She was born the eighth of nine children, to Donald & Esther (Santini) Silacci, in the family’s ranch house located on their Villa Creek Road cattle ranch and dairy, in the Cayucos foothills. Her Father and Mother’s families immigrated from Corippo and Bellinzona areas of Switzerland and were early Swiss-Italian settlers in San Luis Obispo County. Gloria was very proud of her “Swiss-Italian” heritage.
She graduated from Coast Union High School in Cambria in 1947. Upon graduation, she attended San Luis Obispo Junior College and from there was hired as a Librarian Assistant at California Polytechnic College, San Luis Obispo. It was there that she met the love of her life, Robert Bowman, who was serving as the Student Body President during his senior year at Cal Poly in 1950. They married in February 1952 in San Luis Obispo and made their home on Robert’s family farm in Tipton, California. In 1959, they moved to Corcoran, California where they spent the next 47 years farming and ranching, making wonderful memories with their six daughters. Gloria and Bob moved off the ranch and into the city of Visalia, California, in 2006.
There wasn’t anything she couldn’t do or master, and her skillset involved everything from power tools to the canning of fresh fruits and vegetables. Gloria was an active leader in the Waukena 4-H, teaching sewing, home furnishings, and cooking. As an involved parent, she chaperoned countless field trips, Corcoran High School Band trips and sewed several sets of cheerleading and mascot outfits for the high school pep squads. She enjoyed her years in the Corcoran Hospital 50-50 Guild, making lifelong friendships with her “Canasta Group” ladies, and the “First-Friday” dinner group, hosting the annual Christmas Parties, her favorite time of the year.
Gloria is preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Robert F. Bowman; her parents Donald & Esther Silacci; her Mother and Father-In-Law, Robert & Ruby Bowman; 5 brothers and 2 sisters. Gloria is survived by her daughters Janette (Rick) Yribarren of Tranquility, CA, Phyllis (Stan) Brown of Fresno, CA, Carol Bowman of Tulare, CA, Diane (Ralph) Friend of College Station, TX, Barbara Bowman (Fred) Montoya of Morgan Hill, CA, and Tracey (Brian) Keavy of Visalia, CA. She is also survived by 16 Grandchildren and 18 Great-Grandchildren.
A special thanks to Gloria’s devoted “Visiting Angels”: Laura Hudson, Rosie Hernandez, Amy Bryant, and Mia Melgoza, who have cared for, loved and maintained the dignity of a special Mama over the past 2 years.
Donations of remembrance may be made to the Cal Poly Foundation, for The Robert F. & Gloria J. Bowman Memorial Scholarship Endowment at: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Office of Gift Planning, 1 Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo, California 93407-0444; or to The UCLA Foundation, for the Parkinson’s Disease Research Program, UCLA Dept. of Neurology Finance Office, 710 Westwood Plaza, 4-151 RNRC, L.A., CA 90095-1769 or https://giving.ucla.edu/neurology.
A Viewing was held October 11, 2019 from 5 – 7pm at Salser & Dillard Funeral Chapel in Visalia. Rosary was held Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 11:30am, Mass of Christian Burial at 12:00pm at St Aloysius Catholic Church in Tulare followed by Graveside Service at Tulare District Cemetery on Kern Ave. Condolences can be made to www.salseranddillard.com