Theresa (Terri) Cook Bowden passed away on November 13, 2023 in Miramar Beach, Florida, from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Terri fought her battle with ALS ferociously and bravely, and she maintained a positive attitude until the end.
Terri was born on December 22, 1954 in Gulfport, Mississippi, where she grew up and attended Gulfport East High School. A pioneer in the field of Speech Pathology, Terri was the first person to receive a Master’s degree in Speech and Hearing from the University of South Alabama. As a Speech Pathologist in Mobile, Alabama for over 40 years working in outpatient care, home health, and inpatient care at Providence and Spring Hill hospitals, Terri helped thousands of patients regain speech, swallow safely, and regain cognition. She took immense pride in her work and cared deeply for her patients; she kept in touch with many of them and cherished the gifts and thoughtful notes she received from them.
Terri loved to travel and enjoyed many wonderful trips around the United States, Canada, and Europe with friends and with her husband. She found so much joy in shopping and picking out the perfect gift, bargain hunting, decorating her home, and driving in her convertible on a sunny day.
Terri had a heart for all animals, especially cats, and for many years was the primary caretaker for a feral cat colony at Providence Hospital in Mobile. Terri was a fierce advocate for TNR (trap- neuter-return), the most effective way to reduce cat overpopulation. She trapped and fixed hundreds of cats and found homes for many kittens; she famously rescued a kitten from a drainpipe, Zoe, who is now a much-loved house cat (along with Piper, Lily Rose, and dog Savannah).
Terri is survived by her husband, Steve Bowden of Miramar Beach, Florida, Steve’s children Laura (Michael) of New York City, and Matthew (Moira) of Jacksonville, Florida, and grandchildren Margaret and Catherine. It was especially meaningful to Terri that she and Margaret share the same birthday. Terri is also survived by her brothers Johnny (Donna) and Jamie, nephews Ashton, Chris, Jay, Nicholas, and Patrick, and nieces Camilla and Christina, great nieces and nephews, and many dear friends. Terri greatly appreciated the visits from so many friends and family members over the past months.
Terri is preceded in death by her parents, Theresa Lovisa VanArsdall and Alan Cook, and her brother Joel Cook.
A service will be held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Mobile on Monday, November 20 at 2:00pm, with visitation beginning at 1:00pm. A graveside service will be held at Heritage Gardens in Niceville, Florida on Tuesday, November 21 at 11:00am.
ALS cannot be cured until its cause is fully understood. In lieu of flowers or gifts, Terri’s family asks that you consider a donation to support research at the ALS Association (als.org), to the Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport, Florida (alaqua.org), or to the animal welfare charity of your choice.