Nancy Evelyn Bowyer 1922 - 2022

Nancy Evelyn Bowyer was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She left this world peacefully on September 19, 2022, after 100 remarkable years of life.

The youngest of 10 children, Nancy was born  April 5, 1922, to parents Nina and Robert Nylund. She grew up on a wheat farm in Scandia, Kansas, in a community filled with Swedish immigrants like her parents. Her childhood spanned from the Roaring '20s to the Great Depression. In high school, she played basketball and was nicknamed “Scrappy” for her tenacity and spirit.

At 18, Nancy moved to California. There, she met Fred Bowyer while both worked packing fruit in a citrus orchard. Their romance continued while Fred was deployed in the Navy during WWII and Nancy worked at Southern Pacific Railroad distributing gas ration stamps. After Fred returned from the war, the two were married on September 6, 1945.

Fred and Nancy had three children, Pam, Ed and Dan. The family moved from Downey, California, to Dayton, Oregon, in 1966. There, the family began farming cherries and later expanded to include a dryer for prunes. In later years, Nancy published a cookbook of recipes featuring prunes so thorough the book was even shaped to look like a prune!

Nancy and Fred enjoyed nearly 50 years of marriage before his death in 1994. In the following years, she continued to live on the farm and help with the prune business. During this time, Nancy often traveled with her best friend, Erma. They visited Niagara Falls, attended shows in Las Vegas, spent time on Mackinaw Island, and went on a Hawaiian cruise. Of all these trips, attending the Kentucky Derby was a truly treasured highlight, and the pictures of the two in their derby hats are special family favorites.

Nancy was a wonderful grandmother to her 11 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, and well known for fantastic recipes and a generous nature. She had a wonderful sense of humor, and her laugh brightened any room. Fitness was important to her, and she lifted weights through her 80s and did Pilates until she was nearly 90. She was determined and young at heart for the duration of her long and exceptional life and served as an incredible role model for her family and countless others.

Nancy will be remembered for her love of family, generous spirit and witty sense of humor. She leaves behind a family that loved her dearly.
Nancy is survived by children, Pam, Ed and Dan; 11 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and countless friends.
A service in celebration of her life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 23, at the Chapel of Macy & Son in McMinnville, Oregon.
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