Arlington woman leaves her estate, worth more than $700,000, to the Arlington library

September 24, 2013
ArlLib2
Arlington County’s Central Library, where Rosemarie Bowie spent some of her free time. She recently died and left her house and estate to the county, worth more than $700,000. (Arlington County Public Library)

Rosemarie Bowie, a retired patent attorney in Arlington, spent much of her time helping others. She served as a legal guardian for both juveniles and the elderly, and also provided free legal help to residents of nursing and assisted living homes. Now she has made one last unselfish gesture for Arlington in her will: She bequeathed her home and half of the rest of her estate to the Arlington County Public Library, the largest gift the library has ever gotten.

The Post’s Pat Sullivan had the details when the bequest was first made public, and on Saturday Arlington County’s Board formally accepted the gift. Bowie passed away in June at age 76. She had no family in this area, only two cousins out west. And she apparently spent a lot of time at the Arlington Central Library on N. Quincy Street, library officials said. So she left her home on N. Danville Street in north Arlington to the county. It’s assessed at $626,500, and half of the rest of her estate is estimated to be worth more than $100,000, so that’s $726,500 right there.

Bowie worked as an examiner and lawyer for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and her family described her as private. The library hasn’t decided what to do with the money yet, but a spokesman said it would probably go toward one capital project. A plaque will be erected in Bowie’s name. ARLNow.com and the Arlington Patch also had reports on the gift, but not much was reported about Bowie’s life. If you knew her, feel free to share. Or e-mail me at jackmant@washpost.com.

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.
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