Obituary: Lisa Christine Bowes

When an artist passes away, … they return to the cosmic dust and become part of the place where ideas come from.             – Gerard Way

LisaLisa Christine Bowes left this earth on July 9, 2016. Her creative spark now joins the stars and the cosmic dust.

Lisa was born in Sacramento, Calif. on Nov. 30, 1968. She moved to Arcata in 1975 and attended Sunset Elementary, Sunny Brae Middle and Arcata High schools, graduating in 1986. She graduated from Humboldt State University in 1993 with a degree in Evolutionary Studies and received her Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1997.

She worked in many research positions including National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine and Humboldt State, where she was research librarian and project manager of the library website. She also worked at the Alameda County (Calif.) Library as a librarian.

Lisa and her family lived in Rockville and Burtonsville, Maryland, and in San Bruno, South San Francisco and Castro Valley, Calif.

Throughout her life, Lisa explored. She loved to hike, especially around the Mount Diablo area. She traveled often, to Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Hawaii and many parts of the U.S. and Europe. She also loved geocaching.

Her creativity evinced itself in many ways. She was a musician in her younger days, then a knitter, painter, photographer, writer and quilter, often simultaneously. Quilt art became the most complete expression of her passion. She created more than one hundred quilts.

She created communities around her, including the San Bruno parent club and Castro Valley mothers’ group. She had many good friends and was an avid Facebooker.

Lisa spent countless hours creating a safe and successful home. She was devoted to her family, being a driving force behind it and encouraging everyone to do their best. Toward the end of her life, she wanted to create happy memories with her family to cherish forever.

They traveled and she created quilts for her husband, children and siblings, in order that they could continue to wrap themselves in her love. Two of her most important goals before dying were to see her daughter Molly graduate from eighth grade and her son Jacob return from his school trip to Germany. She accomplished both.

When she received her diagnosis of metastatic kidney cancer, Lisa met it head-on. Her motto was “I will spend every day I have living to the fullest.” She created a blog, Lisa’s Missing Kidney: My Life with Stage IV Renal Cell Carcinoma. No words were minced, and this chronicle inspired hundreds of people to live well every day. She also made a video with ResolutionCare titled Framework (

She is survived by her husband, Reil Brennan; her children Jacob and Molly; her parents, Joan and Fred Tempas, Michael and Ginger Bowes and Jeri Nylund; her in-laws Barry and Janet Brennan; siblings Amy Bowes Humphreys, Emily Bowes Bloomquist and Brian Bowes; and her three cats. She was predeceased by her mother-in- law, Dorothy Brennan.

Donations in Lisa’s name can be made to ResolutionCare, 2440 23rd St., Suite B, Eureka, CA, 95501 or Camp Kesem, P.O. Box 40347, Berkeley, CA, 94704 (a summer camp supporting  children through and beyond their parent’s cancer).

A celebration of Lisa’s life will be held at a later date.


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