Chesterton Tribune

State Sen Anita Bowser remembered for insight

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MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) — Former Gov. Joe Kernan, Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman and about 25 legislators joined hundreds of mourners at the funeral for state Sen. Anita Bowser.

More than a dozen colleagues and friends spoke during Thursday’s service at Notre Dame Catholic Church, recalling her tenacity, insight and sense of humor.

Bower died Sunday at age 86 after a battle with breast cancer. The Michigan City Democrat was first elected to the Indiana House in 1980, and then elected to the Senate in 1992, representing northern Indiana’s LaPorte and St. Joseph counties.

Kernan, who presided over the state Senate when he was lieutenant governor, made reference to Bowser’s academic career — she had law and doctoral degrees and had been a college political science professor.

“I think Anita had more degrees than I had base hits,” joked Kernan, who was a college baseball player. “It was that extraordinary wisdom she brought to the task every day.”

Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, and Rep. Sheila Klinker, D-Lafayette, were Bowser’s roommates during legislative sessions and paid tribute to her by placing a copy of the state constitution in her casket.

Shaw Friedman, a former LaPorte County Democratic Party chairman, said he believed the “little guy” in Indiana lost an ally with Bowser’s death.

“She was an articulate advocate for the needs of those who didn’t have, whether it was the indigent, the mentally ill, or physically disabled,” he said.

 

Posted 3/9/2007

 

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