Obituary | Kimberly Gilmour Bowser

Kimberly Gilmour Bowser

Kimberly Gilmour Bowser was born December 27, 1984 to Debbie and Andy Gilmour. The youngest of three, she loved her older brother, Steve Gilmour, and older sister, Jenny Gilmour O’Neill. She is survived by her husband Isaac and sons Jacob (4) and Caleb (1).
Kim never fit perfectly into any category. Though easygoing, she was fiercely competitive in sports. She wore big bows in her hair (admittedly to please her mom) and came home with scrapes and bruises from taking falls while playing with the boys on La Cañada Elementary School’s black top.
Kim played on a number of teams coached by her parents and loved playing tennis with her family. As fruits of her talent and dedication, Kim played on the varsity tennis, basketball and softball teams all four years. She loved winning, but loved playing with her teammates and family much more.
She applied that same determination on the court to off-the-court activities too. She graduated La Cañada High School with a 4.5 GPA and fluent in Spanish, a skill that served her well in her missionary work later.
She defined herself by her everyday interactions with people rather than trophies or plaques. From an early age, Kim was an angel on earth. She led a small group at La Cañada Presbyterian Church and mentored other young women. Kim joined trips to Mexico with LCPC and would return with an empty suitcase because she left her extra clothes with those who had less.
She saw every gift as a gift from God and used the gifts and resources she had to help others. Her identity was rooted entirely in God and doing God’s work. She spent the first moments of every day with God in her closet, the quietest place she could find to talk and listen to God.
Kim attended USC on an academic scholarship, joining her sister and brother, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents in the long line of Gilmours who attended USC. She joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, and was actively engaged in church ministries. As just one example, she collected computers being replaced by the USC Business School in order to bring them to Nicaragua on a mission trip. In 2007 Kim graduated with high honors in Business and minors in Spanish and Religion.
Kim joined Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance after USC graduation. She felt that this career choice would ensure balance between profession, ministry work, and a future family. She very quickly progressed to a senior account manager with enormous responsibility as a highly regarded employee.
Her ministry remained active. In late 2012, she bought a large house and christened a new non-profit called the East Hollywood Community House (EHCH). The house became the center of life for her church community and neighborhood friends. In addition to community living, Kim and the residents of EHCH held countless birthday parties, engagement parties, quinceañeras, week-long summer kids camps and baptisms at EHCH over the years.
Her Christ-centered life led her to meet her husband, Isaac Bowser. Isaac was an active member of Reality LA Church where he led a community group and played worship music. They quickly fell in love and were married a year later.
Kim and Isaac were soon busy with their next ministry – helping start the East Hollywood Community Church, a hyperlocal neighborhood church. With no building and a modest budget, the Bowsers and church held their Sunday gatherings at an inner-city local park. Kim engaged the neighborhood through youth sports coaching, community clean-ups, young adult mentoring, and life skills coaching. She served as the church treasurer behind the scenes while the new church found its footing. That foundation has led to numerous baptisms and remains an active church.
Kim and Isaac welcomed their son, Jacob, into the world in 2016. The birth sadly led to Kim’s sudden bout of postpartum mania psychosis, a mental illness that affects 1-2 out of every 1000 women. Kim’s subsequent bipolar disorder diagnosis led to four years of managed care.
She later went back to work full time, juggling family, career, church and her community. In 2019, Kim and Isaac welcomed their second son, Caleb, into the world. Her bipolar disorder had ebbed until May 2020 when it manifested itself again, this time in the form of depression. She tragically died from her disease on October 14, 2020.
The Kim that we all knew and loved was taken too soon, but she is restored to peace and in the loving arms of her Heavenly Father. The Kimberly Gilmour Bowser who loved her family and focused on the good of her community made this world a better place.
Rest in peace, dear Kim, we will miss your smile.
Kim is survived by her husband Isaac Bowser, sons Jacob (4) and Caleb (1); her parents Debbie and Andy Gilmour; her brother Steven Gilmour and his wife Phoebe, and their children Archie and Molly; her sister Jennifer Gilmour O’Neill and husband William and their children Aubrey and Sean; and her grandfather J. Douglas Gilmour. She is also survived by many aunts, uncles and cousins all in Southern California.
Services will be held at Oakmont Country Club, Glendale, on Monday, November 9th at 1:45 PM. We will celebrate Kim’s life according to Covid-19 guidelines, outdoors on the golf course. People wishing to attend (or watch) the service on Live Stream, must RSVP to Rememberingkim2020@gmail.com by November 2nd. Walkups are regrettably not permitted.
We hope to continue Kim’s legacy of doing Christ’s work in the city. Donations in her memory can be made to the Kimberly Gilmour Bowser Memorial Foundation through East Hollywood Community House. https://easthollywoodcommunityhouse.wordpress.com/

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