Ursula Bowring

Obituary
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DURHAM — Ursula de Antonio Bowring died peacefully in her sleep on May 29, 201,2 at the age of 89, at the Somerby retirement home in Mt. Pleasant, S.C, where she had moved in March of 2012.

She was born Ursula Barbara de Antonio on March 8, 1923, and raised in Scranton, Penn. Ms. Bowring graduated from Barnard College in 1944 with a degree in economics and sociology. She moved to Washington D.C., where she worked for the U.S. Office of Price Administration and where she met James R. Bowring. They married in Scranton in September 1947.

The couple moved to Durham, where Ms. Bowring was active in town meetings and the local Democratic Party from 1955 to 1979. She served as Durham's Overseer of Public Welfare from 1966-1979. In her final report she wrote: "I especially want to thank everyone who ever applied for help from the town through my office. I know I learned more about courage and dignity and hope and faith from them than I will ever be able to appreciate." Ms. Bowring did graduate work in Philosophy at the University of New Hampshire, where she wrote a paper on Soren Kierkegaard that was still being handed out by faculty members in classes twenty years later. Ms. Bowring ran an unsuccessful campaign for the New Hampshire State Senate in 1970 with a platform including a broad-based tax. She hosted fundraisers for political candidates in her home including several presidential candidates. Ms. Bowring worked as the Executive director of the YWCA in Portsmouth from 1975-1977. She was a feminist and a longtime member of Seacoast National Organization for Women (NOW), and created and edited the "New Hampshire NOW Times." Known to many as "the turtle lady," Ms. Bowring raised and took loving care of her turtle, Homer, for more than 45 years.

Ms. Bowring moved to the Germantown section of Philadelphia in 1982 to take a job as assistant to Maggie Kuhn, the director of the Gray Panthers (1982-1984), and was active in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (1984-1994), where she served as national membership coordinator and organized a series of anti-racism workshops. Ms. Bowring was also active in Re-evaluation Counseling. Her ongoing commitment to women's health issues was reflected in the acknowledgment of her contributions to The New Our Bodies Ourselves, Ourselves Growing Older, and The New Ourselves Growing Older. As Ms. Bowring wrote in a letter to her Barnard classmates in 1994: "¿ how I live my life reflects how much I want a just and peaceful world."

Ms. Bowring was predeceased in 1980 by her former husband, Dr. James R. Bowring, a Professor of Resource Economics at the University of New Hampshire; by her brother, Emile De Antonio; her brother, Dr. Carlo de Antonio; and her twin sister, Angelina Beutner Joseph.

She is survived by three sisters; sister, Marie Louise of New York City (Cabrini Order), Eleanora de Antonio West of Oakland, Calif., and Josephine Bichler of Clarks Summit, Penn. She also leaves behind three sons and their spouses, James F. Bowring (Sharla Gould) of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Joseph E. Bowring (Muffy Siegel) of Philadelphia Penn., Samuel A. Bowring (Kristine) of Concord, Mass.; and a daughter, Margaret Ann Price and her spouse Trevor of Philadelphia, Penn. Ms Bowring had seven grandchildren, Dylann Gould-Bowring, Miriam and Andrea Bowring, Sara Henrick and Kelley Kintner, and Sara and Meghan Price.

Ms. Bowring will be remembered for her warmth, her outgoing nature, her intellectual curiosity, her passion for social justice, and her willingness to be provocative in support of her beliefs.

Services will be private.

If so moved, please make donations in honor of Ursula to the Women's Medical Fund, PO Box 40748, Philadelphia, Penn. 19107.

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Published in Fosters from June 9 to June 10, 2012