In Memory of Kae Bowles
Our horticulture secretary, Kae Bowles, passed away on Sunday, May 27th, after a long battle with leukemia. As our secretary, she kept all of us in line. She was also a long-time Master Gardener and contributed so much to our local and state Master Gardener programs.
In 1994, became an Extension Master Gardener in Saline County, KS, and in 1999 transferred as Extension Master Gardener to Sedgwick County.
In 2000 she worked to start “Plant a Row for the Hungry” as a Master Gardener project. Kae worked with Annie Calovich of the Wichita Eagle, and Brian and Kevin from the Kansas Food Bank to set up this program locally. She arranged for garden centers to be dropoff points of produce. The goal is to have gardeners grow some extra produce to share with the hungry. Each year she lined up the dropoff points, made the flyers and promoted the program. As a result, from 2000 through the summer of 2011, local gardeners shared 357,376 lbs of produce with the Kansas Food Bank. Prior to starting this program, the food bank did not accept produce.
Late in 2000, Kae joined the staff of the Sedgwick County office of K-State Research and Extension as a part time office professional for the Horticulture program, and continued as volunteer Extension Master Gardener.
Kae served as coordinator of the Extension Master Composter program for 2 years – teaching yard waste recycling and composting to volunteers that then taught others. Kae taught backyard composting classes in Sedgwick and surrounding county counties and at the State Extension Master Gardener conference.
Kae is a former 4-Her and enjoyed judging gardening exhibits in the region.
Shy Kae, could transform into “Josey Montana” (with the help of a Dolly Parton wig, well-placed balloons, cowgirl boots and lariat.) She performed as a visiting Master Gardener from Montana, giving gardening tips and anecdotes. She performed locally and in Hutchinson and Manhattan. All photos have been destroyed.
In February 2012, Kae was presented with the Emeritus Master Gardener (Master Gardener for Life) by the Extension Master Gardeners of Sedgwick County.