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Diana Bowling, 1944-2016

in memoriam

Diana Bowling, 1944-2016

Robert Sarka, 1948-2017

accents on english

Newsletter of the Department of
English at Arizona State University

Fall 2016-Winter 2017
Volume 20, Issue 1

Diana Bowling, a long time Department of English Instructor who earned both her BA and MA in the department, passed away October 2, 2016.

An Arizona native born in Phoenix, Bowling entered ASU as an undergraduate in the 1960s, returning in the 1980s to complete it and her graduate coursework after raising her three children. Bowling focused mainly on American literature, completing her MA in 1988 and working toward her PhD, focusing on the works of Toni Morrison. She worked as a TA, FA, and Instructor, teaching primarily Writing Programs courses.

Remembered by her friends as hardworking with high expectations for her students, Bowling was also a warm and welcoming colleague with practical advice. Jeanne Olson remembers Diana as a “go-to” person for other teachers and says she would “marvel at the time Diana would spend with first year composition students, helping them work through writing ideas/issues/etc.”

Bowling worked hard in graduate school, according to Jeanne Olson who spent “several nights a week working on translating Beowulf for a required class. But Diana never let us slack off. We had to get our allotted pages finished, and then we could move on to something else.”

Bowling and Jacqueline Wheeler served as co-assistant Writing Program directions in the early 1990s. Wheeler says that Bowling “told great stories about ASU in those early days, when it was much smaller and College Street ran right through campus. Like the other freshman girls ('co-eds'), she lived in the sleeping porch at West Hall. Screened sleeping porches were common in Arizona before the widespread use of air conditioning.”

Her friends also remember Bowling's dry humor, her love of a good horror story (Stephen King was her favorite), her red sports car, and her passion for her Siamese cats. Bowling’s family recalls her love for her children, grandchildren, parents, sister, and husband. She gave up writing her dissertation to raise a grandson and helped her family whenever she could. 

Bowling is survived by her mother, two daughters Kim and Kristie, son Scott, and grandsons Kevin (who says he inherited her crazy cat person gene) and Drew. Her beloved husband Don, whom she met in high school and married while attending ASU, preceded her in death in 2012. Bowling is deeply missed by family and friends.

Karen Dwyer