Carmen Joyce Mower, 87, of the town of Lafayette, Chippewa Falls passed away unexpectedly Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, at Mayo Clinic Health System-Eau Claire. She was surrounded by family.

She was born Sept. 24, 1930, in Britt, Iowa, to Harold and Minnie (Fox) Higdon. Carmen graduated from Britt High School and then attended nursing school at Iowa Methodist, before moving to Chicago. While living and working as a nurse in Chicago, she traveled to Chippewa Falls,to visit her sister. It was during that visit that she was set up on a blind date with Eugene Mower, thanks to his friend, Sam LaRue. They hit it off, and Carmen soon decided to move to Chippewa Falls, where she worked as a surgical nurse at St Joseph’s Hospital for a few years. She and Eugene were married June 2, 1956, and celebrated 61 years of marriage this past summer.

While raising their family, Carmen taught piano lessons at her home. For more than 20 years she shared her love of piano with over two hundred students. She also accompanied countless high school students and was the pianist for Notre Dame Church for many years. She continued to take piano lessons herself until her death. Carmen was an avid seamstress and quilter, bridge player, and was an active P.E.O. member and one of their top pecan sellers! Carmen grudgingly worked out with Gene at Momentum Sports once a week. The highlight for her was the post workout Alfredo lunch at Olive Garden.

Carmen will always be remembered for her no nonsense attitude and the opinions she was always willing to share.

Carmen is survived by her husband, Gene; children, Tim (Roxie) Mower of Chippewa Falls, Scott (Lori) Mower of Chisago City, Minn., Judy (Dan) Sperry of Scandia, Minn., and Kari (Curt) Hennen of Chisago City; grandchildren, Tony, Tyler, Dylan, Morgan, Brett, Karly, Ryan, Jamie, Zach and Will; sister, Shirley (Joe) Nussbaum of Corsicana, Texas; brother, Chuck (Mavis) Higdon of Calif.; and many other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Marian Dingman and LaVon Larson; and brother, James Higdon.

A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at the Church of Notre Dame with Fr. Joshy Mathew Kulangara officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church and burial will directly follow the services.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Carmen’s honor are appreciated and may be designated to P.E.O. Sisterhood, an international organization that supports women’s education.

Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services, Chippewa Falls is serving the family. Visit pedersonvolker.com to express online condolences.

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