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Ilma Bowen

Ilma Bowen

Ilma Catherine Bowen, 98, Hope, N.D., passed away on October 6, 2017 at her home, surrounded by close friends. Ilma was born August 10, 1919 on the home farm near Alsen N.D., the daughter of Paul and Bertha (Stenzel) E. Kastner. Her family farmed southwest of Alsen until 1926 when they moved to Orange, California, where Ilma was confirmed at the St. John's Lutheran School. The family, in 1933, returned to farm in the Alsen area. Ilma graduated in 1937, from the Alsen High School, then went on to attend Beauty School and Dakota Business College.

While at Dakota Business College, Harry E. Bowen came to hire a bookkeeper for his brothers business, Truman Bowen's car dealership in Montana. Ilma accepted the position and they were engaged within the year. They were married in Fargo, N.D., December 21, 1939. They purchased the Texaco Bulk Plant in Portland, N.D. and the service stations in Portland, Hatton, and Mayville N.D. and sold Steel products for the Fargo Foundry. Ilma was the bookkeeper for them all. They opened the Coast to Coast store in Hope and sold steel for the North Dakota Metal Culvert Company. They spent many years wintering in Mesa, Az. Harry died May 6, 2006 and Ilma lived her remaining days in her home in Hope, N.D.

Ilma was an active member in both her Methodist Church in Hope, and in 1982 when they joined with the Congregational Church to become the United Church in Hope. She was active in the Legion Auxiliary, serving as District 1 President 1956-1958, and N.D. State Auxiliary President 1963-1964. Sister Ilma was a faithful member of ND Order of Eastern Star for 75 years. Ilma held many offices during her years of service. She was also a member of the Past Matrons club of Fidelity Chapter #13 Hope, ND.

Ilma was the consummate hostess. She entertained many functions in her home, and all were welcome! Her wit and humor were enjoyed by many. The community of Hope, which she was so proud of, has benefitted from her service, and she will be missed.

Ilma is survived by many nieces and nephews, and special friends. She was preceded in death by her husband Harry, an infant son, Harry E. Bowen, her parents, Paul and Bertha, and three sisters, Inez Kastner Waechter, Weida Kastner Johnson and Verna Kastner Kreklau.

Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 14, 2017 followed by a Funeral service at 2 p.m. in the Redeemer Lutheran Church, Hope, N.D. Internment will be at the Hope Cemetery Hope, N.D. Memorials can be sent to the Hope Ambulance, the Hope Cemetery or to a charity of your choice.

Condolences can be sent to the family via the On-Line Tribute service at