Lila Lee Bowers
Lila Lee Bowers finished her best race - the race of life - at 85 years, 179 days and 14 hours on January 4, 2020.
Lila was the only child of James Orville and Bertha (Kirchhoff) Bowers, born July 7, 1934 in Effingham, Illinois. She graduated Effingham High School in 1952 and attended the University of Illinois. On September 24, 1952 Lila and Bob G. Alexander were united in marriage at Camp Stoneman, California. Two sons were born to that marriage of thirty years. Roger Gene was born August 2, 1954 at Tinker Air Force Base, OK and Rory Lee was born August 27, 1959 in Pauls Valley, OK.
After living in Oklahoma, Texas and Utah for 47 years, Lila returned to Effingham County on July 1, 1997, making her home at Kirchhoff Farm southeast of Altamont. On February 4, 2000 she resumed her birth name.
Lila was a business woman, author, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She enjoyed writing, running, hiking, body building and genealogy. She took a great deal of pride in expressing her views on equality for all and equal rights for women. She was an avid supporter of women's athletics at all levels and was a member of the Women's Sports Foundation. She was also a member of Effingham County Genealogical & Historical Society.
Lila was proud of her middle-age achievements. At forty-eight she trained for and ran many 10 and 15k races, finishing well in her age bracket. At age 65, she trained vigorously for 6 months in rural Altamont before back packing with a 40 pound pack into Grand Canyon with her sons and grandson.
Preceding her in death were her father, Orville Bowers in 1956 and her mother, Bertha (Kirchhoff) Bowers Cartmill in 1998; her grandparents, William and Amanda Kirchhoff and Preston and Christine Bowers, all of Altamont, IL.
Surviving are her two sons and daughters-in-law, Roger and Jaime Alexander of Midland, TX and Rory and Karen Alexander of Austin, TX; grandchildren, Joni Ayn Alexander (husband Stephen Cushion) of Cardiff, Wales UK, James Roark Alexander of Bellingham WA, Caitlin Bell Alexander and Devin Lee Alexander of Austin, TX; and great-grandchildren, James Alexander Cushion and Catherine Alexander Cushion.
Also surviving is her dear friend of 70 years, Cecile (Creath) Broeren. Following different life paths after graduation from Effingham High School in 1952 they reconnected at the 45th class reunion and had shared their home at Kirchhoff Farm for 9 years before moving to the Lutheran Care Center Villas in 2010. They enjoyed traveling together and had an intense interest in landscaping the farmstead. They became affectionately known as "the country girls."
Lila's passion for gardening was evident in her diligent care tending to the gardens around Lutheran Care Center. She worked tirelessly to make sure that everything bloomed perfectly for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Lila believed in visitation during life rather than after death. A private family burial will be held next to her parents' graves in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Effingham. Services are in the care of Johnson Funeral Home in Effingham.
"The time was so short that I didn't have time to give you a call. You will be in my mind and heart forever."
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Lutheran Care Center: 702 W. Cumberland Road, Altamont, IL 62411. Online condolences may be shared at
Published on January 6, 2020


Plant a tree in memory
of Lila
Plant a tree

Obituary published in


Print Guestbook

A place to share condolences and memories.
The guestbook expires on April 04, 2020.

Showing 10 of 4 posts

marilyn Willison Ward
Jan 22, 2020
Lila was a kind,loving talented person.
She always did a wonderful job of organizing
the class reunions. She was a great friend, I
will always have fond memories.
to her sons I know you were so proud of her.
She will be greatly missed...
Bob McKenzie
Jan 09, 2020
Lila will be missed by a lot of friends and classmates. Smart, sharing and many talents.
Yvonne Conner Flanigan
Jan 08, 2020
Lila was a very special person. I got to know Lila through my mom, Phyllis Conner, and her tireless work she put into the genealogy of the Ellis family and the "Barber's Diaries." I will miss the beautiful flowers she put on her Kirchoff grandparents' grave, which is close to my parents' grave. I am very sorry for your loss.
Helen Faye Davis Wilson
Jan 07, 2020
Lila was a very special friend. She always kept me up to date on what was going on in Altamont and Effingham. She was the 'contact' person about all of our 1952 classmates. She will certainly be missed.