Eleanor Katherine Durham Bowes, died July 14 at Mass General Hospital in Boston.Born in Canton, MA on July 21, 1912, she was the daughter of the late John James and Eleanor Louise Draper Harris Durham, and the wife of the late John J. Bowes, Sr. Eleanor was a resident of Plympton, MA, and was the holder of the "Boston Post "cane as the oldest resident in the town.
Eleanor is survived by her brother Robert J. Durham of Stuart, FL, her children: John J. Bowes, Jr. of Oxford, MA, Jeanne M. Jones of Carver, MA, Richard L. Bowes of Cotuit, MA, Christine L. Romano of Plympton, MA, Kevin M. Bowes of Harrisburg, PA, five grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.She was also the sister of the late John and William Durham, Gladys Mehegan, Nina Weisse, and Harriet Weisse.
Mrs. Bowes was a former resident of Framingham, MA, Syracuse, NY, Rochester, NY, Williamsport, PA, Oxford, MA and long time resident of So. Dennis, MA for thirty-one years. She was a 1930 graduate of Canton High School. She was a secretary/stenographer, retiring as secretary to the superintendant of the Dennis-Yarmouth school systen. She had previously worked for the civil service office at the State House, Framingham State Teacher's College, and the US Army Natck Labs.
As a young woman, Eleanor grew up ice skating on the pond behind her house on Sherman St., in Canton, walking to Stoughton center for ice cream, exploring the Blue Hills, and enjoying the beach at Hummarock.
Eleanor was fascinated by automobiles and loved to drive.She first learned to drive in a Model "T" Ford. The first car she ever owned was a Model "A" Ford Roadster. On her 70th birthday, she bought a red convertible which she drove all over the Cape and far beyond.
She loved Cape Cod, and lived much of her life in South Dennis. She enjoyed walking Mayflower Beach, breakfasting at "Grumpy's" and shopping at all of the "Christmas Tree Shops". Eleanor's favorite holiday was Christmas . She would start shopping in January for presents for her family. On Christmas morning, the presents would be piled high and deep around the biggest tree that she could fit into her house.
She was an avid reader. She loved Zane Grey and stories about Native Americans. She had just recently finished reading, on her Kindle, "Empire of the Summer Moon", a book about Quanah Parker, the last chief of the Commanches.
Eleanor was a gracious and very proper lady in the old fashioned sense of the term, as were her sisters. Eleanor's world revolved around her children and family.She was always there to support, nurture, and encourage them in every aspect of their lives. She was devoted to her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Recently they had been planning to take Eleanor to the 99 Restaurant on July 21 to celebrate her 99th birthday.
She was a kind, caring, compassionate, non-judgemental woman with a special gift for being a good listener. She was always there to help and support anyone in need. Words cannot adequately describe what type of person Eleanor was, but it can truly be said that she was the best mother, wife, daughter, sister, grandmother, or great grandmother anyone could ever have. Eleanor will be greatly missed by her family and everyone who was blessed to have known her. Her spirit and memory will never be forgotten.
She died peacefully surrounded by her family after a short illness. There were private services attended only by her immediate family as per her wishes. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated in her honor at a date to be determined in the future. Memorial donations in Eleanor's memory may be made to the Cape Cod Visiting Nurse Assoc.