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Former Indiana Governor Otis Bowen Dies

May 5, 2013

  05/06/13  Former Governor of Indiana, Otis R. Bowen passed away Saturday evening about 6:30 at the Catherine Kasper Life Center in Donaldson.  He was 95 years old. 

The 44th governor of Indiana, he served from 1973 to 1981 and during his two terms he introduced a tax restructuring program, reducing property taxes and increasing the sales tax.

  Bowen began his political career in 1952 when he was elected as Coroner of Marshall County.  From then he served in the House of Representatives from 1956 to 58 and again from 1960 to 72.  He was Speaker of the House from 67 to 72.  In 1985 President Ronald Regan nominated him as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.  He was quickly confirmed by the US Senate and served in the cabinet until President Regan left office on January 20, 1989 at which time he moved back to Bremen. 

Know to many simply at “Doc,” Otis Bowen was born in Rochester, graduated from IU with his MD in 1942 and went on to serve in the Medical Corp of the United States Army from 1943 to 46. He then set up his own medical practice in Bremen until 1972.  During that time it is estimated that he delivered some 3,000 babies.   

  Dr. Bowen is survived by his wife, Carol of Bremen; four children, Rick (Sandy) Bowen of River Falls, WI, Judy (Dave) McGrew of Richmond, KY, Tim (Ann) Bowen of Cornelius, NC, and Rob (Patty) Bowen of Bremen; two stepchildren, Vance (Michelle) Flosenzier and Mindy (Ron) Welty; 12 grandchildren; 4 step-grandchildren; and 8 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two wives, Elizabeth Bowen and Rose Bowen; three sisters, Esther Plain, Evelyn Amacher, Sarah Jane Scandling; and one brother, Richard Bowen.

Mishler Funeral Home in Bremen will handle funeral arrangements.  Friends may call from 11 to 3 on Wednesday, May 8th and from 4 to 8 on Thursday, May 9th at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.  The funeral service for Otis Bowen is 11 a.m. on Friday, May 10th at St. Paul’s Church, 605 South Center Street in Bremen.