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Statehouse leaders honor former Gov. Otis Bowen

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Leaders of the Indiana General Assembly expressed their sorrow for the passing of former Indiana Gov. Otis Ray Bowen.

The Fulton County native died May 4 at age 95 at the Catherine Kasper Life Center in Donaldson.

Bowen earned his medical degree from Indiana University in 1942 and joined the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army in 1943. After World War II, he settled in Bremen and started his own medical practice.

Bowen was first elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1956. He lost his bid for re-election by four votes in 1958 but was able to regain his seat in 1960. Serving for seven consecutive terms, Bowen became minority leader in 1965 and speaker of the house in 1967.

He was elected as governor in 1972 and won re-election in 1976. After he finished his second term as governor, President Ronald Reagan tapped him to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Bowen held this post until Reagan left office on Jan. 20, 1989.

Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, described Bowen as an “iconic Hoosier leader” who had many memorable accomplishments as governor but never forgot his small town roots.

“He was a great man, he was a humble man and he was a Hoosier through and through,” Long said. “There will never be another one like him.”

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said Bowen served the state and the country with integrity, honor and a constant caring physician’s touch.

“As speaker of the house, as governor and as the secretary of the Health and Human Services, he was always ‘Doc Bowen,’ a man who understood and represented common folks,” Bosma said. “He will be missed but his was certainly a life well lived.”

Gov. Mike Pence has directed flags at state facilities be flown at half-staff through May 11 as a tribute to Bowen.


 

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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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