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Marjorie Fletcher Thomson Bowden, 88, Researched History of Radnor Township

Art, history, bridge and genealogy were her passions, but devotion to her children, grandchildren and many friends was always strong and evident.

Marjorie Fletcher Thomson Bowden
Marjorie Fletcher Thomson Bowden

Marjorie Fletcher Thomson Bowden, 88, wife of Francis J. Bowden Jr. of Villanova and Mantoloking, NJ, died January 8 at Meadowood Retirement Community in Skippack. She was the mother of four, grandmother of seven. 

She married Frank J. Bowden, Jr. in 1957. They had a loving marriage for 47 years, residing in Radnor and Villanova, and she survived him by more than a decade.  Mr. Bowden was a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  He was the Executive Director of the Associated Petroleum Institute of Pennsylvania and a lobbyist for the oil industries.

Marjorie Bowden was an avid historian for over 50 years. As a charter member of Penn’s Grant chapter of Colonial Dames 17th Century, she served as their President, and was an active participant and board member in the National Society Colonial Dames, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Pennsylvania Society of New England Women. She was also involved in the Radnor School District, with contributions to the PTA and Radnor Scholarship Fund. With a lifelong commitment to art education, she also served as a volunteer for the Philadelphia Museum's "Art Goes to School" program. 

As an historian she assisted with research on a number of books including the history of Radnor Township, A Rare and Pleasing Thing by Katherine Cummin, and a book on the family history of her ancestor, Jan Luken, a settler of Germantown in 1683.  She is the great-great-granddaughter of Thomas Fletcher of Philadelphia, one of America's leading silversmiths in the early 1800's, and contributed to the book and museum exhibit called Silversmiths to the Nation: Thomas Fletcher and Sidney Gardiner, 1808-1842, organized by the Winterthur Museum of Delaware.  The show, which opened at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in late 2007, included magnificent, rarely seen presentation silverware of the era. She was honored for her contributions by Winterthur in the summer of 2008.

Marjorie Bowden grew up in Lansdowne and graduated from The George School in Newtown PA, attending her 70th High School reunion in the spring of 2013. She earned a certificate in illustration from the Philadelphia Museum School (now University of the Arts) and worked for an advertising firm in Center City.  She then went on to teach art at the Stevens’ School in Chestnut Hill.

Art, history, bridge and genealogy were her passions, but devotion to her children, grandchildren and many friends was always strong and evident.  She loved to entertain her friends and family and enjoyed spending time with them at her family home in Mantoloking, NJ.  She was a member of the Mantoloking Yacht Club and the Union League of Philadelphia.  

Marjorie Bowden is survived by her children, David L. Bowden, of Denver CO; Nancy Fletcher Bowden Harris (Montgomery Harris, III) of Wayne PA; F. Jay Bowden III, Wayne, and Rebecca Bowden Guenther (Eric E. L Guenther) of Gladwyne; and seven grandchildren: Camilla F. Bowden, Samuel M. Harris, Alexander F. Bowden, Leisl L. Guenther, Emily F. Harris, Phebe F. Guenther and Frances Guenther. 

A memorial service will be held January 26th, 2PM, at Meadowood Retirement Community Library, 3205 Skippack Pike, Worcester PA. Burial will be private.

Memorial donations may be made to Radnor Friends Meeting, Conestoga and Sproul Roads, Radnor, PA 19087.

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