Dolores Bowman relaxes in her room at Ayden Healthcare, where she has resided since January. (Linda Moody photo)

Bowman a retiring Tupperware hostess

GREENVILLE—Dolores Bowman, that red-headed Tupperware hostess who has been in many homes in the area in the past 46 years, is slowing down. In fact, she has retired from hosting and presenting demonstrations on that product. And, word got around at the recent Great Darke County Fair.

The staff at Ayden Healthcare of Greenville made sure she got to the Great Darke County Fair this year on the last Friday, and, of course, she visited the Tupperware stand in the Coliseum.

“Kyle Wogoman, who works at Ayden, brought me to the fair. We went in a van. We missed the bus and had to take a car back to the nursing home. I was in the Coliseum and couldn’t get away,” she said, beaming.

She was so glad to see her friends that day.

Excerpts from reports at Ayden Healthcare on her day at the fair went like this: “Today, we were fortunate enough to help this sweet woman enjoy her last Tupperware Stand in the Coliseum. She saw so many people she knew. She smiled, she laughed, she enjoyed a Farmer Brown, ice cream, and a Rotary lemonade; she visited the Fine Arts building (something she had never done she said); and she had her family with her as well.”

Management at the nursing facility invited family and friends to come by and visit her whenever they would like.

Dolores fell at the end of January and was in the hospital for four or five days, and then came to Ayden Healthcare of Greenville, where she more than likely will remain from here on out.

And, even though she announced she is retiring from Tupperware, she admits she has even sold a few at the nursing home. Why not? She has a house full of the items in rural Union City, Ohio, where son Rusty is living.

Bowman, who will mark her 88th birthday on Oct. 1, said it was actually her daughter, Alice, who got her started in the Tupperware business.

“Alice, our oldest daughter, was a representative and was going to get $25 when she got a recruit,” Dolores recalled. “I was a recruit. She then went off and got married.”

Most of the parties that Dolores hosted were in peoples’ homes in and around the county and sometimes farther away.

The number of parties she hosted were numerous.

“It used to be mandatory that we hold five parties a week,” she said. “I met a lot of different people.”

She had quite a few people working under her supervision. They include Deb Crist and Debbie Guthrie. She has also gotten lots of help from Sherry Thompson and Kathy Brinkman not to mention from her brother-in-law Steve Bowman, and Brandy Neargarder, who has done her computer work.

One of her dearest supporters is Linda Schatz of Greenville, who sold Avon for 50 years and dealt in Tupperware.

“I did Avon a little bit,” Dolores admitted.

Husband Kenny, who passed away Aug. 28, 2021, had built a Tupperware room in his garage. A local barber, he was supportive of her work with the household product.

She brought Tupperware to the fairgrounds in 1947.

“It was outside for a couple of years, then (Fair Board Member) Ray Lavy said he had room in the top of the Coliseum,” she said. “There were three openings in a row but I didn’t take the one on the corner.”

Her parties have taken her all over.

“I had some in Dayton, Lima and Muncie,” she said. “I drove all over and never thought anything about it. I miss Tupperware a lot and the people I met. I’ve even sold it to employees here (at the nursing home).”

Her success in that industry paid off because she has received many prizes for sales. She was good to Tupperware and Tupperware was good to her.

“I had a Tupperware van for years…one every year I made VIP,” she recalled. “I did it most of the time.”

Bonuses have also included a dining room suite, Noritake chinaware, crystal ware, television sets, a couch, all of her kitchen appliances, to name a few.s

“They wanted me to sell other products but I didn’t,” she said. “Tupperware treated me well and I went on trips to Hawaii and Las Vegas.”

Dolores was not only a 1952 graduate of Jackson High School, now known as Mississinawa Valley, she was the class valedictorian and head majorette in the band. Classmate Carol Blume, she said, was salutatorian.

She and Kenny were in the same class.

The couple became parents of six children: sons Rudy, Rick, Rusty and Royce and daughters Alice now Collins and Annette now Randall. Rudy and Royce live in Houston, Texas, Rick in Waynesville; Rusty, at home, and Alice and Annette in Greenville. All of them graduated from Mississinawa Valley.

There are also 18 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

“Four of them were here when I started in Tupperware,” she said. “All of them are good human beings.”

The former Dolores Hartzell, who grew up in the Hillgrove Church, is now a member of Day Star Grace Brethren of Union City, Ind.

What was life like before Tupperware?

“I used to sew before Tupperware, which consumed my life,” she replied. “I also did a lot of baking, with Snickerdoodles my specialty.”

As for Tupperware, she took it seriously just as she did her family.

“I liked pretty much of everything that Tupperware offered; some more than others,” Dolores said. Some I used more than others. I loved the bowls. They fall out of the refrigerator and would not spill.”

Some of her Tupperware is 60 years old and she was still using it before she came to the nursing home.

“They came out with bakeware in 1984 and it was a boom to the business,” she said. “I used to do cooking parties. I used a stacked cooker for a whole meal. A lot of Tupperware was microwave-safe and it used to be beige and now it’s black. They try to keep everybody happy.”

Like always Dolores had and still has a good outlook on life.

“One day at a time,” she concluded. “I wish I were home but know I can’t.”

Kyle Wogoman, a staff member at Ayden Healthcare, had the honor of taking Dolores Bowman to the Coliseum at the Darke County Fair. She enjoyed visiting the Tupperware stand that she ran for 40-plus years at the festival. (Courtesy photo)
Sitting nearby in Dolores Bowman's room at Ayden is the framed photo of children and herself. She looks at it often. (Linda Moody photo)
Darke County Now Staff - Linda Moody - Staff Writer

Linda Moody / Staff Writer

I am a Darke County native living in the Ansonia area with my son. I have been in journalism 50+ years and enjoy what I do.

Contact Darke County Now Media Correspondent Linda Moody @ lmoody@darkecountynow.com or 937-337-1955.

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