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1957 JoLea 2024

JoLea Jacqueleen Bowers

June 17, 1957 — March 13, 2024

JoLea Jacqueleen (Willey) Bowers, 66, passed away on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at her home in College Station. JoLea was born on June 17, 1957 in Garden Grove, California to Robert and Patricia (Lane) Willey. 

JoLea grew up in Garden Grove, California (or “a mile from Disneyland” as she would tell it). It was while growing up in southern California that JoLea honed her cooking skills and learned to make her famous cheese enchiladas (without onions!) in the kitchen of the Gonzales family who lived next door. JoLea moved from California to Texas in 1978, first living in Killeen, then Krum, and finally settling in Bryan/College Station in the early 1980s. 

JoLea worked many different jobs over her lifetime, mostly in customer service. While working as a receptionist at the Bryan/College Station Eagle, she met her husband, Jay. Jay and JoLea were married for just over 30 years at the time of his passing in 2019. 

In addition to being a fantastic cook, JoLea was a talented quilter and seamstress. She also had an incredible eye for designing and building porches, fences, and even one playhouse that would probably have been called a tiny home if built today. She was a trained beautician who always carried a pair of scissors in her purse because she never knew when someone was going to ask her for a haircut. 

JoLea’s legacy though will be her family. She did not believe that it was simply blood that made people family, and she considered her many close friends to be just as special as the family she built with Jay. She would take in anyone who needed a place to stay, and there was always room at the table during the holidays for anyone to join in the Bowers family celebrations. 

She was committed to keeping in close contact with those who were important to her. She had a list of individuals that she would call every night before she went to bed, and a larger list of friends and family she would call on a weekly basis to check in. JoLea’s frequent phone calls became her trademark. 

JoLea is preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Pat Willey; her beloved grandmother, Leatha Terrell; and her husband, Jay Bowers. 

She is survived by her four children, Tim Blakemore (Shawndel), Matthew Bowers (Allison), Brittany Hutchinson (Isiah) all of College Station, and Marc Paino (Catherine) of Trinidad, Colorado; grandchildren: Brandon Blakemore (Savannah Kline) of Staunton, VA, Cameron Blakemore, Kyden Hutchinson, Eastyn Hutchinson, Mayleigh Bowers, and Warren Bowers all of College Station, Michaela Austin, Chrystlin Paino, Emily Cordova (Daliyah), and Julie Paino of Trinidad, Colorado; three great grandchildren, Leo, Landon, and Mauricio; her brothers Jim Willey of Bacliff and Tom Adams of Longmont, Colorado; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and close friends. 

JoLea was a member of Bethel Baptist Church in College Station. Though her health prevented her from attending in recent years, she always loved her church family. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Bethel Baptist Church in her honor, or to a charity of your choosing. 

A Celebration of Life honoring JoLea is being scheduled for a later date. Details will be announced in the coming weeks. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of JoLea Jacqueleen Bowers, please visit our flower store.

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