Evan F.J. Bowers

[ Age 97 ] Educator was Carroll County's first middle school supervisor, co-founder of Maryland Middle School Association

October 17, 2006|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN REPORTER

Evan Fisher Joseph Bowers, retired supervisor of Carroll County middle schools and a co-founder of the Maryland Middle School Association, died of pneumonia Thursday at Carroll Hospital Center. The Sykesville resident was 97.

Mr. Bowers was born in Linwood and was raised there and on his family's farm near Westminster. He was a 1926 graduate of Westminster High School and, in 1928, the old Towson Normal School.

He earned a bachelor's degree from Western Maryland College, now McDaniel College, and a master's in education from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Mr. Bowers, who was known as Joe, began his career in 1931 teaching mathematics at Westminster Elementary School. From 1935 to 1939, he was principal there, and from 1949 to 1960 at the former Sykesville School, which had kindergarten through grade 12.

In 1960, Mr. Bowers was named supervisor of elementary and high schools in Carroll, and in 1968 became the system's first supervisor of middle schools. He retired in 1974.

"A person's success on the job is defined by their interpersonal relationships, and Joe was good at that," said William R. Ecker, retired superintendent of Caroline County public schools, who first met Mr. Bowers when he was principal of Westminster Elementary School and Mr. Ecker was a student.

"He was also a tremendous recruiter for the system, and he and his wife together were a great recruiting team. They'd visit college campuses and tell students what a great place Carroll County was to teach and live," he said.

"Teachers and administrators always treated him with great respect. He was very caring and understood people," said Larry L. Houser, retired supervisor of math for the Carroll schools. "I considered him to be a mentor, and one time he gave me a plaque that said: `Being a good boss is being able to step on someone's toes without messing up the shine.'"

Mr. Bowers was a founder in the late 1960s of the Maryland Middle School Association. He was a member of the National Educational Association, Maryland State Teachers Association and Carroll County Retired Teachers Association.

A former Westminster resident, he moved to the Fairhaven Retirement Community in Sykesville in 1997. He remained active, and two years ago completed an unpublished history of middle schools in Carroll County.

He had been active for many years with Boy Scout Troop 321, and many other community organizations. He had been a founder and member of the Sykesville Community Planning Council and was a past president of the Sykesville Rotary Club. Active in Masonic affairs, he was a member for 60 years of Door to Virtue Lodge 46, and member of Boumi Temple.

Mr. Bowers was a member and former president of the board of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Sykesville.

He enjoyed photography, bridge and travel.

His wife of 57 years, the former Molly Wheatley, a retired Carroll County reading teacher, died in 1996.

Services for Mr. Bower were held yesterday.

Surviving are a daughter, Sharon B. Porter of Cottonwood, Ariz., and a grandson.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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