High school best friends, Jim and Teresa Bowes, first met their junior year in AP History class. Teresa was an outstanding volleyball and soccer athlete, on student council, and a focused student at Carondelet High School in Concord. Jim was a modern-day renaissance man who played football, was an Eagle Scout, and a 4.0 student at neighboring De La Salle High School. Teresa immediately caught Jim’s eye. “She was pretty, incredibly kind and had a great personality,” says Jim. Teresa says she knew Jim was special because he made her laugh and valued family. “I could tell that family came first. That, along with his beautiful blue eyes and amazing sense of humor drew me to him.”
Jim was born in Portland Oregon, but spent most of his childhood in Rock Springs, Wyoming and Colorado Springs, Colorado. Teresa was born in Oakland where she lived until moving to Alamo when she was in the third grade.
Jim and Teresa became very close friends their senior year in high school, even taking weekend trips to Yosemite just the two of them, and they grew inseparable as friends. Jim had received his nomination to attend the US Military Academy at West Point and was planning to leave California shortly after graduation, so Teresa and Jim remained close friends. Just a few weeks before graduation, Jim found out he would be unable to attend West Point due to a hip injury. “With my dream of attending West Point and becoming a gunfighter over, I finally had the courage to ask Teresa to be more than friends. The rest is history” says Jim.
The couple dated throughout college. Jim attended UC Berkeley and Teresa attended Santa Clara University. They saw each other every weekend, travelled Europe together, and took lots of camping trips. After graduating college, Teresa took a trip to Europe with girlfriends, and Jim spent three months backpacking through Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales where he drank a lot of Guinness and came to the realization that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Teresa. Shortly after his return, Jim proposed to Teresa and she accepted.
They were married in July 1996 at St. Isidore in Danville, with a reception at Diablo Country Club. Teresa shares that Jim is always working to keep the romance alive. “Jim can be incredibly romantic. One time he had a special present sent from Kinsale, Ireland. We had visited a few months earlier, and I found a beautiful cape in a store we visited. At the time, it seemed too extravagant to purchase. Little did I know that he would call the store and have it shipped to me, and then plan the most memorable date around that gift- a surprise Les Miserables show in San Francisco.”
They called Pleasanton home after getting married, but Teresa says they eventually fell in love with Blackhawk. “After several shorter stints in Boston where Jim was working as a consultant, we wanted to get closer to our families. I fell in love with the beauty of Hidden Oaks and we found our forever home here in 2009,” adds Teresa.
Jim graduated from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and began a career in management consulting. Teresa graduated with a Liberal Studies degree from Santa Clara University and then went on to get her teaching credential from Saint Mary’s College. Teresa began her teaching career at Assumption School in San Leandro before returning to her old stomping grounds at St. Isidore School in Danville as the Science Collaboration Teacher for grades K-5 where she taught for many years. She enjoyed teaching and watching her children flourish at the school she had attended and graduated from many moons earlier. Teresa just recently left teaching to take on new challenges working in the Dean’s office of the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University. “I really miss my students but am enjoying this next phase of my career,” says Teresa.
Five daughters complete the Bowes family, which Teresa says makes for a very busy household.
“We have five daughters who were all born within thirty nine months of each other. Two sets of twins with a single sandwiched in between. My experience as a teacher definitely comes in handy! When the girlies were little and it felt overwhelming, we chose to laugh and find humor in our situation.”
Lily and Maggie are juniors, and Audrey is a freshman at Carondelet High School. Amelia and Allison are 8th graders at St. Isidore School and will join their older sisters at Carondelet High School next year. “The St. Isidore & Carondelet communities are a big part of our lives,” says Teresa.
We strive to raise strong, faith-filled, kind and generous girls, making community involvement a top priority for the family. All five daughters are athletes, volunteers, and contributors to the community. They are very active in the National Charity League, which supports many philanthropies in the area. The girls have been involved in just about every activity possible including soccer, basketball, softball, volleyball, cross country, rugby, swimming, 4H, theater, karate, Girl Scouts, band, church camps and more. “At the height of soccer season, we would often have tournament weekends where we would have 16 games on the calendar. This taught us complex logistics planning and also the power of the village. We are forever grateful for our friends, family and neighbors helping us get our kids to wherever they needed to go!” says Teresa.
In 2017, the Bowes family faced their most difficult challenge when Teresa was diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer. “Teresa is definitely the heart, soul and engine that keeps our family together and on the right path. Even with Teresa undergoing chemo, radiation, and multiple surgeries throughout 2018 and 2019, we still consider ourselves blessed. We would not have made it through without the support and prayers of family, friends, neighbors and community. The outpouring of love and help was amazing. Teresa is nearly fully recovered and back to her normal energetic self. We now try and pay it forward to friends and neighbors going through their own challenges,” says Jim.
When it comes to family getaways, their favorite vacation spot is San Carlos, Mexico. “We have been taking the girls on road-trips since they were babies and they are great travelers. We have taken several road-trips into mainland Mexico and rented a small beach house for a month right on the Sea of Cortez to live the beach bum life. This spot is our retirement dream when we make it there!,” says Teresa. They also love visiting Kauai and making special memories at Disneyland and Disneyworld.
Along with the seven human members of the household, the Bowes have a 6-year-old Goldendoodle named Chewy and an 8-year-old Sulcata tortoise named Shelldon, (You may have seen pictures of Shelldon on Nextdoor as he frequently escapes, and the Bowes need the assistance of neighbors to find him).
After 12 years in Blackhawk, Teresa and Jim could not be happier with their Hidden Oaks community. “We knew we wanted to raise our kids here. We love the quiet, tree-lined streets. It feels like since we have been here, a lot of families with small children have moved in, which is great. While our kids are a little bit older now, we really enjoy seeing the groups of kids playing and riding their bikes all around the neighborhood. We love our neighbors and have gotten close with several other families,” says Teresa.
By Megan Scott, Resident since 2010
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