Norma Bradshaw Flora Bowen

Norma Bradshaw Flora Bowen


Norma Bradshaw Flora Bowen passed away on December 8th, 2023, at the age of ninety. She died from complications resulting from a series of strokes over the past several years. Norma was born on April 23,1933 to the late Norma and Olin Link Bradshaw of Jackson, Mississippi. She grew up in the Belhaven neighborhood where she began many relationships that would become treasured and lifelong. Her summers were spent at Camp DeSoto, a girl’s summer camp, in Mentone, Alabama which her mother owned and operated for over forty years. In 1949, she attended Ward Belmont School in Nashville, Tennessee for a year, and then returned to Jackson and graduated from Central High School in 1951. Norma attended Ole Miss where she was a member of Chi Omega fraternity and graduated with a degree in elementary education. She was presented by the Debutante Club of Mississippi in 1953. Upon graduation, her first job was teaching the primer class at St. Andrews School in Jackson. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church where her family has been members for more than six generations.

She met her husband, Ernest Gray Flora, Jr. while both were attending Ole Miss. They married in 1956 and moved to Macon, Mississippi where they raised their two children. Norma adored Macon and played a very active role in all aspects of the community. She was a Cub Scout and Brownie leader, a board member of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries and was honored to be named Queen of the Junior Auxiliary Charity Ball. She served on the national board of Chi Omega Fraternity for several years and started her own business, Norma Bradshaw Flora Antique and Estate Jewelry, which she successfully ran for many years. She was thrilled to have been a merchant at the very first Mistletoe Marketplace in Jackson. But it was Macon Presbyterian Church where she invested most of her energies and talents, as she worked tirelessly in any and every capacity. She was a diligent student of the Bible, and faithfully taught the Women of the Church Bible Study for many years. 

She reveled in being a mother to Norma and Gray. No project was too much, no stone was left unturned as she threw her life into her children. From learning the ins and outs of baseball, basketball, and Ole Miss football, to planning picnics on the limestone hills outside of Macon, to growing a vegetable garden, or opening her home to all of their friends, she was always willing and enthusiastic the love she had for them truly knew no end.

Norma was likewise devoted to her six grandchildren.  To them, she was a source of great love, enthusiasm and adventure. An avid traveler, she loved taking them on special trips to New York and Europe.  She was also known to have chased down many a police car or firetruck in Macon, so her grandchildren could look inside! 

In addition to her devotion to family, Norma was famous for her gracious hospitality and loved nothing more than opening her home for glorious bridal and engagement parties, grandchildren’s special birthdays and graduations, as well as to missionaries and preachers from all over the world.

Several years after the death of her husband, Ernie, in 2010, she left Macon and moved back to her hometown of Jackson. She loved reuniting with old childhood friends and being back at First Presbyterian Church. In 2014, she married Tom Bowen and together, they were very active in the church and their home at St. Catherine’s Village. During these years she was a member of various luncheon clubs and Bible studies and rejoiced in the births of several great grandchildren. 

Norma will be remembered by family and friends for her graciousness, devotion, sense of fun and excitement but most importantly, her over-arching love for her savior, Jesus Christ. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, Norma and Olin Link Bradshaw, her husband, Ernest Gray Flora, Jr., an infant daughter and husband, Thomas Henry Bowen, Jr. She is survived by her son Ernest Gray Flora III and wife Laurie, her daughter, Norma Flora Cox and husband John. Six grandchildren: Gray Flora IV (Eden), Kennedy Flora, Lilla Flora Cappellari (David), Callie Cox Dixon (Ryan), Katherine Cox Dehmer (Steele) and Bonney Cox Ellison (Lee). Great grandchildren; Vee and Bradshaw Flora, Pete Cappellari, Dottie Dixon, Whit and Shaw Dehmer, Mark and Parker Ellison.

The family would like to thank the staff and nurses of St. Catherine’s Village and more specifically those in the Seina and Tuscany facilities for the care and love Norma received as a resident over these last years. Also, the family is most grateful for her faithful and loving caregivers; Carla Weatherall, Sheila Scott, Pat Thomas, Samarius Weatherall and Shalantrice Weathersby.

Visitation was held Tuesday, December 12th from 4-6 pm in the Greeting Courtyard of First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi. A private family burial took place at Shuqualak Cemetery in Shuqualak, Mississippi officiating was Rev. Billy Dempsey. Those serving as pallbearers will be Gray Flora, IV, Kennedy Flora, David Capillerie, Ryan Dixon, Steele Dehmer, and Lee Ellison.   On Wednesday, December 13, a visitation will be held in Macon, MS from 11-12:30 p.m. at Macon Presbyterian Church. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts be made to: Camp DeSoto Camperships, Box 432 Mentone Alabama, 35984, First Presbyterian Church 1390 North State Street Jackson Ms. 39202 or Macon Presbyterian Church, Macon, Ms. 39341. Cockrell Funeral Home of Macon, Mississippi is honored to be entrusted with arrangements.    

“Deck thyself now with majesty; and array thyself with glory and beauty”.

“Strength and honor are her clothing and she will rejoice in the last day”.

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