- Avid reader leaves house, half remaining estate to County Library
- County Board to consider largest single gift to Library
ARLINGTON, Va. — Rosemarie G. Bowie, a retired federal government attorney who lived much of her adult life in Arlington, has willed the Public Library its single largest private gift. County officials believe that the gift, estimated to be worth nearly $800,000, may be the largest private gift ever bequeathed to County government.
Ms. Bowie died June 24, a few days before her 77th birthday. In her will, she instructed that the proceeds from the sale of her north Arlington home and half her remaining estate be given to the library system.
The County Board will consider accepting the gift for the exclusive benefit of the Arlington Public Library at its September Regular Board Meeting on Saturday, Sept. 21 meeting. The Board is required to vote on the acceptance of any gift to the County.
Ms. Bowie was an avid reader and frequent user of Central Library. A retired attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, she also was a long-time volunteer pro-bono guardian of Arlington residents in their final years of life. In the course of her work with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Ms. Bowie traveled the world. She also enjoyed photography, sewing and ceramics.
A cousin says Ms. Bowie tried to support others in a “quiet” and “lasting” way, and that books, and education, were of primary importance to her.
Ms. Bowie's home on Danville Street in Arlington had a 2013 assessed value of $626,500. Her executor says that one-half of her remaining estate is estimated at well over $100,000.
Records indicate the largest individual donations made to the Library were two gifts of $100,000, one processed through the County and one through the Friends of the Arlington Public Library. County officials who searched minutes of board meetings dating back to 1936 could find no record of any gift to the County equaling Ms. Bowie's.
Courthouse Plaza is served by Metrorail (Orange line); Metrobus 38B, 4B, 4E; ART bus 41, 61, 62, 77; Capital Bikeshare, and Zipcar. View all transit options and real-time schedule information.