Obituary: Ted Quigley Bowes
Longtime Claremont resident taught at CHS, elementary, preschool levels
“We have lost a teacher. Did you see it? A point of light in the universe accelerated and moved out of sight,” wrote the friends of Ted Quigley Bowes, who died peacefully surrounded by family on February 14 due to complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 78.
Ted was born in Los Angeles, raised in Pasadena and was a longtime resident of Claremont. He graduated with honors from UCLA in 1966 and moved to the City of Trees to enroll at Claremont Graduate School to pursue a teaching credential.
He earned his master’s degree in 1968 and soon began teaching at Claremont High School. Within a few years, he began to feel constricted by the structure of the curriculum and left teaching to reevaluate his life goals while living and working odd jobs near the ocean in Santa Monica. He loved the sea and needed to be close to it to ponder his future.
In 1976 he returned to Claremont with a new resolve: to continue teaching, and learning, at all levels. He began teaching small children in preschool while studying puppetry and mime, and performed to the giggles of his very young audience. He began to garden, which led to his custodianship of the earth, and he would cook macrobiotic meals for friends. He loved the mountains and he would hike regularly.
Upon returning to the public school system, he began teaching lower grades, including fourth grade at the time of his retirement in 2005. He created a “poet’s café” in the school assembly hall where students and parents could attend in the early evening to hear student poets recite their works to the beat of a drum, resonating with the writers of the Beat Generation. Over the years, Tai Chi and meditation became a focus for him.
“Blessed with a keen intellect, he hungrily took in ideas and ideals, books and art, friendships and loves, digesting them with his great passion for living,” his friends shared. “In all of these journeys, Ted discovered perhaps the greatest treasure of all: peace.”
He was the youngest and last surviving sibling of the three children of Charles and Quigley Bowes, and is survived by his nephew, Chuck, and his nieces, Vikki and Betsy.
“Remembering Ted’s spirit will continue to inspire the students that had been placed under his charge and the many friends he acquired and loved throughout his rich life,” his friends added.
A celebration of life is being planned for the spring. Contact Joanne at (626) 802-0224 for information.
He can also be remembered by tasting a sweet peach or flinging a Frisbee from a mountain top.