Ava Marie Hardeman Bowers
July 26, 1940 - October 10, 2023
Ava Marie was born in Macon, Georgia to Maxie Howard Hardeman and Willie H. Hardeman, Sr., was the eldest of nine children. She attended St. Peter Claver Catholic School for her primary education and went on to graduate from Ballard Hudson High School. Less than a year later she married the love of her life, Theron C. “TC” Bowers, Sr., on March 7, 1959. They were married for 51 years until TC’s passing on December 3, 2010.
Ava, like the good Catholic she was, had 4 children in four years. Their first child, Julie, was born on July 4, 1960 and tragically died from sudden infant death syndrome six months after her birth. Fortunately, the three sons that came after Julie were in good health and benefitted from being raised by two wonderful parents.
TC was in the Air Force and went overseas often during the early years of their marriage. During this time, while raising three boys, Ava’s talents for real estate and political advocacy began to emerge. The family moved from their first home in Atlanta and headed westward to Albuquerque in 1971. TC stayed home, leaving active duty and serving as an Air Force reservist at Kirtland AFB and working for the Post Office. Ava soon went to Real Estate school and became one of the first African American realtors in Albuquerque, starting as a sales agent for Century 21 and going on to earn her broker’s license run her own business, Bowers & Associates.
Ava and TC owned a number of homes in Albuquerque, then in their retirement years they decided to move out into the country. The property they built in 1993, near the Village of To'hajiilee, was converted into Apache Canyon Ranch B&B Inn in 1996. Fascinating people from many different countries stayed there, and Ava’s local friends, including Mama Lupe, a Dine weaver, and Lee Marmon, a renowned photographer, frequented the B&B and sold some of their works there. Our family is so grateful to our neighbors and friends in and around To Hajiilee for helping us look after our eldest family member.
Ava leaves behind many friends from her long life, serving as a New Mexico delegate at the 1972 democratic convention and as a member of the NM Democrats State Central Committee in the 2000s. Always a lively and colorful person until the end, Ava was guided by her Catholic faith and American spirit.
In addition to TC, Julie, and her parents, Ava’s passing was preceded by her three brothers, James Alfred Hardeman, Willie H. Hardeman, Jr., and Larry Hardeman. She is survived by her five sisters, Jewell Battle, Mary Eva Anderson, Gwendolyn Hill, Maxine Tripp, and Cheryl Watkins; her sons, Theron C. Bowers, Jr.,and his wife, Kay Meade Bowers; Mark Hardeman Bowers, and Michael Glenn Bowers and his wife, Crystal J. Bowers; her grandchildren, Jacob Bowers and his wife, Holly Probst Bowers, Madeline Bowers, Lucas Bowers, Callie Bowers, Zachary Bowers, and Eliana Bowers; and her first great-grandchild, Charlotte Bowers. Ava also leaves behind many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws.
A viewing will be held at Daniel’s Funeral Home on Thursday, October 19, from 3-6 PM. The funeral service will take place at 10:00 am on Friday, October 20th, also at Daniel’s Funeral Home located in Albuquerque at 3113 Carlisle NE. Ava will be buried next to TC at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. Plans will be announced later.
Thank you for celebrating her life with us!
The Bowers Family