Karen Sue Bissell Bowcott, born February 27, 1949, in Meigs County, to Charles L. and Margaret K. Singer Bissell. She was a graduate of Eastern High School, and lost her courageous and uncomplaining three year battle with cancer on Saturday, October 20, 2012, at Holzer Medical Center in Gallipolis, with her loving family by her side. She was 63 years of age. She was a much loved wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend and Karen loved much in return.
Karen is survived by her loving husband and friend of nearly 20 years, Larry Bowcott, of Gallipolis, where the two resided all of their married life.
She leaves two children, Anthony (Miranda) Grate and Tracey Grate of Rutland; stepson, Eric (Jo Beth) Bowcott of Gallipolis; three grandchildren, Elliotte, Lane and Levi; and, one step-grandson, Logan Bowcott.
She is also survived by four sisters and five brothers, Helen (Sheldon) Garverick of Lexington, Frona Riffle of Long Bottom, Ada (Curtis) Randolph of Hillsboro, Naomi Hawes of Jackson, Delbert Bissell of Lithopolis, Douglas (Carolyn) Bissell of Tuppers Plains, Glen (Melissa) Bissell of Racine, David (Nancy) Bissell of Bristol, W.Va., Robert (Sally) Bissell of Pomeroy.
Karen is also survived by sisters-in-law, Barbara Bissell of Tuppers Plains, and Carolyn Bissell of Reedsville; brother-in-law Russell (Linda) Bowcott of Gallipolis; sisters-in-law Lorraine (Roy) Sprague of Gallipolis, Wanda Kay of Southside, W.Va., Mary Lou (Delbert) League of North Ridgeville, Ohio. She will be missed by many nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, Karen was preceded in death by brothers, Charles Dannie, Roger L., and Dwight Ray Bissell; sister-in-law, Donna Jean Bissell; brother-in-law, Roy F. Riffle; and great nephew, Scott Garverick.
Karen was a member of the Nazarene Church in Gallipolis. She and Larry attended many NASCAR races with their camper decorated in support of their drivers Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and later Dale Earnhardt, Jr. She enjoyed watching the Ohio State Buckeyes and kept well informed on political issues and current world affairs.
Karen was rightfully proud of her family. Once, after finishing a meal at a restaurant with her children, she was surprised when the cashier told her the bill was already paid “by someone who wanted to pay for their meal because they seemed such a nice family.”
Karen was the ultimate caregiver. As the 10th of 13 children, she was only 8 years old when she became an aunt for the first time and had at least one new nephew or niece every year until she had her own children. She helped her brothers and sisters by entertaining, befriending and caring for their children. She cared for a family friend’s wheelchair bound daughter. She was a candystriper (teenage hospital volunteer wearing a brightly striped uniform). She worked 20 years at Gallipolis Developmental Center with the most severely disabled and valued each of them. She helped care for her mother the last ten years of her Mom’s life, spending two nights weekly with her while holding a full-time job.
Karen loved nature’s beauty. Autumn was her favorite season. She made certain that there were pumpkins and colorful mums on her porch as well as her Mother’s porch. Karen was too ill this year to take the yearly October trip to the Tennessee Smokey Mountains to enjoy the season’s change of colors; however, Larry made sure the pumpkins and mums were displayed and built a ramp so he could bring Karen home from the hospital and wheel her to view the fall foliage from their porch. Larry also decorated inside the house with fall colors for Karen to enjoy.
Karen planted flowers in the spring, always finding something new to add to the favorite standbys. In recent years, she discovered lantana and Indian Blanket, very old flowers, but new to her. This spring, Larry planted the flowers but Karen wasn’t able to get outdoors very often to enjoy them. She enjoyed sitting in the front room with Larry in the mornings, drinking coffee and talking and observing all the different kinds of birds that came to their many trees.
Karen made sure her Mother always had a corsage to wear to church on Mother’s Day and Easter. If she had to work that weekend, the delivery truck would pull in her Mother’s drive on Saturday, and we all knew “There’s the orchid from Karen.” She made sure her Mother had a decorated tree every Christmas, even after she was diagnosed with cancer.
Karen liked to laugh. We will laugh again, she would want that. But, oh it does hurt so much to give up so much beauty. But we get to keep the precious memories. Thanks for much for those dear wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. You are loved.
Funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, October 25, 2012, at Anderson McDaniel Funeral Home in Pomeroy. Officiating will be Rev. Curtis Randolph and Charlie Bissell (Nephew to Karen). Burial will follow in Chester Cemetery. Friends may call from 4-9 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24, at the funeral home.
An on-line registry is available at www.andesonmcdaniel.com.