After living a life she described as heaven on earth, Enda Bowman, 100 years young, died July 27, 2019.
Enda Catherine Healy Bowman was born on March 16, 1919 to Irish immigrants Mike Healy and Abigail Bina (Harrington) Healy. The youngest of four children, she left for St. Mary’s Church the morning of her christening as Patricia Catherine Healy, returning an hour later as Enda Catherine Healy, all the result of a very persuasive priest who didn’t feel the Irish St. Enda was given enough attention
Always proud of her Irish heritage and her beloved Butte, Enda had a wonderful childhood growing up and spent lots of time camping, swimming and traveling with her family. She attended St. Mary’s grade school, graduating from Butte High School in 1936.
Enda credits the YMCA for her lifelong love with swimming and said she may even have been a nun but for the lack of opportunity to swim. (There is some doubt about that possibility!) Winning swimming and diving awards throughout her life, she finally hung up her bikini when at 98, much to her dismay, she belly flopped into Georgetown Lake.
Enda was the ultimate competitor. Loving all sports, she was a star softball player and pitched several no hitters. She participated in both basketball and volleyball leagues at the KC where her teams garnered many championships. It was there that she caught the eye of her future husband, Rich Bowman,
Rich gave her an engagement ring in front of the statue of Mary, and Enda said she felt Mary lent a hand in her great marriage. (We felt Dad may have had something to do with it as well.). Rich and Enda tied the knot on July 12, 1947, which was Orangemen’s Day, a celebration marking the victory of the Protestants over the Irish Catholics. Enda gave birth to their first of five daughters on St. Patrick’s Day in 1949, redeeming that questionable wedding date.
Enda began her work career at Commercial Credit and was later employed by Mountain Bell. After a break to raise her young family, she returned to work there and retired as Business Office Supervisor.
Enda loved to travel and could have a bag packed at the drop of a hat. Her many adventures included trips to Europe with her husband Dutch and friends Bernie and Betty Ann Harrington; to South America, Jamaica and through the Panama Canal with Dutch and friends; to Ireland, Alaska and New York with her daughters; on a special trip to Egypt and the Holy Land with niece Arlene Mclean and her husband Tim and daughter Tracy and many ElderHostel trips with friends. In an addendum to her will she added, “Being of sound mind, I’ve enjoyed spending your inheritance.”
Down the road would come 12 much adored grandchildren. She taught them all to play poker with nickel and dime loans from her stash, which she would promptly win back.
Enda delighted in the many great-grandchildren that followed. All adored her. She followed all of her grandchildren’s activities and this May she attended Special Olympics Montana summer games to cheer on grandson Matthew.
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Enda especially loved playing duplicate bridge where she formed many friendships and was so grateful to all who gave her rides or offered,when she could no longer drive, especially her dear friends Lucy Pesanti and Kab Salo.
Enda and Rich felt blessed to have many lifelong friends too numerous to mention. They were great entertainers and welcomed many to their home and the family cabin at Georgetown Lake. The cabin was a source of joy for the entire family, especially her children. After countless hours of cooking and cleaning for her children and their many friends, Enda was always a little relieved when the summer came to an end.
Faith was key to Enda’s life. She was a devout Catholic, leaning on her faith to see her through difficult times. She was especially devoted to the Virgin Mary. A rosary could be found almost anywhere she had been. Every night she would go through a prayer tree in her head, asking God’s blessing for many. She took great comfort in attending mass and had a secret crush on Father Tom Haffey.
Most of all Enda had a great sense of humor that was present in almost every aspect of her life.
Enda was preceded in death by husband, Rich; parents Mike and Bina, brother Emmet “Finny”; sisters and brothers-in-law Vonie and Binty O’Brien and Viv and Joe Keefe; nephews Tim Keefe and Dan O’Brien and great-grandson Ethan Frazier.
She is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Bonnie McGowan, Debbie Shea, Bina and Tom Eggensperger, Cherie and Tom Lyons and Maureen Bowman; her 12 grandchildren Molly (Jeff) Johnson, Casey McGowan, Courtnie (Pete) Shatwell; Amanda (Cameron) Lumsden, Quinn Shea, Kelsie (Luke) Frazier, Scott (Mariya) Eggensperger, Mark Eggensperger, Michael Lyons (fiance Stormie Keeler), Healy Lyons, Matthew Lyons and Erlan Bowman. She was GG (Great-Grandmother) to Payton Johnson, Kennedy and Kalen McGowan, Macy and Hudson Shatwell, Macken and Emery Lumsden, Jackson and Cooper Frazier and Sofia and Oliver Eggensperger. She is also survived by her dear nieces and nephews Arlene (Tim) McLean, Mick (Sharon), Jack and Pat (Sue) O’Brien and Lynn (Ralph) Guay along with many great nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Butte YMCA (or any place that teaches kids how to swim), Special Olympics Montana or the Butte Knights of Columbus.
The family would like to thank Doctors Pat McGree, Kirwan Webb, William Hull, Jessie Kautzman, Dixon Robison and their staffs. A special note of thanks to Frontier Hospice and Stacie Dwyer for the wonderful support, care and kindness shown to Enda.
Mom, you showed us how to live life with gusto and face death with courage, humility and humor. We love you far more than words can express, Looks like God finally remembered you,. Now it’s time to soar with the angels.
Friends may call on Thursday after 5:00 PM in the Duggan Dolan Mortuary Chapel. Parish Vigil will be recited at 6:00 PM. Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday at 11:00 am in St. Ann’s Catholic Church. Rite of Committal will follow in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery.