The Bow family is sad to announce the death of Patricia Anne Bow, nee Smith, who died peacefully on January 7, at home as she wished. Her battle with pancreatic cancer was brief but difficult.
Pat was a word person to her heart, and some of her own words tell her story: "My family descended from Scottish, Irish, and English pioneers who settled in the Ottawa Valley when it was still mostly uncut forest. Family stories infected me with a
fascination for history -- but above all I loved the hints of adventure and mystery in those tales." She was born in Ottawa in the middle of that big family story, with three older siblings and three younger siblings. All six survive her: Gordon (and
Madeline), Dorothy (and her late partner Bruce), Deanna (and the late Dieter), Margaret (and Leon), Bette, and Edward.
Chasing her love of history and story, Pat studied history as an undergraduate at Carleton University in Ottawa, then took a graduate degree in library science at the University of Toronto. She wrote: "I love libraries, their richness and generous
openness and even their smell." She loved them so much that she married fellow librarian Eric Bow in 1969.
Settling in the Bow family home in Toronto's old Chinatown, Eric and Pat had one child, a son, James. Becoming a stay-at-home mother, she raised James into a very fine young man. When James went to university and Eric retired, the family moved to
Kitchener-Waterloo. Pat took another degree, this one a diploma in journalism. She worked for the New Hamburg Independent, then joined the University of Waterloo communications office, "where for 12 years I wrote about quantum mechanics and the history
of war and peace, and other serious stuff." She retired in 2011, and "decided to go ahead and write what I love to read: fantasy and speculative fiction."
Pat's son James married Erin Noteboom in 1998, and in 2005, Pat became a grandmother, first to Vivian, and then, in 2008, to Nora. She adored them.
The whole Bow family - Eric, James and Erin, Vivian and Nora - survives Pat, who was only 70. We will remember Pat as sister, wife, and mother and grandmother, and as the maker of wonderful things: pie crusts, mittens, stunning quilts. And then of course
there are the books: she wrote and published more than 20 novels, full of ghosts and dragons. Best known, perhaps, was The Bone Flute, a finalist for the Silver Birch and Red Cedar Awards. She was a word person but words cannot express how much we will
"Camrose, a perfectly normal 12-year-old, has inherited responsibility for an ancient bone flute, an object of quest for two time-wandering rivals, one of them lord of the Otherworld. With the help of her friend Mark and the not-quite-human Miranda,
Camrose braves fire and much worse to claim the flute and restore it to its rightful--and unexpected--owner."