Dateline: Alplaus, NY
Barbara J. Gower, 80, died peacefully October 26th, 2021 surrounded by her family, one day shy of her birthday on October 27, 1940. Barbara was the beloved daughter of the late Wilbur and Elizabeth (Worden) Rhenow. She is lovingly survived by her husband, Leonard G. Gower; three daughters, Beth Ann VanBuren (Russell), Marcy Aileen Sickler (Matthew) and Lindy Christine Gower. Barbara leaves behind her siblings, James (Susan) and Steve Rhenow, Sue (Calvin) Kenyon and Diane (Jimmy) Jones; cherished grandchildren Charlie (Jamie) Sickler, Valerie, and Clayton Sickler, Jordan and Alyssa VanBuren; numerous nieces and nephews.
Raised in Averill Park, graduating class '58, she went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Oneonta State College. Barb attended the First Baptist Church in Oneonta and sang in the choir there. She taught for three years in Fonda-Fultonville after graduating. During that time she met Len at the Young Adult Bible Study group at First Presbyterian Church, Schenectady. They married on April 9, 1966 at First Pres. The Gowers then built their own home in Alplaus and raised a family there. Barbara was a loving and devoted wife to Leonard for 55 years and cared for him well. She worked with her husband as a bookkeeper for Gower Builders, the family business. Len was one of the founders of Schenectady Christian School where Barb was active in many ways. She hosted summer bible clubs in her backyard for neighborhood children. She was also involved with Camp Pattersonville, a Christian camp for children. The importance of the Christian education of children was a primary concern of hers. Her time spent with her grandchildren reflected this as well. Her grandchildren were one of her greatest joys in life.
A longtime member of her church, she volunteered tirelessly in many aspects including gardening and years of cooking church dinners and Lenten luncheons. Barbara passed on these same values of hard work, Christlike servanthood, and care for others to her children and grandchildren. She was known for her extensive knowledge of plants and flowers, an avid gardener at home as well. She enjoyed sewing and made clothing for her children and grandchildren. She had a great love of birds and all of nature. She was a lifelong learner with a passion for knowledge and loved reading her encyclopedias often. Though she will be greatly missed, her family finds peace and comfort in knowing that she had a personal relationship with Christ and trusted him alone for her salvation. They know they will see her again someday. They will treasure her Bible and its many notes and markings from her time spent reading and studying it.
Calling hours will be held Friday, October 29 from 4-7 PM at Glenville Funeral Home, 9 Glenridge Rd. Vaccinated persons need not wear masks.
A funeral service and celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, November 6th at 11 AM at First Presbyterian Church, Union St., Schenectady with Pastor Mark Dunn officiating.
Interment will be held at Evergreen Memorial Park.
Contributions in memory of Barbara J. Gower may be made to The City Mission of Schenectady, Hamilton St., Schenectady or, to Camp Pattersonville c/o Al Steinbach, 141 Gordon Rd. Schenectady, NY 12306. Online condolences may be expressed at GLENVILLEFUNERALHOME.COM