Johns Hopkins Researcher Led Programs On China
Friday, February 20, 2009
Barbara Smith Bowersox, 79, a retired senior staff member at Johns Hopkins University's School of
Advanced International Studies, died Feb. 14 at Sibley Memorial Hospital after a heart attack. She lived in
Mrs. Bowersox, who retired from the school in 1990, conducted and monitored research on issues such as
ocean policy and Chinese politics.
An exacting editor of scholarly publications, she also wrote briefing papers, project proposals and annual
reports. She also managed the administration of the China studies program and China Forum lecture series.
Born Barbara Smith in Morgantown, W.Va., she moved to Washington as a child.
She remembered taking the bus to the old Griffith Stadium for the 25-cent admission on Ladies Day. She
rooted for the Senators baseball team and collected autographs of Senators' star Walter Johnson, as well as
rivals Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Bob Feller.
She also remembered home delivery of milk by horse and wagon and the delivery of blocks of ice by the
She graduated from the old Western High School and the University of Maryland, where she was a member of
Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
Mrs. Bowersox worked in the 1960s as special projects assistant at the Washington International Center,
helping with State Department-sponsored conferences. Later, she worked at the National Planning
Association, assisting writers with books on Mexican economic development and the roots of the Vietnam
She was among the longest-attending members of Georgetown Presbyterian Church. She was a keeper of
the church archives and wrote a regular history column for the church newsletter.
Mrs. Bowersox enjoyed bridge, Scrabble, genealogy and photography. She prided herself on two
holes-in-one on the golf course. She was a one-time ladies champion of the Green Gables golf club in
Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, where she had a summer home.
Survivors include her husband of 57 years, John K. Bowersox of Bethesda; two daughters, Joan Jurenas of
Annandale and Ann Gordon of Wayland, Mass.; a sister, Arma Jo Northup of North Bethesda; and six
-- Patricia Sullivan