HENDERSON — Phyllis Anitra Collinge Bowden passed away peacefully and entered into the presence of the Lord on May 10, 2023 at the age of 93.
Phyllis was born in Hackensack, New Jersey on December 4, 1929, to the late Ambrose Austin Collinge and Edna Katherine Reineke Collinge. She grew up in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where she attended Winthrop Training School. She received her undergraduate degree at age 20 from Winthrop College with a major in piano performance. Phyllis then began her piano teaching career at the N.C. School for the Blind in Raleigh, where she taught Ronnie Milsap, among many others.
While in Raleigh she met Marshall Bowden, who was a student at NC State University, and they were married in June 1952. The young couple lived in Yadkinville for twelve years, then moved to Henderson. Phyllis taught piano in the Henderson Schools and then privately for over twenty years. Phyllis also formed a group of high school girls, “Five Girls,” who sang at churches and in the community.
Following retirement, Phyllis and Marshall moved to Greensboro to be closer to family living in the area. They joined Westover Church and were active members for many years until their health declined. In September of 2020, they became residents of Mebane Ridge Assisted Living Facility. Phyllis later moved to Croasdaile Village in Durham, where she received outstanding care. Church members faithfully sent cards to Phyllis after she no longer resided in Greensboro.
Phyllis’s desire for her children to know God’s Word led to her requiring each of them to memorize Scripture through the Bible Memory Association. She modeled this for them by also doing her own program.
Phyllis is survived by one son, David Bowden (Donna) of Bloomington, Indiana; three daughters, Joy Emery (Daryl) of Raleigh, Rose Anne Freed (Ben) of Lexington, Kentucky and Kathy Alberti (Andy) of Mebane; seven cherished grandchildren: Kirsten, Kristi, Rachel, Matt, Claire, Anna and Andrew and ten precious great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 68 years, Robert Marshall Bowden and her two brothers, Robert Collinge and Ken Collinge,
Phyllis had an enormous passion for sharing Christ with others, especially with children. As a young mother in Yadkinville she invited neighborhood children into her home for weekly “Good News Clubs” where she shared Jesus’s love and Biblical truths with them (and their parents) using material of Child Evangelism Fellowship. She continued to support this organization throughout her life.
A graveside service was Saturday at Forsyth Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Bible Broadcasting Network or to Child Evangelism Fellowship — Greater Greensboro Area.
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