Carol Denice Bowdan-Ardrey

Carol Denice Bowdan-Ardrey

March 1st, 1950 – October 22nd, 2016

ardrey-carol-pictCarol Denice Bowdan-Ardrey embarked upon her life’s journey on Wednesday, March 1st, 1950, in the city of San Diego, California. She was the third of five children born to the loving union of the late Joel Elbert Bowdan, Sr. and the late Gweneth Marie Lowe. Carol was raised on a church pew and was born into the Apostolic Faith Temple Church under the pastorate of the late Bishop John Caldwell.  She was baptized in Jesus Name and filled with the Holy Ghost according to Acts 2:4-11 and 38; just like the Bible says – early in her upbringing. She loved church and would often travel to various Pentecostal Assembly of the World (PAW) conventions with her dad, her uncle Bishop Frank Bowdan, her uncle Andrew Cross and of course the immutable Sister Jessie Green!  In 1967, she along with her parents joined the Apostolic Faith Garden of Prayer under the pastorate of her uncle, the late Dr. Andrew Jack Calvin Cross.  She later became a faithful member and contributor to the pastorates of Suffragan Bishop Joseph R. Hall, the late District Elder Anthony C. Williams, Sr, and TL Carter Jr. where she served in several capacities including: Sunday School Teacher, choir and Gospelettes singer, administrator, praise team leader extraordinaire, Youth in Motion Director, and District AC Williams’ Pastor’s Soloist. Carol was a consummate learner who gleaned wisdom from her mother and grandmother from a very early age. She learned the art of loyalty, hard work, sacrifice, commitment, love, faith, creativity, and friendship. She was raised to be a woman of principles, a woman of her word, and a woman of integrity who did everything with excellence. She did not let you tell her she was wrong when she knew she was right – and she could prove that she knew what she was talking about! Carol began her formal education and graduated from San Diego High School in 1969. She became a teacher’s assistant at Lincoln High School and continued her studies at San Diego State University where she completed her Bachelor’s of Arts in Home Economics and English in 1974. She was an epic home maker, daycare provider, cosmetologist, writer and entrepreneur. She knew the meaning of “make it work” long before it was a cliché, for everything she truly needed she knew she already had. In business she was an amazing hair connoisseur, therapist and life fixer, specializing in French rolls while honing her craft at a shop she shared with her cousin Lauretta Cross-Scott aptly named “Lauretta’s Classic Hair Designs.”  Carol later opened a shop of her own with her daughter Autumn called “Barber, Beauty and Beyond.” As a scribe and artist, she was able to emulate her dad. They were both known for exacting the smallest of writing on various scraps of papers or notebooks to express the very essence of their hearts.  Her writing was not only poetic but innately spiritual and always carried a powerful message. She wouldn’t let someone tell her she was wrong; she would stand up for what was right. She was a prolific composer and lyricist. Some of her written works included “Any Day Now,” “The Holy Ghost” and “He Cared So Much,” songs that many may have heard on the Garden of Prayer Choir Album. In addition to her songwriting skills, she was a supporter and exhorter and was featured on Tonéx’s “Out The Box” and also emceed for his opening concert on the “Out The Box” tour. With even more space to give, at the center of her passion was her desire to teach. At any time on any day she was apt to hold instruction, open office hours, if you will, to impart the faith and hope that she carried through her everyday life to others. As a teacher she actually took her time to instruct. She advocated and stood for more than just educating her students on all things cosmetology. She instilled life values into her students as well—challenging them to explore their own identities as artists and creatives beyond basic educational skills. Her passion for teaching reflected in the relationships that she nurtured with her students. She kept them engaged, electrified with her presence.… People would say to her siblings, ”is Carol your sister?  She’s the best teacher in life.” Her siblings witnessed the kind of impact she had on her students and would sometimes receive special expressions of gratitude simply because they were related to her– like a hug on the street from a student who realized they were her brother or sister. She was truly one who touched lives! Carol had an incredible ability to build relationships and rapport with everyone with whom she came into contact. She was never judging, ever praying and accepted people for who they were. Everyone in her presence felt like they were the most important person in that moment and your circumstances were never a factor.  She treated all people with the utmost love, dignity, and respect. She made you feel like your life mattered and there was purpose to your journey.  Your harvest is always greater than what you plant, and she planted good seed into others’ lives. Even her children would say, blood could not make anyone closer to Carol. Just as she treated and cared for her own children with love and kindness, she did the same for people that weren’t technically related to her. She treated everyone equally. And this is why you’ll always hear people say, “She’s my adopted mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, friend and so much more.” Although her personal pain was not a shared experience, she was the master flipper, her ability to see the silver lining in the midst of a negative situation was infectious. Among the many hats she wore and in spite of her being a support system for many, Carol was most importantly a survivor. She did not complain and she encouraged others to do the same. She was a living testimony and to many, a “living Apostle.” She was the epitome of the saying “be ye doers of the word and not hearers only,” an epistle exemplified. She was living and doing that scripture! What was so intriguing about Carol’s perception of the world around her was her ability to draw deeper meanings from the simplest things. She found a message in every object, experience and person– you name it, and for Carol there was a message in it. For those that have experienced Carol’s magnetic personality, news of her untimely passing may have left many in disbelief and dismay. However, it was Saturday, October 22nd, 2016, when Carol Denice Bowdan-Ardrey stepped out of time and into eternity to begin life anew, “hanging with Jesus,” as she would put it. She was preceded in death by her sister Marian Bowdan-Miller and grandson Mattox Davis.  She leaves the treasure and legacy of her love to her daughters: Amber D. Carter, Autumn D. Profit-Ardrey (Chondra Profit-Ardrey), Aimée E. Davis (Matthew Davis); grandchildren: Siarah Loyd, Tyler Carter, TL Carter III, Malayah Davis, America Davis, Matthew Davis II, Maxwell Davis; siblings: Joel E. Bowdan II (Christina Bowdan), Alfred G. Bowdan, Sr. (Jean Bowdan) Kenneth J. Bowdan (DeNedra Bowdan), Gail Y. Kindred (Charles Kindred); and a great host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends. Services were held Friday, October 28, 2016 at Total Deliverance Worship Center; interment at Greenwood Memorial Park. Final arrangements were entrusted to Anderson-Ragsdale Mortuary.

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