Thayer, Helen Virginia

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Attended Class of 1927
First Distinction in classroom honors

Birth: 29 Jul 1911, Cabarrus County, North Carolina
Death: 18 Sep 1999, Gibsonville, Guilford County, North Carolina

Charles Holmes Thayer (1880-1958)
Nell Virginia Wilborn Thayer (1885-1967)

Hazel Jane Thayer Caton (1920-2014)

Myron Lee Shinn (1908-1944); Married: 22 Jan 1942, Chesterfield County, South Carolina
Harry Lee Bowling (1913-1999); Married: 12 Jul 1953, Cabarrus County, North Carolina

Findagrave: #123976524

Concord Daily Tribune (Concord, NC), 28 Aug 1925, p. 5.

Miss Helen Thayer is able to be out again, after being confined to her home for some time by an infected foot.


The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), 5 Jul 1942, p. 6.


MOUNT PLEASANT, July 4. – Mr. and Mrs. Charles Holmes Thayer of Mount Pleasant have announced the marriage of their daughter, Helen Virginia, to Corporal Myron Lee Shinn, United States army, on Thursday, January 22.

Mrs. Shinn was graduated from Woman’s college of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and she has done graduate work at the University of North Carolina For the past two years she has been a member of the faculty of Concord High school.

Corporal Shinn is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Shinn of Georgeville. He was graduated from North Carolina State college, and prior to his induction into the United States army he held a position with Cannon Mills company in Kannapolis. He is now stationed at Camp Claiborne, La.


News and Record (Greensboro, NC), 19 Jul 1953, p. 13.

Shinn And Bowling Vows Are Spoken

MT. PLEASANT, July 18. – In a ceremony at the bride’s home Sunday afternoon, July 12, Mrs. Helen Thayer Shinn, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles HOlmes Thayer of Mt. Pleasant, became the bride of Harry Lee Bowling, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Melville Bowling of Leaksville. Rev. T. C. Williams, Jr., of Yancyville used the double-ring service. Music was rendered by Mrs. Lorene Honeycutt, pianist, and Mrs. A. A. Wagner, soloist, both of Kannapolis.

The bride wore a suit of silk tweed in coronation blue with navy accessories, and a corsage of pink orchids. An informal reception followed the ceremony.

Mrs. Bowling is a graduate of Woman’s College, Greensboro, and has done graduate work at the University of North Carolina. For the past several years she has served as librarian of the Cannon Memorial Y. M. C. A. in Kannapolis. Prior to going to Kannapolis, she was librarian of Concord High School.

Mr. Bowling, a graduate of State College, Raleigh, is industrial arts instructor at Gibsonville High School. The couple will live at Gibsonville.


The Daily Times-News (Burlington, NC), 17 May 1975, p. 2.

Librarians Are Honored at Tea

Mrs. Helen Bowling and Miss Mary Ellen Hobson, retiring librarians in the Burlington City Schools, were honored Friday at a tea given by other librarians in the school system.

Mrs. Bowling, librarian at Broadview Middle School, has worked in Burlington schools for 33 years. Miss Hobson is Librarian at Hillcrest Elementary School and has been in Burlington for 20 years.

The tea was held in the professional library of the city schools administrative building. The retirees were presented with corsages and books.

Those attending included school librarians and librarians in the Instructional Materials Center, principals of the two schools, and administrators.

Mrs. Bowling, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, has worked 30 years in North Carolina public schools. Her 22 years in Burlington were spent at Broadview and the old Broad Street school. She is a member of the Burlington Business and Professional Women’s Club and the Gibsonville Music Club and is a Sunday School teacher…


Courtesy of Ben Callahan:
Helen Thayer (b. 29 Jul 1911, Mt. Pleasant, NC, d. 18 Sep 1999, Guilford Co. NC). Daughter of Charles H. Thayer and Nell Virginia Wilburn. Her grandfather, Julian Thayer, invented and patented the “gin saw sharpening machine” which he manufactured in his back yard on North Main Street in Mt. Pleasant.

Helen Thayer attended Mont Amoena Seminary in 1926-27, but she is not listed in any graduating classes. She graduated from UNC Woman’s College in Greensboro in 1933 with a degree in Library Science. She also attended graduate courses at UNC-Chapel Hill. In 1940 Helen was residing in Spencer, Rowan Co. in the household of William D. and Hollie Hutchinson. She was employed as a public-school teacher.

Helen married Myron Lee Shinn in Chesterfield Co. SC on 22 Jan 1942. At the time of her marriage, she was teaching at Concord High School.

Myron Shinn, also from Cabarrus County, graduated from NC State University in 1934 and was employed at Cannon Mills in Kannapolis at the time of his marriage. He was a WWII veteran. He enlisted on 17 Mar 1942 and served with the 325th Glider Infantry Unit of the 82nd Airborne. He served in North Africa, Italy and Europe, and participated in the invasion of France on D-Day, 6 Jun 1944. He was a Staff Sgt. when he was kia in France on 15 Jun 1944 and posthumously awarded the bronze star for gallantry.

In 1950 Helen was residing in Kannapolis and was a librarian at the Kannapolis YMCA. On 12 Jul 1953 she married Harry L. Bowling in Cabarrus County. Harry was also a WWII veteran and in 1950 he was residing in Gibsonville, Guilford Co. NC and was employed as an industrial arts teacher at Gibsonville High School.

Helen and her second husband, Harry L. Bowling, established a scholarship at UNC-Greensboro to be awarded to an undergraduate seeking admission into the MLIS program.


The daughter of Charles Holmes and Nell Wilborn Thayer, Helen was born on July 29, 1911. She spent her early life in Mt. Pleasant, NC where she attended elementary and high school. After graduating from Mt. Pleasant High School, she entered UNC Greensboro, from which she graduated in 1933 with a degree in library science and a minor in English. She served as a librarian of Spencer High School for four years, librarian of Concord High School for five years, and as head librarian of the Cannon Memorial YMCA Public Library in Kannapolis, NC for ten years.

Helen Bowling was married to Myron Lee Shinn of Kannapolis on January 20, 1942. He was killed in action during the Normandy Invasion on June 15, 1944.

After her marriage to Harry Lee Bowling of Gibsonville, NC on July 12, 1953, she made her home in Gibsonville. She served as librarian in the Burlington City Schools for 22 years, retiring in 1975.

Helen has been active in church and club activities throughout her adult life. She has served as a church school teacher in both Kannapolis and Gibsonville. She was an active member of the Clarice Women’s Club in Kannapolis. In Gibsonville, she has been a member of the Garden Club and the Art and Literature Club. She is a past president of both of these organizations.

Helen and Harry Bowling believe strongly in the vital importance of a college education in today’s world. They also recognize that ever-increasing costs make a college education a dream for many worthy students. The Bowlings have made the decision to divide their estate between NC State University (Mr. Bowling’s alma mater) and the UNCG for the purpose of establishing scholarship funds for deserving students who have financial need.

Mrs. Helen Thayer Bowling and Mr. Harry Bowling both passed away in 1999.


The Helen Thayer Bowling Scholarship (University of North Carolina – Greensboro)

With this agreement, Helen Thayer Bowling, class of 1933, and her husband, Harry L. Bowling, declare their intention to make a testamentary gift to the UNCG Excellence Foundation to establish the Helen Thayer Bowling Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will benefit needy and deserving students of library science.

Recipients will be deserving students who demonstrate financial need.
Recipients will be students who have declared an interest in pursuing a course of study in library science.


Each spring semester the Admissions Committee of the Department of Library and Information Studies meets to select students who meet the following criteria:

Admission to the MLIS degree program by March 15 and expectation to enroll in the Summer or Fall, either part-time or full-time.
Have GRE scores of at least 1070 (combined 2 scores from verbal, quantitative, or analytical).
Have an undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or higher or a graduate GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Letters of recommendation – subjective appraisal by Committee.
Personal data forms – subjective appraisal by Committee.
Once the most qualified student is selected, the Chair of the Department contacts the student to see whether or not the student will accept the fellowship. If the student does plan to accept the fellowship, the Department submits the recommendation to the Office of Student Financial Aid Scholarship Committee. If the Committee agrees with the recommendation, they will send notification in writing to the student.