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1932 Lina 2023

Lina Small Matthews Bowyer

December 6, 1932 — October 22, 2023

Jackson, Tennessee

Lina Small Matthews Bowyer, age 90, passed away in her sleep on Sunday, October 22, 2023, at home in Jackson, TN.


Born on December 6, 1932, in Jackson, TN to the late Lyna Flowers and James Shields Matthews Jr., she attended Alexander and Pope Elementary Schools, Jackson Junior High School, and graduated from Jackson High School in 1950. She graduated from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 1954 with a major in History and minors in both English and Latin. After college, she worked at Second National Bank in Jackson, TN and then received a master’s degree in Secondary Education from The University of Memphis. She went on to teach English, History, and Latin at Messick High School in Memphis for six years. Lina was a beloved teacher and remained in contact with many of her former Messick High School students and faculty friends over the years.


On July 6, 1963, Lina married Frederick Louis Bowyer Jr. They lived in Memphis and Lonoke, Arkansas before moving back to Jackson, TN in 1967 to raise a family. Lina was an active member and served as an officer in numerous organizations, including The Mutual Improvement

Club, the Jackson Service League, the Episcopal Day School Parents Club, and the Episcopal Church Women at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church. After raising her children, she taught Latin at the University School of Jackson, Northside High School, and Southside High School. She also attended Lambuth University where she became certified in Library Science.


Lina was an avid horsewoman and loved riding and caring for her horses. After retiring from teaching and horseback riding in 1998, she remained active by taking up yoga, working out at the gym with personal trainers, and eventually joining a Silver Sneakers class. She volunteered her time tutoring children in the after-school program at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Lina loved

spending summers with her husband, children, and grandchildren at the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly. She also loved spending time with her retired teacher friends, her gym friends, her books and crossword puzzles, her iPad, and her horses, beagles, and cats.


Lina is survived by her husband, Frederick Louis Bowyer Jr., her children, Lina Bowyer Ellis (Joe) of Atlanta, GA and Frederick Louis Bowyer III, of Memphis, TN, her grandchildren, Matthew Joseph Ellis and Adeline Dawson Ellis of Atlanta, GA, her sister, Sara Matthews Holmes of Memphis, TN, her sister-in-law, Sharon Brewer Matthews of Columbia, TN, her sister-in-law, Jane Harvard Bowyer of Orlando, FL, and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.


She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother James Shields Matthews III of Jackson, TN.


SERVICES: The funeral service for Lina will be held on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church in Humboldt, TN, with Rev. Deacon Tommy Rhoads officiating. The burial will follow at Ridgecrest Cemetery.


The family would like to thank Hospice of West Tennessee, Comfort Keepers, the staff at Special Effects, and especially Rita Simmons and Reyna Portesgil for all their care over the years!


The family is requesting that memorial contributions be given to: Saint Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church, 6 Esquire Lewis Road, Humboldt, TN 38343 or Youth Town, 3641 Youth Town Rd, Pinson, TN 38366 or Camp Nakanawa for Girls, 1084 Camp Nakanawa Rd., Crossville, TN 38571.


Arrington Funeral Directors, 148 W. University Parkway, Jackson, Tennessee 38305



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