Cover photo for Susan Bowden's Obituary
Susan Bowden Profile Photo

Susan Bowden

d. September 27, 2023

Santa Fe, NM

NOVEMBER 15, 1955 – SEPTEMBER 27, 2023
Santa Fe - We are heartbroken to announce the passing of Susan Turner Bowden, affectionately known as "Suby," (1955-2023)
Suby, the daughter of Edwin and Anne Bowden, grew up in Austin, Texas and graduated from the University of Texas with a BA in Architecture. She lived and worked in Santa Fe since 1984, where she founded Suby Bowden + Associates, Architecture and Planning (SBA).
She is survived by her life and business partner Bob Gaylor, her brother Eric Bowden and his wife Paula of Rockport, Texas, her stepsister Molly Scarbrough and husband Jake of Boulder, Colorado, her stepbrother Jamie Bowden of Seattle, Washington, her stepmother Mary Bowden of Austin, Texas, and her brother- in-law Randy Ward of Dallas, Texas, and several nieces and nephews.
Suby was a brilliant architect. Her passion and ambition led her to San Francisco and then soon thereafter found her heart's home in our enchanted high desert city of Santa Fe in 1984, where she and John Morrow created Morrow Bowden Architects. Later it became Suby Bowden + Associates which has produced more than 150 built, high design projects locally, regionally and nationally.
Suby has left an indelible mark in New Mexico, Santa Fe and elsewhere. As a Planning Commissioner, she worked with the community to foster the creation of the Escarpment Ordinance which preserves Santa Fe's hilltops from development. Participated in the 1999 Santa Fe General Plan. An enduring legacy is the creation of the Santa Fe Railyard District. Suby with her architect colleague and dear friend Gayla Bechtol worked with many others in the community to establish a master planning process and public process for the realization of the "Railyard." This visionary undertaking reshaped the city, affecting generations to come. Suby played a key role along with The Trust for Public Land in establishing Wild and Scenic River status for the Chama River. Suby Bowden + Associates planned and designed numerous affordable housing projects such as Arroyo Chico in Tierra Contenta, La Cieneguita on Camino Carlos Rey, and in the Native American Nations of Navajo, Picuris, Santo Domingo, Jemez, and San Ildefonso. Suby Bowden + Associates has received numerous awards for buildings in New Mexico and Arizona, notably the estate of Emily Fisher Landau, Windlands near Galisteo, NM, La Patiencia a compound in Tucson, Arizona for John and Diane Patience, and the Gold's residence in Taos, NM, amongst others.
Suby Bowden + Associates awards include The Maxwell Award of Excellence from the University of Chicago, The Enterprise Foundation for affordable housing, the Jeff Harner Award for Contemporary Architecture in the Southwest, and others.
Suby's underwater dance film "Aquamirabilis" was broadcast nationally on PBS and was in several film festivals. She assisted film director and friend Catherine Hardwick with set design for the film "Tombstone." Including the Doc Holiday "twirling cup" bar scene.
Suby was a dancer through and through and magically engaged every room, including the band, with her marvelous, loving, creative energy.
Her love and spirit shines brightly in the hearts of her countless friends, her "Posse" and her devoted employees, who she loved so dearly. Santa Fe has lost one of its greatest champions.
Suby's life is a testament to her will, creativity, vision and love. We mourn her loss deeply and cherish the legacy she leaves behind.
Rest in peace, dear Suby. Your light will forever illuminate so many hearts and the city you loved so dearly.
We shall announce a celebration service time and place for Suby at a later date.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Susan Bowden, please visit our flower store.


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