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Elizabeth Walton Bowen "Chunk" Reichert 1915-2012 | Obituaries

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Elizabeth Walton Bowen "Chunk" Reichert 1915-2012
Elizabeth Walton Bowen "Chunk" Reichert 1915-2012

Elizabeth Walton Bowen “Chunk” Reichert died on Wednesday, February 22, 2012. She was born July 2, 1915, in Macon, Georgia, the daughter of Orsamus Allan Bowen and Louise Margaret Napier Bowen. Her father called her a little “chunk” of gold, and the name stuck.

They lived in a house on a hill on Forsyth Road, where they had a dairy farm. The place was called Rivoli, a name her father had brought from a family home in South Carolina.

Her father died when she was not yet 5 years old, and her mother died when she was 10. She and her younger sister Lou were taken in by their aunt, Gladys Napier Corbin and her husband Charles Culver Corbin, and reared along with the Corbin’s son, Charles Culver “Buck” Corbin, Jr., at their home on Rogers Avenue. When Buck was in high school, he had a party at his house one night. At age 14, Chunk was allowed to attend, but only for the purpose of cranking the Victrola to play phonograph records. One of Buck’s friends that was invited to the party was Albert Reichert, who took a special interest in the girl playing the Victrola. He later called it his “enchanted evening”. Chunk attended high school in the old Lanier High School building at the corner of Forsyth Street and Orange Terrace.

She was in the first class to move into the new A. L. Miller High School building on Montpelier Avenue. She was a honor student, and upon her graduation was awarded a silver loving cup for “Best All Around” student. At the suggestion of her Aunt Gladys Corbin, she attended Duke University. She was elected President of her Freshman Class. In her senior year, she was elected President of Student Government Association, and was one of seven students selected for White Duchess Honor Society. On December 22, 1936, during Christmas holidays of her senior year, she and Albert Reichert were married at the Corbin house on Rogers Avenue. In order to marry, she had to get permission from the Dean and resign as President of Student Government Association. She graduated from Duke in 1937. Chunk and Albert made their permanent home in Macon, where they reared three sons. Sometimes the rearing fell solely on Chunk, as when Albert was serving in the Pacific during World War II or when Albert’s railroad job required him to be in Savannah during the week.

Chunk was the correspondent in the family. Her notes and letters helped bind the family closer together. She wrote almost daily to her husband when he was in the Pacific and wrote to her sons whenever they were not at home, whether they were in the next county at Boy Scout Camp, in college or law school, in New York or in Viet Nam, and wrote other friends and relatives as well. Chunk was active in her church, the Vineville United Methodist Church, including being a member and leader of a church circle and being a long-time member of the Ed Cook Class. She was also active in civic and cultural affairs, including serving as member of Historic Macon, Inc., Macon Symphony Orchestra, Macon Concert Association, President of the Junior League of Macon, President of the History Club of Macon, and President of the Morning Music Club.

She was a member of the Colonial Dames of America, and a major donor of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. Along with Libby Timberlake and Betty Timberlake, she established the W. Derrell Hazlehurst Scholarship Fund at Mercer Medical School. She was a supporter of the Boy Scouts of America, including serving as a Cub Scout Den Mother and as mother of three Eagle Scouts. Her circle of friends was wide, but she was especially close to the members of her sewing club, whose members included Betty Sweet Simmons, Kathryn Heard, Katherine McNair, Margaret Edwards Morgan, and Libby Timberlake. The club met weekly for over 60 years. Her husband of 75 years, Albert Phillips Reichert, died on February 16, 2012. She followed 6 days later.


She is survived by her son, Albert Phillips Reichert, Jr., and Albert’s wife, Burnam “Bebe” Walker Reichert, her son, Stephen Allan Reichert, her son, Robert Adger Bowen Reichert, and Robert’s wife, Adele Dunwody Reichert, her grandchildren, Albert Phillips Reichert III, and Albert’s wife, Dr. Gillian Tracey Braulik, John Walker Reichert, Elizabeth Bowen Reichert, and Thomas Dunwody Reichert, and her great-grandchildren, Eden Pape Reichert, Luna Walker Reichert, and Sarana Bowen Reichert. She was predeceased by her sister, Louise Moultrie Bowen Bennett, her brother, Edwin Bowen, her brother, Allan Bowen, her sister, Katherine Bowen Allen, and her brother, Robert Adger Bowen. There will be a private burial service. A memorial service will be held at Vineville United Methodist Church at 11:00 A.M. on Friday, February 24, 2012, with Dr. Marcus Tripp and Reverend James Duke, Jr. officiating. The family will greet friends at the church after the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Vineville United Methodist Church, 2045 Vineville Avenue, Macon, GA 31204, Hospice of Central Georgia, 6261 Peake Road, Macon, GA 31210, or the donor’s favorite charity. The family is extremely grateful to the staff at Carlyle Place and the staff at Hospice of Central Georgia. Register online at www.hartsmort.com. Hart’s Mortuary and Crematory at the Cupola has charge of arrangements.


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