Obituary: Laura James Bownes


It is with extreme sadness that we announce the passing of Laura James Bownes.  Laura was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother.  She was born in Chicago, Illinois, on Nov. 30th, 1928, and attended Catholic University of America, graduating with a BS in 1954.  Thereafter, she attended Mercy University to earn her Masters in Nursing.  She married Eugene A. Bownes, M.D., on May 12, 1956, in Newport, Michigan.  Later, in 1967, they relocated to Cullman, Alabama, to open a practice together in order to serve the children of the community, since there was no pediatric care.

They were blessed with five children:  Michael A. Bownes (Karen), Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Beth Bownes-Johnson (Dean) Cullman, Alabama; Patrick Bownes, San Francisco, California; and Bridget Stevens and Kelly A. Bownes in Birmingham, Alabama.  Both were active members of Sacred Heart parish.

During Laura’s life, many were touched by her family tenets and religious values, leaving a lasting imprint on countless hearts. “Momma B.” will be missed by countless friends, patients, and family members because of her generosity, kindness, and sense of humor.  She was preceded in death by her parents Catherine and Ledyard Tomlinson and her husband, Eugene. She is survived by one sister: Catherine (Fred) Paulicki, four children, and six grandchildren: Dr. Laura Bownes, Dr. Elizabeth Price (CP), Dr. Connor Johnson, Brennan Johnson, Dr. Laura Beth Lavette, and John Lavette—all who will miss her presence in their lives but rejoice knowing she is at peace and resting as the dedicated and faithful servant she was.

A celebration of her life will commence with a private memorial mass at St. Benedictine Chapel and a private burial at the Catholic Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests bequeaths to Benedictine Sisters Convent, Sacred Heart Church, or Cullman Animal Shelter.