Sally Bowen Prange Wainwright

AUGUST 11, 1927 – AUGUST 7, 2007 Sally Prange Wainwright died peacefully in her home in Durham on August 7, surrounded by loving family.  Sarah Elizabeth Bowen was born in Valparaiso, IN to Milton and Louise Bowen.

The Bowens had recently returned from living in China for several years where Milton was a businessman. The family connection to China and Chinese people and culture continued to strongly influence Sally in many ways. Sally not only developed an immense appreciation of ancient eastern art from the Chinese connection, but she also learned to embrace the differences and commonalities among diverse people and cultures. Throughout her long and full life, Sally was a world traveler whose wonderful art, beautiful amateur photography, insatiable curiosity and outgoing personality brought countless people together. Sally was a lifelong champion for individual rights, mutual respect and dignity, and she was actively involved in the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

In 1950 Sally graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Psychology and soon thereafter married her college sweetheart, Arthur Jergen Prange. As a young mother of four children in the late 1950’s, Sally began the pursuit of ceramic art in earnest in a small studio in the basement of the family home in Chapel Hill. Over the years, her artwork evolved into a beautiful blend of form and function, exhibiting influences from her travels, workshops, and experiences. Sally achieved international recognition and acclaim for her work and her pieces are displayed in many private, business, and museum collections. Many artists in the North Carolina arts community claim Sally as a mentor; she cherished her relationships with other artists and the mutual love of creative expression that they shared.

Even though her element was clay, Sally considered herself a water person, whether listening to the Cane River flow in front of her mountain cabin or swimming in the neighborhood pond. Her passion for water, and for scuba diving in particular, helped lead her to marine biologist Steve Wainwright, her heart’s passion in the later years of her life. Together they created a beautiful life – traveling, bird watching, attending art openings, spending time in their nearby studios, sharing a cup of tea on the patio. Steve and Sally were wed in Phoenix, Arizona, on January third this year. A large celebration of their union took place at their home in Durham in early July with over a hundred friends and family in attendance.

Family members who are mourning Sally’s death include her husband, Steve Wainwright; her children, Christy Rappoport (Herndon, Virginia, Marnie Prange (Stevensville, Montana), Laurie Prange (Hattiesburg, Mississippi), and David Prange (Portland Oregon); sons- in-law Rick Rappoport, Greg Pape, and Rex Gandy; 10 grandchildren; a brother, Mick Bowen (Tampa, Florida); her former husband, Art Prange; and Steve’s four adult children and their families, Peter, Ian, Archie, and Jenny Wainwright. The immeasurable enrichment of having shared our lives with Sally will live with us forever.

A remembrance of Sally’s life will take place at 2:00 p.m., Friday, August 10th in the sanctuary of the Eno River Unitarian Universalist Church at 4907 Garrett Road in Durham. Friends are welcome to attend.In lieu of flowers or meals, donations can be made in Sally’s memory to Durham Art Guild.