Marjorie J. Bowers, who worked as a senior administrative assistant for city public schools for nearly three decades, died Aug. 22 of complications from leukemia at Stella Maris Hospice. She was 87.
The daughter of a minister and a nurse, Marjorie Jones was born in Chestertown and later moved to East Baltimore with her family, where she graduated in 1942 from Dunbar High School.
After graduating the next year from the old Cortez Peters Business School on Eutaw Place, Mrs. Bowers went to work as a secretary at Dunbar High School, rising to head secretary.
A few years later, she was transferred to the colored schools' superintendent's office, which was located at Booker T. Washington Junior High School, as secretary to Houston Jackson.
When city schools were integrated in 1954, Dr. Jackson and Mrs. Bowers moved to the old school headquarters on 25th Street.
"Dr. Jackson was the first African-American assistant superintendent, and my mother was promoted to senior administrative assistant," said her son, Bernard A. Bowers of Pikesville. "She served all successive superintendents until her retirement in 1975, under the tenure of Dr. Roland Patterson, the first African-American superintendent."
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In 1958, she married Charles Henry Bowers, her high school sweetheart and a Baltimore educator. He died in 2008.
A resident of Radnor Avenue in Govans, Mrs. Bowers had been an active member of St. Matthews United Methodist Church since she was a teenager. She had been a member of the United Methodist Women and the Guiding Light Circle.
She also was a Sunday school teacher, a member of various choirs and "always volunteered her secretarial talent," her son said.
Mrs. Bowers enjoyed playing the piano and attending concerts. She was an avid Orioles and Loyola High School sports fan.
Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at her church, 416 E. 23rd St. in Baltimore.
In addition to her son, Mrs. Bowers is survived by a brother, Francis Jones of East Baltimore; a sister, Patricia Bentley of Govans; and two granddaughters.