Carole Marlene Altvater was born in a rowhouse on Pulaski Street and attended Western High School. She later moved to Catonsville and graduated from Catonsville High School in 1948.
During the late 1940s and 1950s, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington.
Mrs. Bowen came to St. Agnes Hospital in 1969 when she was named assistant director of volunteer services.
"She did a terrific job recruiting youngsters to be junior volunteers at St. Agnes and over the years introduced hundreds of young people to health care careers," said George J. Moniodis, a longtime friend, who retired in 2003 as director of government affairs for the Southwest Baltimore hospital.
Mrs. Bowen reached out to students at Mount DeSales Academy, Seton Keough High School, Catonsville and Lansdowne high schools, Mount St. Joseph High School, Cardinal Gibbons High School and Howard County public school students, Mr. Moniodis said.
"She was a delightfully upbeat person. I worked four summers for her during the 1970s, when I was in high school, and she made me want to go into nursing," said Christine A. Gormley, a registered nurse with Omni Health Services in Elkridge.
"She was like a second mother to me and reached out to everybody," Mrs. Gormley said.
In 1986, Mrs. Bowen was promoted to director of volunteer services.
"She brought a lot of enthusiasm to her work. She was a guiding light and very well liked among the volunteers," Mr. Moniodis said.
Mr. Moniodis added: "She was a good lady, but in her own way she could be tough. She wanted to get the job done and done right."
Mrs. Bowen retired in 1996.
After her husband of 38 years, Walter Bowen, a retired Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. manager died in 2002, she came out of retirement and returned to St. Agnes, working part time as a medical transcriptionist for the hospital's cardiologists.
A resident of Catonsville's Paradise Hills neighborhood for more than two decades, Mrs. Bowen was an avid gardener who also liked to cook and entertain.
Mrs. Bowen was a member of First Lutheran Church in Ellicott City, where services were held Tuesday.
Surviving are a son, Steven William Johnson of Huntingtown, Calvert County; two daughters, Susan Carole Ostovitz and Sherry Jeanne Burgee, both of Catonsville; six grandchildren; and her companion, Carol Frantz Shelton of Catonsville. An earlier marriage ended in divorce.