THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Issue Date: March 25, 2020
Tonee Bowsher passed away peacefully on March 5, 2020 at the Mayo Clinic following a sudden illness. Her husband, Larry Bowsher, the love of her life, was by her side as he has been since their marriage on November 19, 1971.
She was born December 11, 1944 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to James and Margaret (Penn) Wallace. Throughout her youth she lived in many places including New York, Tokyo, California, Louisiana and Ohio. It was during this time that she developed a life-long love for both travel and learning. She graduated from the University of Toledo with a Bachelor's Degree in Education and began a career that would span many years.
In 1975, Tonee and Larry moved to Menominee, Michigan where she taught 4th grade for over 30 years until she formally retired in 2000. Throughout her tenure, she was applauded for her ingenuity in the classroom where she practiced active learning with her students and taught them to critically think about what they were learning and to be good citizens.
She was recognized for this outstanding approach to teaching when she received the Menominee Educator of the Year Award in 1985. Although she had no children of her own, she had a major impact in the lives of countless children, many of who continued to reach out to her as adults.
In addition, she was also an active member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization, Chapter Q, for many years. This organization is dedicated to funding academic opportunities for women by providing scholarships or grants.
A lover of animals, Tonee was one of the founders of the Menominee Animal Shelter and continued to be involved in fundraising so that the shelter could remain in operation. To this day it remains a "no-kill" shelter and has saved well over 25,000 animals.
Tonee loved her community and actively served on various committees to improve the lives of the most vulnerable. Known by many in her community, she was always a strong advocate of where she lived and was active in doing her part to make the community stronger and give recognition to small businesses in the area.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her younger sister, Penee O'Leary and nephew, Terry Lewis.
She is survived by her husband and nieces and nephews including: Patty (Paul) Sopko, Kathy (Rick) Thompson, Jerry Bowsher, Tom Bowsher, Kristen (Kevin Spetz) Bowsher, Richard Alden and Corey Eggers, as well as eight great-nieces and nephews.
"Tonee, you will be missed by so many, especially your devoted husband and family. You lived a life of service and were a hero to many. Rest well now and know that you made such a positive impact in this world during your years on earth. Love, Larry".
A Memorial Celebration will be announced at a later date. Hansen Onion Martell Funeral Home of Marinette is assisting the family. In lieu of flowers, please send any memorial donations to the Menominee Animal Shelter, N184 Haggerson Ct., Menominee, MI 49858. A scholarship will also be established in Tonee's honor.