Ms. Earlean S. Bowen -- "The Antiques Lady" -- passes away at 96 The antiques industry lost a true jewel with the recent passing of Earlean S. Bowen, an enthusiastic buyer and seller of antiques and longtime owner of Bowen’s Antiques in Eupora, a small town in Miss
Much to her dismay, she didn't leave with it, and all of her future attempts were unsuccessful, too. “Even as recently as a couple of years ago, every time we'd pass that house she'd say, 'I wonder whatever happened to that wonderful cupboard,'” Ms. Mims recalled.
Parlaying her love of Empire pieces, old Southern furniture, primitives, Americana, china, crystal and jewelry into a bulging inventory, Ms. Bowen had, by age 85, amassed an inventory worth an estimated $1 million. And, remarkably, she was just hitting her stride.
“At an age when most people are well into retirement and taking life easy, Ms. Bowen was out there, charging around the country, buying new pieces and making new contacts,” Dwight Stevens said. “At age 90 she had a six-man crew and several trucks. She was just this unbelievable powerhouse of energy. Everybody knew her affectionately as ‘the Antiques Lady.’”
She finally did slow down, however, in her 90s, and pared back her work schedule in the process. One thing she never missed, though, was the Governor’s Inaugural Ball, an event Ms. Bowen got invited to every four years, having made political connections in her government job. Last year at age 95, she danced with the Governor of Mississippi for what was to be the last time.
“Ms. Bowen was a hard worker and a go-getter – a true American success story,” Mr. Stevens said. “She was also a faithful church-goer. When the church she attended got torn down to make way for a new four-lane highway, she spearheaded the effort to make sure many of the older pieces from the demolished structure were saved and incorporated into the new church.”
Ms. Bowen served as treasurer for the Sapa Baptist Church in Eupora for over 45 years. She was also a member of the Eupora Rotary Club and a strong supporter of the Eupora Arts Group. In 2005 she was Grand Marshall of the Eupora Christmas Celebration Parade. In 2006 she was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Webster County Development Council.
In a text to friends after Ms. Bowen's passing, Lisa Mims wrote, “Grandmother is furnishing the halls of heaven with antiques now.” Stevens Auction Company will be auctioning Ms. Bowen's estate, in its entirety with no exceptions, in a sale planned for sometime this spring, probably in March. Watch the Stevens Auction website for details – www.stevensauction.com.