Published on -9/16/2012, 2:55 PM
Inga Bow, 84, departed this life on September 13, 2012, in Abilene, Kansas, after a long illness. She was born Ingeborg Maria Rosalia Angela Friederike Rasper on September 7, 1928, in Graz, Austria, the first of 8 children born to Friederike (Ropas) and Rainer Rasper. Her youth was lived in Graz, and she attended school in Petau, Slovenia, to escape the Allied bombing of her hometown during WWII. She arrived to the United States in 1951 to live in New York City, where she studied pattern making and fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and worked for McCall and Simplicity Pattern Companies as well as other fashion houses. Before moving to Kansas, she lived and worked in New York City, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Miami and Homestead, Florida.
She married Robert Caves Bow, June 3, 1972, before coming to Kansas the following year, where she and Bob opened Bow Studio and Gallery, an artist studio making tiles and sculpture using local clays. Inga began working in clay in 1965 at the Ceramic League of Miami and later became a well-known artist throughout Kansas and surrounding states for her clay sculpture and tiles in which she imprinted her beloved wild flowers. She also enjoyed photography, painting and other artistic pursuits.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Erika Cavanaugh of South Hampton, England; a sister, Etta Langer of Graz, Austria; and a brother, Hermann Rasper of Munich, Germany, previous spouses Kenneth F McNally and Gustav Lukat. She is survived by her husband, Bob, of the home, and other relatives in the U.S., Canada, England, Switzerland and Austria. She had no children. Inga spent her last peaceful hours enjoying the flowers, birds and butterflies in her studio garden, the prairie wildflowers blooming especially beautifully and early this year just for Inga in this her last summer.
Memorial contributions in her memory are suggested to the Community Foundation, P.O. Box 735, Abilene, KS 67410: Dickinson County Arts Council Endowed Fund, Friends of Sister City Fund or Inga Bow Endowed Fund for Animals are suggested. They can be sent in care of the Danner Funeral Home, P.O. Box 758, Abilene, KS 67410. Cremation was chosen. Services will be private. To celebrate Inga's life and work, Bow Studio and Gallery will have an open house Oct. 6, 2012, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., showing her fashion design sketches from the 1950s to unfinished clay works in 2010.