Jewel Mae (Vanatta) Bowers

May 20, 1932 ~ July 20, 2020 (age 88)


Jewel Mae (Vanatta) Bowers, age 88 of Hidalgo Illinois passed away at 5:00 AM, Monday, July 20, 2020 at Casey Health Care, Casey Illinois.

Private family services will be held. Burial will be in the Aten Cemetery. The Barkley Funeral Chapel is assisting the family.

Jewel was born on May 20, 1932 in Robinson, Illinois the daughter of Emil Roy and Lena Elizabeth (Cummins) Vanatta.

She married Oral Bowers in 1949. Jewel attended Hidalgo Grade School and Newton Community High School. She was a graduate of Olney Central College and Eastern Illinois University with degrees in Special Education and Elementary Education.

As a youngster she enjoyed working in her parent’s grocery store (Vanatta’s Grocery) in Hidalgo. Jewel also worked at the Hidalgo Grade School as secretary and cook. Jewel was a licensed beautician and owned her own shop, The Country Charm Beauty Salon. She retired as Postmaster at the Hidalgo Post Office in 2007.

She also enjoyed teaching Bible School and Children’s Sunday School at the Hidalgo Independent Christian Church, reading, writing stories, and researching the history of Hidalgo. Her greatest accomplishment was raising a family.

Jewel is survived by children Danny (Peggy) Bowers of Sullivan, IL, Diana Bowers of Hidalgo, IL, Lisa (Rick) Sappington of Stewardson, IL and Lynn Ray of Greenup, IL. Grandchildren Gabriel Bowers, Phoebe Bowers (Jesse Blunt), Jessica (Michael) Ryder, Harley Ray, Zoe (Jeffrey) Windoloski and Levi Ray. Great grandchildren Jame and Ross Ryder, Henry and Scarlett Blunt and Isaak Aaron Windoloski. Sisters Mara June Vanatta and Jeannette (Bob) Matson and several nieces and nephews.

Jewel was preceded in death by her father, mother, son David Lee Bowers, brother Robert Vanatta and Oral Bowers, father of their children.

Memorials can be made to POMC (623 West 7th Street, Suite 104, Cincinnati, OH 45203) or Lighthouse Mission (1201 South 13th Street, Terre Haute, IN 47802). Online condolences can be expressed at

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