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Elizabeth Chapman Bowman 1926-2022
From a legendary citrus growing family



December 29, 1926 - November 12, 2022 Palo Alto, California - Elizabeth "Liz" Bowman (nee Chapman) passed peacefully in her beloved town of Palo Alto, California at 95 years, of natural causes. Liz was born in Fullerton CA to Charles S. and Alice Chapman, where her family's orange fruit business had been established in the late 1800s. Early on she gained a love for nature, books, travel, and adventure. She married twice but spent most of her life single. She studied music and the arts at Stanford University, graduating in 1948, and later earned a Master's degree in library sciences from UCLA. Throughout her life, she took sojourns to Oxford University to continue her educational pursuits and embrace her love for all things English. Liz joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1949 and was first stationed in Israel, and later Ethiopia, notably as an undersecretary to Emperor Haile Selassie I. Upon her return to the States, she engaged in a lifelong career as a master reference librarian throughout California (Ventura, Palo Alto, Los Altos, San Mateo, and Santa Ana County libraries). Her taste for travel never left her, exploring the world's places of interest, including South Africa, India, China, Russia, the Middle East, Europe, all of the Americas, and Antarctica. She would not hesitate to take any mode of transport available, though preferred the elegance of a cruise ship. Elizabeth sang in Palo Alto's West Bay Opera for 3 decades and performed starring roles in Die Fledermaus, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, and Carmen. She frequented the San Francisco Opera and Symphony and relished in the spontaneity of an unexpected musical adventure. She loved to laugh. Liz was a philanthropist, and an avid reader, and conducted herself at all times with style, grace, and dignity. She is survived by her sister Mary Anne, her two sons Christopher and Matthew Clabaugh, her five grandchildren Lindsay van der Bokke; Caitlyn and Anna Clabaugh, Charleton and Angeline Clabaugh, and her great-grandson Logan van der Bokke.

Published by Orange County Register on Dec. 24, 2022.

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