exploring and metal detecting...and when we weren't doing any of those things, we were sitting in the shade of her tree enjoying each others company, sipping iced tea and planning our next adventure, if only in our minds.

As an adult, with grown children of my own, I reflect on what a special gift she had, in giving time to a child and making thoughts and dreams seem magical and always attainable. I will greatly miss her and will look forward to the time when I see her again. I KNOW IN HER PASSING, SHE HAS NOW truly found the ULTIMATE TREASURE.