WILLCOX — Family means everything to Erin Bowlby.
Growing up in a large family taught her the importance of supporting each other and the community around them. She has fond childhood memories of playing with her five siblings and summers spent at Stout’s Cider Mill. She smiled as she recalled making chocolate fudge and baking hot apple pies with her grandma to sell.
“In a small town, I got to have strong family connections growing up. Now I love it here because the community is tight-knit; and I still have a lot of family here, but now my friends feel like family, too,” Bowlby said.
Erin has always seen Willcox as a place that values family as much as she does; and after spending her college years in California, her heart brought her back home.
Today, Erin lives in town with her husband, Tim, and their dog, Chip. She works at Willcox Elementary School as a reading specialist and said she feels blessed to pursue what she loves: teaching children to read. Erin stands by the saying that knowledge is power.
“If you can read, you can do anything,” she said.
The best part about staying in her hometown? She said she will one day see her children grow up in a place that made her own childhood so special.