The Duncan Banner


December 1, 2012

Daphne Bowden

Aug. 15, 1938 — Nov. 28, 2012


Daphne Bowden was born Aug. 15, 1938, in Milo, to Ablin L. and Oma M. Firestone and passed away Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, at the age 74, in Duncan.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, at Ratliff City Baptist Church with Bro. Rick Williams officiating. Burial will be in Poolville Cemetery under direction of Don Grantham Funeral Home in Duncan.

Visitation was 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Don Grantham Chapel in Velma, and will be from 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. Family visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Daphne graduated from Fox High School in 1956. Following high school, she joined the Marine Corps, where she met and married her husband, Harry W. Bowden, March 21, 1958. After starting her family, she left the military. Harry and Daphne settled in Corpus Christi, Texas, where they raised three children.

In 1972, she started a career in civil service at Corpus Christi Army Depot, retiring after serving 25 years as a statistician. Following her husband’s death in 1998, she returned to Oklahoma, where she lived for 10 years in Velma.

During her life, Daphne established many firsts. When joining the Marine Corps, her battalion became notable as they became part of the first women in the Marine Corps to be part of the Marine Corps and not the Women’s Auxiliary. A picture of her with her battalion is hanging in the Marine Corps Hall of Fame at the Marine Corps Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Throughout her career, she championed the advancement of equal pay and opportunity for women in civil service, ending her career in a position that women rarely held. Daphne became the first woman to join the International Lions Club in Texas, in 1982, where she and Harry faithfully served until his death in 1998. She continued her Lions association upon arrival in Velma.

Survivors include her son, Harry W. Bowden III of Lemon Grove, Calif.; her daughter, Teresa L. Ferrill of Plattsmouth, Neb.; and her daughter, Kimberly G. Houston of Burlington, N.C. She is also survived by three brothers and one sister: Sonny Firestone of Velma, Keith Firestone of Ratliff City, Monk Firestone of Velma, Betty Humphrey of Aledo, Texas; as well as five grandchildren, eight nieces and eight nephews.

Daphne was preceded in death by her parents and her husband.

Pallbearers will be her nephews: Allen Firestone, Tom Firestone, Tom Gilmore and Gil Messersmith; and her grand-nephews: Wil Messersmith and Josh McLain. Honorary pallbearers include Martie Firestone, Clark Humphrey, Tommy James, Kenny James, Scott Moberley and Eric Moberley.

Request donations to International Lions Club or Juvenile Diabetes Association in lieu of flowers.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

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