StepUp Series: Carol Mowrer shares lessons in love and life

Allison Ullmann - Staff
Carol Mowrer smiles while playing a game of Skip-Bo at the Willis Avenue campus of Perry Lutheran Homes. PHOTO BY ALLISON ULLMANN/THE PERRY CHIEF

Editor’s note: This is a continuation of a series the Perry Chief is producing. The series will focus on a different elder each month from the Spring Valley and main campuses of Perry Lutheran Homes. The series was prompted by the PLH StepUp campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the elderly in Perry and beyond.

Carol Mowrer said the secret to a good marriage is knowing that it doesn’t happen without work.

While she had her ups and downs with her late husband of 53 years, Harold, the pair stuck with it because of the love they shared.

“I’m not perfect and he isn’t either. But I had to go back to the reason I fell in love with him, that gave me a reason to work at the marriage,” Mowrer said.

Though it took a bit before the pair were married in 1950.

Mowrer said Harold saw her around town and asked a friend at school to introduce them. The friend refused, so Mowrer said Harold pulled up beside her in his car and asked her out.

The first date he suggested didn’t work as she was going out with someone else at the same time. They eventually settled on a day and they started dating. After awhile, Mowrer said she hadn’t heard from Harold.

“I wrote him a note and I said ‘If you’re not interested in me, remember you’re not the only fish in the pond,’” Mowrer said with a chuckle. “If you don’t want to have any more dates, that’s fine. Just give me back my picture.”

Harold then called her at work. The pair met and Harold gave Mowrer back her picture. Though he still wanted to go out together.

They started dating again and ended up getting married on March 15, 1950.

“Crazy, wasn’t it?,” Mowrer said with a laugh. “He told me he was going with another girl, but he had decided that I was the one.”

The pair had four children together, Tom, Nancy, Andy and Kent. They lived on farms near Rippey and north of Perry before moving to Boone and later Ogden. Harold passed away in August of 2003.

Mowrer was born Carol Hume on May 28, 1930 in a farmhouse between Herndon and Cooper.

“I remember that my mother had a cook stove that she had to put wood and cobs in to keep it going,” Mowrer said. “She used what they called flat irons to iron. Of course, those flat irons had to be warmed up on the stove.”

Mowrer also recalled a really bad blizzard when she was around four. She remembered her dad had to tie a rope from the fence to the barn so he wouldn’t get lost going out in the blizzard to milk the cows.

Mowrer moved to California with her mother, father, two sisters and brother when she was seven to live with her mom’s family.

“We lived there about a year because my dad did not like that place,” Mowrer said. “So we came back in the next summertime. I think truefully that we missed the seasons.”

They moved to Cooper before settling in Jamaica. Mowrer graduated with around 25 students from the high school in Jamaica in 1948.

She went to work behind the bakery counter at Seaton’s grocery store until she married Harold.

Mowrer moved to Perry in 2014. She then moved to the Willis Avenue campus of Perry Lutheran Homes after she broke her hip.

“I’m very thankful I’m here,” Mowrer said of PLH.

She likes to attend church services at PLH, along with weekly Bible studies. She also volunteers to help make bandages and comfort crosses that are distributed to Africa and other places.

“I believe in my faith and through my faith, it helps me to work at my life and try to apply what I’m learning, even though I’ve got a lot to learn yet,” Mowrer said. “I do feel that should be a part of my life. You’re never too old to learn.”